Denise Rover ’84 didn’t need to look beyond Montclair State when she was choosing a college. “My mother, Dolores, earned her teaching degree from Montclair State in 1951,” she says. “I entered as a Spanish major and planned to follow her lead by becoming an educator, but I soon found that broadcasting was really my passion.”
At that time, the University’s broadcasting program was part of the Speech and Theatre Department and the DuMont Television Center was the center of activity. “I have such fond memories of working on broadcasting projects with my classmates,” Rover says, recalling long days and late nights producing newscasts and other programs that were aired throughout the semester. “On Saturday nights, we did remotes for the football games.”
Rover graduated from Montclair State with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Theatre, a concentration in Broadcasting, and magna cum laude honors, and began what would become a highly successful career in her field. A 36-year veteran of NBCUniversal Media, LLC, Rover has held various positions in sales, news and programming. She is currently an account manager in the NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations Sales Unit.
It is challenging work, and Rover loves every minute of it. “Every day is different,” she says. “I work with a vast number of clients, and each station offers something unique – different events, different markets. One day I’m selling the Olympics, the next it’s the Super Bowl. The portfolio keeps changing, too. I sell linear television time but also digital media. I am constantly working to achieve new budgets and goals and putting my skills to the test.”
Rover’s considerable talents are prized in other industry leadership roles. She served two consecutive two-year terms as president of the New York Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, in addition to terms as secretary and treasurer. She was elected trustee of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, serving two terms, and was chair of the Moving Forward: Daytime Emmy® Awards Committee.
A lifelong skater, Rover is also active with U.S. Figure Skating, a governing body of the U.S. Olympic Committee. She has attended 23 World Figure Skating Championships and several Winter Olympics. Rover is generous in sharing her broadcasting and advertising insights with skating officials.
Rover’s commitments include service to her church. In addition to a recent reappointment to the Finance Council of the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ, Rover is a member of the Budget Committee and the Insurance and Benefits Committee. She was also appointed to the Board of Overseers at Seton Hall University/Immaculate Conception Seminary and has been invested into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, holding the rank of a Lady Commander.
As a special tribute to her parents, Rover established the Rover Family Fund for Breast Cancer Research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She works closely with the Center’s staff to provide annual support for the Fund.
Fortunately, Rover makes time for her alma mater as well. She serves on the Board of Advisors of the College of the Arts, and she is deeply committed to the success of the School of Communication and Media. Over the years, Rover has provided generous philanthropic support, including contributions toward scholarships for students in the College of the Arts.
In her newest role as a member of the Montclair State University Foundation Board, Rover looks forward to helping the University build on its achievements. “Montclair State is a terrific higher education facility with a plethora of degrees and programs,” she says.
Rover, who was honored as a 2018 Distinguished Alumna as well as with the 2021 Margaret and Herman Sokol Award for Alumni Achievement and Civic Leadership, sees Foundation Board membership as a great way to give back to the institution that had offered her so much. “My connection to the University is, in a lot of ways, tied to my parents’ passion for higher education, and now I have the opportunity to carry the banner for both of them,” she says. “I can be an ambassador for what Montclair State can provide.”
“Montclair State helped me develop as a person,” Rover continues. “I benefited from the wide variety of core courses, and so much more. I developed the ability to collaborate and work as part of a team; I learned how to plan and prepare for new projects; and I learned how to hone my skills as a speaker. These are important life skills that I have leaned on throughout my career.”
Rover is eager to collaborate with her fellow board members and hopes to encourage her fellow alumni to get involved. “Education is the gift that keeps on giving,” she says. “Whether you support a scholarship, program or special event at Montclair State, you are giving the gift of knowledge and helping others to grow.”