Rutgers debuts downtown dorm
Home News Tribune 08/4/05
By RICK HARRISON
RUTGERS — Alvin J. Rockoff, Rutgers College Class of '49, diverted his eyes yesterday from the
entrance sign over Rockoff Hall, the new university residence building in downtown New
Brunswick dedicated in his name during a ceremony.
"I didn't have a choice," he said of the university and the New Brunswick Development
Corporation's decision to honor his service to the community. "But you didn't see me looking up
there," he said, gesturing with his head toward the foot-high letters over the doorway that spell his
name and that starting Aug. 20 will greet 670 Rutgers juniors, seniors and graduate students to
their new home on the corner of George and New streets.
Rockoff surveyed a crowd of 350 people, including his wife Ruth, 18 members of four generations
of his family, his ex-classmates, Mayor James Cahill, Devco board Chairman George R.
Zoffinger, Rutgers President Richard L. McCormick and current Rutgers students eager to move
"We should have charged admission," Rockoff said with a smile.
The 12-story facility, developed by Devco with Pennrose Properties and Hillier Architecture,
features 186 fully-furnished apartment suites and street-level retail space that includes 7-Eleven,
Cold Stone Creamery, Port City Java and Douglass Pizza & Grille.
Students sharing a bedroom will pay $590 a month. Single rooms will cost $700 a month and
must be occupied for 12 months.
Praising Rockoff as "a leader whose benevolence and civic duty are legendary," Cahill said,
"Rockoff Hall brings the vital presence of Rutgers students into New Brunswick's downtown."
Rockoff delivered a tearful speech touching on his devotion to New Brunswick and Rutgers as
evidenced by his charitable activities and work as former chairman of the Rutgers board of
governors and the Rutgers board of trustees, and as a member for more than 20 years of
Devco's board of directors. Then he and Ruth cut thr