For its eighth president, Delaware Valley College chose a candidate from the business sector. William H. Rorer III came to DelVal from his post as senior vice president at the Rorer Group Inc., the multi-million-dollar pharmaceutical company founded by his grandfather, and best known for the popular antacid Maalox.
Training his business knowledge toward the running of the College, Rorer proposed an expansion both in curriculum and facilities aimed at improving DelVal’s financial situation, which was in a dire state. He also supported DelVal’s becoming state-affiliated. But the board of trustees declined his suggestions, as rankled alumni rejected the idea of being steered away from the College’s private, agricultural roots. With his hands tied, Rorer resigned three years into his tenure.
A 1958 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Rorer served as a commissioned submarine officer from 1958 to 1963 when he joined the family business. From 1963 to 1985, he worked in the U.S. Pharmaceutical Division of William H. Rorer Inc. in various capacities, including industrial relations manager, director of distribution operation, vice president of engineering and as president and chief executive officer from 1977 to 1985. From 1968 to 1973, he was vice president and president of Barcroft Company, a subsidiary of Rorer Group Inc. He also served as executive vice president and president of Dermik Laboratories Inc. (another subsidiary of Rorer Group Inc.).
Active in the community, Rorer was a trustee of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science and of the United State Military Academy. He was also a trustee of the Abington Hospital and of the David Mahoney Institute of Neurological Sciences at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Rorer and his wife, Susan, had three children. The family lived on a farm in Lumberville, Pa., where Rorer died in 2001.