Rider University looking to sell its music college

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A New Jersey university wants to sell its music college to another institution. (WPVI)

A New Jersey university wants to sell its music college to another institution.

Rider University President Gregory Dell'Omo announced Tuesday that an outside firm has been hired to seek a buyer for the Westminster Choir College and its 23-acre campus in Princeton.

"We would love to find a partner and preserve and enhance the tradition and the excellence of Westminster as it currently exists," said Dell'Omo.

The news was surprising, but welcome, for those who feared the college might fade into history.

"This is what we wanted. We are happy, as parents of a freshman student that chose Westminster Choir College, because my daughter wanted a small campus," said Mona Davids, of the Coalition to Save Westminster Choir College.

Just hours before the announcement, the coalition first protested silently and then with song.

They feared the Rider board was going to shutter the Princeton campus and shoehorn its students to the larger Lawrenceville campus.

In the end, Rider agreed the forced merger would be a bad fit.

As to who might be interested in buying the internationally renowned Westminster Choir College? Dell'Omo was asked if neighboring Princeton University might be a possible candidate.

"There has been some preliminary inquiries from other institutions that we don't want to name at this time. But we are pretty confident that there's going to be a fair level of interest."

The move comes as Rider continues efforts to boost enrollment and faces a potential $13 million shortfall by 2019.

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