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A Law School Runs Through It

The law schools of Rutgers have figured prominently in the successful careers of three generations of the Rose family.

The Rose family—from the left, Thomas Karpousis, Karen Rose Karpousis, Jerome Rose, and Stephen Rose
The Rose family—from the left, Thomas Karpousis, Karen Rose Karpousis, Jerome Rose, and Stephen Rose—represents three generations steeped in legal education at Rutgers. Photography by R. David Beales

When Jerome “Jerry” Rose NLAW’35 graduated from Rutgers and launched his career as a lawyer, he didn’t know that he was setting the foundation for a long-standing family legacy. His son Stephen Rose NLAW’65 and granddaughter Karen Karpousis CLAW’91, on the other hand, are well aware of the path that “Pa Jerry” has paved for them as they celebrate his 100th birthday in September.

More than 75 years ago, Jerry enrolled in classes at Rutgers–New Brunswick but was forced to drop out when money got tight. “I enjoyed college, but I had to leave because of the Depression,” says Jerry. He worked days at his father’s real estate firm in Bayonne, New Jersey, and eventually continued his education in the evenings at Mercer Beasley Law School in Newark, New Jersey, which would become the Rutgers School of Law–Newark (law schools didn’t require four-year degrees at the time), bringing Jerry’s education at Rutgers full circle. He then took charge of the legal division in his father’s real estate firm.

Jerry’s son Stephen followed in his footsteps, working in the same three-story building in Bayonne and attending the Rutgers School of Law–Newark. He now manages the family law firm, Rose & Zucker. Jerry’s granddaughter Karen took her studies south to Rutgers–Camden. “I didn’t even think of applying to any other law schools,” she says. While working at the law firm during her summer breaks, Karen was bombarded with accolades about her father’s and grandfather’s accomplishments. “It was an easy decision for me to follow in their footsteps.”

With three generations steeped in Rutgers law, including Karen’s husband, Thomas Karpousis RC’87, CLAW’90, Jerry is proud to say that Rutgers is a part of his family.

“He shares his love for the school with anyone who will listen,” says Karen. Rain or shine, the Rose family has never left a football game until the final gun sounds to end the game—through Stephen’s childhood, then Karen’s, and now the great-grandkids’, Alexandra and Matthew.

                                                                                                                             — Ayesha Gougouehi SC&I’13

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