GLASSBORO - Professor and administrator Tom Gallia, a 51-year member of the Rowan University community both as a student and an employee, will retire at end of the month.

"Tom Gallia has made invaluable contributions to Rowan University, to Glassboro and to South Jersey," said Ali Houshmand, Rowan's president. "We are sorry to see him retire, but trust he will remain active in the Rowan community."

Gallia, a Vineland, N.J., native, worked his way through Glassboro State College and earned his bachelor's degree in biological and physical sciences in 1966. He earned two master's degrees from the college in 1967 and 1970, and went on to earn his doctorate from Rutgers University.

In his 46-year career at Rowan, Gallia, 69, has served as vice president of university relations and the president's chief of staff before becoming vice president emeritus. He was a professor of education while a vice president. Among his other roles were academic department chairman and executive associate dean.

He was part of a small group that authored the petition for the school's name change to Rowan College of New Jersey and later petitioned the State Commission on Higher Education for university status.

Gallia helped spearhead the development of Rowan Boulevard, the $300 million public-private renewal project in which Rowan partnered with Glassboro and private developers.

An active, much-honored community member, Gallia lives in Glassboro with his wife Donna.

His retirement is effective Dec. 31.

— Rita Giordano