Annual Scholarship Benefit Gala Raises $440,000
From left to right: Sharon Feldman D'Angio, Shannon Bibile and Michaella De la Cruz and Gala Co-Chair Gary Hill.
Photo by Nick Valinote
Atlantic City – Over 720 guests helped raise more than $440,000 at the 33rd Annual Stockton College Scholarship Benefit Gala held Saturday, April 27 at Revel.
The Gala proceeds are part of the Stockton College Foundation’s fund-raising efforts aimed at reaching an additional $2 million goal for scholarships.
“Tonight, I am pleased to tell you that we have raised $950,000 towards our $2 million Let’s Do More! scholarship goal,” President Herman J. Saatkamp told the Gala guests. “And the total comprehensive campaign has raised in excess of $22 million.”
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey’s Benefit Gala itself has raised $5 million for scholarships in the past 10 years. All the proceeds from the Gala support scholarships.
The college’s first comprehensive fund-raising campaign reached its initial goal of $20 million, targeted in June 2014, in 2012. That inspired President Saatkamp to issue a challenge at last year’s Gala: “Let’s do more.”
And so the Stockton charitable community did.
As of Saturday night, preliminary figures show a total of $22 million raised by the comprehensive campaign, with $8.4 million of that for scholarships. Funds raised in the comprehensive campaign also support academic programs, student programs and facilities.
“With 14 months remaining in the campaign, I am confident that with your help and the help of many others we can meet, even exceed our stretch goals,” President Saatkamp said. “Thank you for all you do for Stockton and our students.”
Some 20 scholarship recipients took part in the program Saturday, held for the first time at Revel. “They are giving back and showing appreciation for the scholarships they received,” said President Saatkamp.
Emily Heerema, a candidate for a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy, was among several recipients whose stories were highlighted in a video about how proceeds from the Gala helped fund their education. Heerema credited donors with helping her to achieve her goals.
“The day I started graduate school, my mother (Patricia Heerema) was diagnosed with breast cancer,” Heerema said. “Throughout all this she has inspired me to keep going. She’s been fighting and is now recovered. Because of the scholarship donors, I am able to continue with graduate school and to become an occupational therapist.”
Heerema, who comes from Bricktown, Ocean County, brought her mother to the Gala.
President Saatkamp pointed out Heerema, along with Irvin Moreno Rodriguez and Robert Cernera, who told their stories in the video.
“The students you just saw are an impressive representation of the scholarship recipients you are helping to support by joining us tonight,” President Saatkamp said. “They are here to thank you personally, and we would like to acknowledge them for their fine work.”
Dr. Philip Ellmore, Stockton’s chief development officer and executive director of the College Foundation, thanked guests for making a difference.
“We are especially grateful to Stockton Foundation Chair Tony Coppola and tonight’s Gala Co-Chairs John Schultz and Gary Hill,” Ellmore said. “I would also like to thank our hosts, Revel and our honorary Chair, Dirk Schavemaker, senior vice president of resort operations at Revel.”
Revel provided a surprise entertainer: rocker Eddie Money. The singer-songwriter and saxophonist is known for hits including “Take Me Home Tonight” and “Two Tickets to Paradise,” which recently landed him a Geico commercial. Money performed an acoustic set, leading off with his hit, “Baby Hold On to Me.”
Guests also enjoyed music and dancing to “Don’t Call Me Francis,” a popular Philadelphia-South Jersey dance band for the past 20 years, and Stockton’s own Faculty Band.
During the silent auction, chaired by Lisa Johnson, of Lisa Johnson Communications, guests enjoyed cocktails, wine and hors d’oeuvres.
Rick Dovey, a 1975 Stockton graduate, president of the Atlantic County Utilities Authority and member of the Foundation board, remembered the college’s early days. “Back then, the president’s office was in a log cabin. Stockton has come a long way,” he said.
“It’s exciting to see the whole Atlantic County charitable community come together to support Stockton,” said his wife, Mary Dovey, a teacher in Egg Harbor City schools.
