Stockton Confers Record 1452 Degrees at 3 Commencement Ceremonies; Civil Rights Icon, U.S. Rep. John Lewis Tells Grads: ‘You Can Change the World’
Justin B. Frankel, Ambassador William J. Hughes, James Saxton, Dr. Herman J. Saatkamp, Governor Brendan T. Byrne, Lori Herndon, Dennis M. Bone, and Dr. Edward H. Salmon.
TheStockton College President Herman Saatkamp presided at three commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11, where a record 1452 graduates received degrees at the college’s Sports Center, known as Big Blue.
U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, a founder of the American Civil Rights movement, told some 662 graduates receiving Baccalaureate degrees Saturday afternoon, “Find a way to get into trouble."
Lewis, a Democratic congressman from Georgia’s 5th District, said when he was inspired to civil rights activism by Rosa Parks’ actions and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words on the radio, he was told by his elders: “Don’t make trouble, don’t get in the way.’
“It inspired me to get in the way – it was necessary trouble,” said U.S. Rep. Lewis, a Freedom Rider and founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which organized student sit-ins protesting racial discrimination.
By sitting down, we were standing up for the very best in the American tradition,” Congressman Lewis said of sit-ins at segregated lunch counters in the South.
“I urge you – I plead with you – to do your part, not with bitterness…but with love,” he said.
He said told the graduates, “You, too, can go out and change the world.”
Rep. Lewis, a noted author, theologian and political leader, spoke at the second of two graduation ceremonies held at the college’s campus here on May 11, where a combined total of 1312 graduates received degrees. Another 140 Stockton graduates received Master’s and Doctoral degrees on Friday, May 10.
At the afternoon ceremony, where students from the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the School of Social and Behavioral Science received Baccalaureate degrees, President Saatkamp said, “Our students are promises we make to a future we will not see, and at this graduation, with these fine students, you can see that we are delivering on our promises.”
He went on to say that “each Stockton student is now an international student, connected to a global community and economy as never before.”
“This is a day of celebration, of joy, of appreciation for those who made it possible of us to be here and hope for the future,” President Saatkamp said, while issuing “a challenge.”
“Here is an important message to our graduates: having a college degree is not enough,” he said. “Having a college degree gets you a long way because you have the ability to continue to learn and the likelihood of living well.”
“Even so, there are no guarantees,” President Saatkamp said. “What is ahead of you is the delight of moving forward into a new life but it also includes persistence, diligence, hard work, and the task of getting along with others who may be different from you in a cosmopolitan world.”
“When you leave this graduation, you will enter a society that is as divided as perhaps we have ever been,” he continued. “We have one of the greatest disparities of income, our zip codes depend on our economic status, and our living and occupational isolation means we often do not come into contact with those less well off, or those with different social and political views.”
“You are our hope for our future,” President Saatkamp said. “The Stockton spirit of education and values will carry you a long way. When you leave this graduation today, do not forget the lessons learned at Stockton in building communities, in joining hands with others who may have different backgrounds and different views. You are our best future.”
Kristen Grimm, president and founder of Spitfire Strategies, a leading national public relations firm that helps foundations and nonprofits create positive social change, gave the keynote address at the morning ceremony on May 11 to 650 graduates of the Schools of Arts and Humanities, Business, Education, General Studies and Health Sciences.
She advised the graduates to find their passion.
“Don’t spend time on stuff you feel “eh” about,” Grimm said. She noted that her father wasn’t happy when she decided not to go to law school after having been accepted.
“If you can make America cleaner – do it,” she told the graduates. “If you see hate – stand up to it.”
John G. Emge, executive director of the Atlantic and Cape May Counties United Way of Greater Philadelphia and South Jersey, spoke at the May 10 commencement, only the second year in which the college has conferred doctoral and master’s degrees. He and Grimm were each awarded the college’s Distinguished Service Award.
Emge told the graduates that his message could be expressed in two words: “Get engaged.” He quickly pointed out that he didn’t mean in the romantic sense, but “in your community, to help others improve the quality of life for all.”
College Opens First Cape May County Instructional Site at Anne Azeez Hall
Stockton President Herman Saatkamp addresses faculty, staff, students and community members at the opening of Stockton’s Hammonton instructional site, Kramer Hall.
Stockton formally opened its first instructional site in Cape May County at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, April 29, 2013 at the Anne Azeez Hall in Woodbine, NJ.
Anne Azeez Hall is a $1,146,545 addition to the Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage of Stockton, located at 610 Washington Ave. The 2,800-square-foot facility includes two state-of-the-art, electronic classrooms, one of which holds 20-25 students and instructor; the other holds 35. When the dividing wall is open between the two, the multipurpose space can accommodate groups of 55 to 60.
