By Elizabeth Zakaim
Social Media Editor
First impressions are often the most lasting, and I will never forget my first impression of the College.
My dad pulled up to the round, stone steps, to drop me off at the College’s open house on a windy October morning in 2015. My first sight? A sign that read “Loser Hall.” I snickered to myself as I climbed up the steps. Somehow, a building with the name “loser” on it was enough to calm some of my nerves about touring the school — an uncharted ground — even if the pronunciation of the building’s name is slightly different from that of the popular insult. Think more along the lines of “Losher” — but that didn’t stop anyone from laughing.
During my freshman year, I found that other students had the same amused impression about Loser Hall. Other than, “Wow, that kid must have gotten beat up a lot at school,” we wondered what person would be brave enough to have a last name like that declared on the face of a building — the admissions building, nonetheless, and the first one you see when you turn onto Metzger Drive.
Back in 1987, those people were businessman Tom Loser and his wife, Carol Loser, a trained biologist. The building was named after Tom’s late father, Paul Loser, who served as a superintendent for schools in Trenton, N.J., according to a news release from the College in September 2006.
Both husband and wife have made major contributions to the building’s development. In 1987, Tom made College history with his $1 million gift to fund Loser Hall. Tom was president and co-founder of Wyrough & Loser, Inc., a medical firm in Ewing, N.J., that established new forms of chemicals for the rubber industry, according to the same release. During her scientific career, Carol was a member of the ’50s Rockefeller Institute scientific team, which discovered that genes were made from DNA, and that DNA is responsible for transmitting hereditary information — a pretty revolutionary conclusion.
Fast forward almost 30 years later, when the Losers donated $5 million dollars to the College, now the largest donation in the history of the school. Their donation went toward the development of the School of Nursing and Health and Exercise Sciences, which are still housed in Loser Hall today.
President R. Barbara Gitenstein expressed her appreciation for the generous donations made by the Losers who were, as she put it in the release, “exceptional individuals who have their roots in the Trenton community.”
So were they losers? Definitely not. Their donations made history, and Loser Hall is an integral part of campus today. Even though I’m not taking nursing or health and exercise science classes there, I remember first walking up those steps for my tour of campus, and months later, smiling for my student ID photo taken at orientation. So, my first impression has been irrevocably altered. I guess we have the Losers to thank, even if their last name still brings a smile to my face.