Johanna Johnson, secretary of the College Foundation and the coordinator of curriculum for the Atlantic County Institute of Technology, said, “I’ve been very happy with the progressiveness of Stockton. It leaves a very large footprint in the region and I’m very glad that it does. A lot of my teachers are Stockton graduates and our students benefit.”
In addition to the scholarship recipient volunteers, 30 students from the Hospitality and Tourism Management program assisted Gala organizers, getting hands-on experience in their chosen field of study.
Top sponsors for the event include Revel Entertainment, Avalon Carpet, Tile and Flooring, IBEW Local 351, The Press of Atlantic City, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Burris Construction Company, Chartwells, Cooper Levenson, Credit Suisse Securities, Follett Higher Education Group, Horizon Eye Care, NBC 40, Dr. Jo Frances Stow, Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA), AtlantiCare, Azeez Foundation, Caesars Entertainment, Cape Resorts Group, Ciccone, Gotthold & Koseff CPAs, Tony and Fran Coppola, DLA Piper and the Honorable William L. Gormley, Fox Rothschild LLP, Just Four Wheels, H. Paxson & Michelle Keates, Kramer Beverage Company, Liberty Mutual, Marathon Engineering & Environmental Services, Inc., Metropolitan Business & Citizens Association (MBCA), Nelbud Services Group, Inc., Dean and Zoe Pappas, Pennoni Associates, Inc., Pepsi Beverage Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Quantum Capital Management, L.L.C, Ravenswood Winery, Resorts Casino Hotel, Shore Medical Center, SOSH Architects, South Jersey Industries, Steve & Cookie’s By the Bay, Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club, Tropicana Casino and Resort, Trump Entertainment Resorts, U.A. Local Union 322 and the Yoh Foundation.
Barbara Fisher Becomes First Stockton College Student Recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship
Barbara Fisher, an Honors Physics student at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, was recently awarded a J. William Fulbright U.S. Student Scholarship, one of the world’s most prestigious academic awards.
Fisher will graduate from Stockton next month with a B.S. in Applied Physics. She will be an English teaching assistant in the Czech Republic during the 2013-14 academic year.
“The Stockton community is very pleased Barbara Fisher’s hard work has been recognized by the Fulbright program,” President Herman J. Saatkamp said. “We congratulate her and extend thanks to her faculty advisors who helped Ms. Fisher achieve her ambitious goal.”
Fisher said she wants to try to determine how Czech Republic students are out-performing Americans in such subjects as chemistry, math and physics, a change since the nation was under Communist rule.
“Is it the school structure? The culture? Or something deeper?” she asked.
In the meantime, she is grateful for the opportunity and thankful to Stockton faculty, staff and friends for their support.
“From the moment I learned about the Fulbright Commission, I knew this was an opportunity I could not let pass me by,” said Fisher, a 22-year-old who resides in Westville, NJ. “I would not be a scholar without the incredible support of my advisor, the Honors Program, the Physics department, Service Learning, Grants Office and the amazing people I call my friends and family,” she said.
The scholarship covers travel and living expenses and a small stipend. The Fulbright program, founded in 1946 by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, now operates in 155 countries. It provides funding for students, scholars, teachers and professionals for graduate study, advanced research, university teaching and elementary and secondary school teaching.
Fisher mentioned Professor Lisa Rosner, director of the Honors program; and Professor Yitzhak Sharon as being particularly supportive. “(Rosner) has always seen my potential, even when I could not,” she said, and added that Sharon had encouraged her not to give up on her aspirations.
Stockton Signs Memorandum of Understanding With Aviation Research and Technology Park
Stockton President Herman J. Saatkamp, seated at right, signs a memorandum of understanding with Dr. Edward H. Salmon, president of the Aviation Research and Technology Park (ARTP) Board of Trustees. Standing from left are Ronald J. Esposito, executive director of the ARTP, Howard Kyle, chief of staff for Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson, and Dr. Anne Harlan, vice president of the ARTP Board of Trustees.