“This is a remarkable day for Stockton as we look to expand our academic offerings here in Woodbine, Cape May County,” said Stockton College President Herman Saatkamp.
“Today we also celebrate Anne Azeez, for which this expansion is named, adjacent to the historic Sam Azeez Museum of Woodbine Heritage, named in honor of Anne’s beloved husband,” President Herman
Saatkamp said. “None of this would be possible if not for the generosity of Anne and Sam’s son, Michael Azeez. The naming of this wonderful building and museum is an extraordinary tribute to his parents and endowing this building to Stockton will ensure its legacy for many, many years to come.”
“Just a few months ago, Stockton celebrated the opening of Kramer Hall in Hammonton,” said President Saatkamp. “Like Kramer Hall, Anne Azeez Hall will allow Stockton to establish a stronger presence here is Cape May County, a place where students and the community will have opportunities to access a Stockton education and learn more about the dynamic history of this community.”
“We’re also excited to be a part of the renaissance of Woodbine by serving as an
anchor organization and helping add new vitality to this wonderful building and to this community,” President Saatkamp said.
More than 200 attended the ceremonies and reception, including representatives of the state, Cape May County and Woodbine, as well as people whose families were among the original settlers of Woodbine.
Anne Azeez was an honors student at Ocean City High School who began working at 17, as her family did not have the means to send her to college. She and Sam Azeez married and moved to Woodbine in 1956.
Anne Azeez’s son, Michael, president of Unitel Wireless, donated $5 million including the original museum property to Stockton in September 2011, the largest gift in Stockton’s history.
Two Faculty Members Recognized with Fulbright Awards
Left to right, Stockton Provost and Executive Vice President Harvey Kesselman, Burlington County College President David Hespe, Stockton President Herman J. Saatkamp, BCC Academic Vice President David Spang, and BCC Transfer Credit Director Robert Ariosto sign a Guaranteed Admission Program (GAP) agreement at the Stockton College Board of Trustees meeting Feb. 20.
Two Stockton College professors have been recognized by the Fulbright program for their expertise.
Dr. Robert Nichols, professor of Historical Studies, earned his fourth Fulbright, and second specialist grant, to help Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, Pakistan develop an American studies graduate degree program.
Dr. Mary Lou Galantino, professor of Physical Therapy in the School of Health Sciences, has been added to the roster of Fulbright specialists for her expertise in HIV-AIDS rehabilitation, cancer rehabilitation and integrative medicine.
“We are delighted that two members of Stockton’s faculty have been recognized as Fulbright specialists,” said President Herman Saatkamp.
“Dr. Galantino’s work with HIV and cancer rehabilitation is remarkable,” said President Saatkamp, adding that she and Dr. Nichols “exemplify the college’s commitment to global perspectives, which are one of the cornerstones of a Stockton education and a hallmark of the Stockton faculty.”
The faculty members “join new graduate Barbara Fisher, who will helping teach English in the Czech Republic, in expanding the college’s global reach,” President Saatkamp said.
The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It founded by the late U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright in 1946 and now operates in 155 countries. Fulbrights provide funding for students, scholars, teachers, and professionals for graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools.
Dr. Nichols, a Stockton professor since 2000, is a specialist in the political, social, economic and cultural histories of Pakistan, South Asia and Afghanistan. His 30-day Fulbright Specialist grant in Pakistan will run from mid-August to mid-September 2013.
“I have been invited by the Area Studies Center of Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan to meet with the faculty and students of their long-established American Studies graduate degree program to discuss American Studies as taught at Stockton, to compare American Studies courses as taught in the United States and at their Center, and to confer about curriculum development opportunities as they expand and diversify their course offerings,” Dr. Nichols said.
This is Dr. Nichols’ second Fulbright specialist award, which are for on-site work of a shorter duration than the research fellowships. In the summer of 2011, a Fulbright Specialist grant also took him to Islamabad, Pakistan, where he did curriculum development consulting with the History Department faculty at Allama Iqbal Open University and with the American Studies faculty at Quaid-i-Azam University.
Dr. Nichols also has had two Fulbright research awards, including one in 2010 in which he spent three months in Pakistan doing historical text research and translation projects.
In 2003, Dr. Nichols spent seven months on a Fulbright Regional Research grant involving “An Indian Ocean Social History of Migration for Labor, c.1850-2000.” He did research in India from January-April 2003 and the United Arab Emirates from May-July 2003.
In addition to being a professor at Stockton, Dr. Galantino is the Holistic Health Minor Coordinator for undergraduates, a yoga instructor and a certified wellness coach. She also maintains a clinical practice.
The Fulbright roster which recognized Dr. Galantino is a list of candidates who are eligible to be matched with incoming requests from overseas academic institutions for specialists, according to the Fulbright program.
“Should someone want to develop an HIV or cancer rehabilitation program in India or South Africa, for instance, as a Fulbright specialist, institutions are able to seek my help for anywhere from two to six weeks,” Dr. Galantino explained.
She said she hasn’t been definitively matched yet, but thinks it’s likely she would be asked to South Africa in the summer of 2014, where she had previously established relationships with the faculty at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
Legislature to Consider $54 M. Recommendation for Stockton Construction
Rendering shows the Unified Science Center building, one of many capital improvement projects.
Stockton was recommended for nearly $54 million by state Secretary of Higher Education Rochelle Hendricks for capital construction projects including $21.5 million for an addition to the college’s new Unified Science Center and $13.5 million to construct a 60,000-square-foot new classroom building.
These state funds will provide 75 percent of the costs for the two buildings and the college will provide the additional 25 percent of total costs. This is the first major step in a process that now requires approval by the New Jersey Legislature.
For the first time in decades, the state is providing $1.3 billion state funding for college facilities that comes from two sources:
? $750 million from state construction bonds that were approved by voters in November 2012;
? More than $500 million being made available through the Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund, the Higher Education Facilities Trust Fund, the Higher Education Technology Infrastructure Fund and the Higher Education Equipment Leasing Fund.
“These funds will allow us to continue improving the high quality of education we offer our students, who need a world-class education to be able to seize a lifetime of opportunities,” said Stockton
President Herman Saatkamp. “The state’s funding of our projects will allow Stockton to provide jobs in our region and much-needed academic facilities for our students.”
The $28,620,000 addition to the new science building would include labs for teaching and research, a greenhouse, computer labs, faculty offices and a vivarium, which is an area for keeping and raising animals or plants for observation.
The $18,030,600 additional classroom building would house 24 classrooms, 20 offices and teaching space for the Schools of Business, Education, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts and Humanities, General Studies, Health Sciences and Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
Additional Stockton projects that were recommended for funding are:
? $6.4 million for an energy management project which will modernize equipment and infrastructure, including upgrades to the college’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems;
? $6.4 million for equipment and analytical instruments for teaching and research in the Biology and Chemistry areas of the new Unified science Building;
? $4.2 million to renovate the Arts and Sciences building, including exterior repairs and improvements in energy efficiency;
? $1.195 million to upgrade education technology, including upgrading equipment used by faculty in lectures in electronic classrooms and computer labs; development of virtualized computer labs to support student-owned mobile devices such as tablets; and desktop computers;
? $775,000 for an educational technology infrastructure project to improve high-speed voice, video and data fiber structure, high-capacity internet access, and upgrades to the core high-speed 10G network and wireless infrastructures on campus.
Stockton Wins Pinelands Approval to Manage Campus Forestlands
Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) Director John Palmieri (left) and Stockton College President Herman J. Saatkamp placed their hand prints on a poster to demonstrate their enthusiasm to “Have a Hand in the Arts” in Atlantic City.
Stockton’s forestlands, located in the Pinelands National Reserve, will now be protected and managed under the state’s first comprehensive forest management plan on public land,
“Stockton’s Environmental Studies program is one of the oldest in the nation,” said President Herman Saatkamp. “Stockton has been nationally recognized for its Sustainability initiatives. This forest management plan expands our protection of the environment on campus and in surrounding communities, while offering educational opportunities in forest management.”
Under the new plan, Stockton will actively manage more than 1,500 acres of forest, benefiting the local wildlife populations, protecting the college campus against fire and pathogens and providing recreation such as hiking and wildlife viewing.
Nancy Wittenberg, executive director of the Pinelands Commission, said, "Comprehensive forest management is crucial to the survival of the unique ecology of the Pinelands. We are pleased to have the opportunity to work closely with Stockton College on this important planning effort."
The plan’s goals and objectives state that “this is a forest with a college in it—not a college with a forest attached to it. The emotional experience that humans have while at this learning institution can be directly linked to the setting of being in a forest.”
Results of Stockton’s Economic Impact Report demonstrate the enormous economic contribution of Stockton to New Jersey. The combination of direct spending, community service and alumni earnings, along with the creation of new jobs, produced a one-year impact in the New Jersey economy to the tune of $442,176,989.18.
To read the full Economic Impact Report, click here.
Source: Stockton Economic Impact Report.