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and the Aviation Research and Technology Park in Egg Harbor Township signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on April 24 allowing them to hold formal discussions about the ARTP becoming an auxiliary organization of the college.
The ARTP is a non-profit charged with developing a facility on 58 acres owned by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The research park is expected to generate more than 2,000 high-paying jobs related to the FAA’s Next Gen project of creating a satellite-based air-traffic control system that will transform aviation.
Stockton has supported the ARTP since its inception, with President Herman J. Saatkamp serving on its board, of which he is past president.
“Stockton and the Park have complementary goals,” said President Saatkamp. “The college is interested in developing aviation-related academic programs, including research projects, courses and a degree program. Stockton is also committed to furthering economic development in southern New Jersey, by facilitating interaction between academic, commercial and government entities.”
Dr. Edward H. Salmon, board president of the Aviation Research & Technology Park, Inc., said: “Development of the Park will bring year-round technological jobs to South Jersey. This memorandum of understanding is an important step in the process of cooperation and support between Stockton and the ARTP.”
The goal is for the ARTP to develop 400,000 square feet of office space and “to attract various commercial, governmental and academic organizations to pursue research and development regarding aviation issues,” the MOU states. Development at the site is subject to FAA approval.
The ARTP has received an initial grant from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) for $930,000 for operating expenses and a $3 million commitment from CRDA for a loan/grant for construction of the federal laboratory in the first office building in the research park.
“I am very pleased with the signing of this memorandum of understanding,” said Ronald J. Esposito, executive director of the Aviation Research & Technology Park. “Stockton has been a strong supporter of the park from the very beginning and this MOU further demonstrates their belief in the park’s vision and their commitment to making the park a reality.”
Establishing a college auxiliary organization is authorized by the state law known as the Public College Auxiliary Organization Act. Ultimately, the auxiliary relationship would have to be approved by Stockton’s Board of Trustees.
After the FAA approves assigning the lease for the park’s site to ARTP, Stockton and the ARTP intend to enter into a more complete agreement, according to the memorandum of understanding.
Stockton Adds Women’s Lacrosse to Athletics Roster, Names Kim Williams as First Coach
Stockton has a new sport for students and fans to cheer on: women’s lacrosse.
Currently a club sport, women’s lacrosse will soon become the 10th women’s intercollegiate athletic team at Stockton and will begin competition in the spring of 2014. The new program makes Stockton the seventh institution in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) to offer the sport.
“We are excited to provide the opportunity for more of our female students to participate in intercollegiate athletics,” said Athletic Director Lonnie Folks. “Women’s lacrosse is booming across the country and southern New Jersey has always been a place with plenty of talent. Over the past several years at least 20 students have approached me and expressed interest in the sport. We expect to hit the ground running and be representative right away.”
Part of the reason for Folks’ optimism is the hire of New Jersey native Kim Williams as the head coach of the new squad. A former star player at West Morris High School and C.W. Post, now known as L.I.U. (Long Island University) Post, Williams recently completed her third year as an assistant coach at Colby College in Maine, a perennial Top 10 team.
“I am honored to start the women’s program at Stockton,” Williams said. “While starting a program is never an easy task, I am excited, ready and eager for the challenge.”
Williams earned All American honors three times as a player and was named Defender of the Year in 2008 by the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association and Midfielder of the Year in 2010 by Womenslacrosse.com. Williams, who will begin her duties as head coach in late May, said she was looking forward to returning to her home state.
Stockton’s solar panel system has averted a significant amount of greenhouse gases since the system was installed in 2006. As of April 4, 2013, the system has averted 296,224 lbs. of CO2, thought to be a major factor in climate change issues. Stockton’s CO2 reduction is enough to power 4,753 homes for one day.
Source: Worldwater & Solar Technologies Corporation, via Stockton College website .