News from the President's Office
October 2007
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Stockton College Golf Classic Increases Support for Student Scholarships

Beautiful Hidden Creek Golf Club played host to the Classic.

The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Foundation recently hosted the Fifth Annual Stockton College Golf Classic, bringing the community together in support of student scholarships.  The event brought in more than $100,000, representing a 25 percent increase in net proceeds from the previous year.

The event, held for the second consecutive year at Hidden Creek Golf Club in Egg Harbor Twp., evolved in just five years from a small social event to one of the College’s major fundraisers to benefit scholarships for deserving students.

“The Classic’s committee and our Office of Development staff worked very hard to elevate the event to this level,” Stockton President Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr. said.  “It is a remarkable feat to double our proceeds in just two years.  It’s gratifying to see the commitment that our community leaders and supporters have invested in the College.”

President Saatkamp chats with Stockton Board of Trustees member Emma Byrne and her husband Paul at the Fifth Annual Stockton College Golf Classic.

Presenting Sponsor for the event was The Azeez Foundation.  Sponsors included Kramer Beverage, Ole Hanson & Sons, Inc., Press of Atlantic City, Commerce Bank, Gibson Tarquini Group, Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling, KSS Architects, Chartwells, AtlantiCare, and the Burlington County Times.  Foundation Board member Tony Coppola and Bethany Gorny served as Chairpersons for the event.

Beautiful weather with low humidity prevailed as 156 golfers participated in the day’s activities, which included lunch, dinner and numerous special holes during the shotgun start, scramble format tournament: closest to the pin, longest drive and opportunities to win cars with a hole-in-one.  There was also a separate putting contest.  “Hidden Creek’s contribution was significant to the success of this event,” Dr. Saatkamp noted.  “Edwina and Roger Hanson’s generous hosting of the event on this beautiful course, and the superb operations of Ian Dalzell and his entire staff certainly made a memorable day for all of the participants.”

The low gross team of Bob Miller, Jeff Miller, Dave Myers and Brian Dix representing Kline Construction; and the low net team of Tim Glenn, Todd Gordon, Judd McLaughlin and Dave Bishop of Glenn Insurance were awarded.  They will have their names engraved on the permanent Classic trophy, the Corona Cup.

Members of the Stockton College golf team served as officials for a putting contest and the Stockton softball team volunteered on the course.

Stockton to Host “How to do Business With the State of New Jersey

Francis Blanco

Stockton will host a one-morning program, “How to Do Business with the State of New Jersey” to guide businesses and entrepreneurs through the procedures for working with the State of New Jersey and its many agencies.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on October 30, 2007, at the Alton Auditorium (A-Wing) on the campus in Galloway Twp.  It is preceded by a continental breakfast at 8:30 a.m.

“Dealing with New Jersey’s myriad regulations, forms and processes can be daunting for many private sector businesses, and especially entrepreneurs and start-ups, but that needn’t be the case,” said Arthur A. Davis, Jr., Stockton’s Executive Director of Special Projects.  “We have designed a program that provides the steps for navigating through these processes, answers common questions and eliminates frustrations.”

Stockton President Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr. will welcome attendees, and Interim Vice President for Administration and Finance, Dr. Harvey Kesselman, will provide an overview on the purpose of the seminar and some of its highlights.  The seminar will emphasize some of Stockton’s successful public/private partnerships to provide a model for businesses to serve New Jersey agencies.

Speakers include Francis Blanco, Director of the New Jersey Division of Minority and Women Business Development; Joe Kelly of the Atlantic City Regional and Mainland Chambers of Commerce; Harry Collins, Stockton’s Construction Project Manager; and India Jacobs, Stockton’s Director of Administrative Services.

For more information on the seminar or to register call (609) 652-4726.  Online registration is available at  Click on the “Doing Business With The State of New Jersey Seminar” icon on the home page.

Fourth Annual Fannie Lou Hamer Human and Civil Rights Symposium Draws Hundreds to PAC

Dr. Beverly Vaughn leads the audience in song at the Fannie Lou Hamer Civil Rights Symposium.

The Fourth Annual Fannie Lou Hamer Human and Civil Rights Symposium, a project of the Africana Studies Program, drew a sellout audience on Thursday, October 4 to the Stockton Performing Arts Center.

“This has become a much-anticipated event not just in Africana Studies, but throughout the community,” Professor Pat Reid-Merritt said. “We have gained widespread support.” 

A keynote talk by civil rights attorney Vanita Gupta highlighted the event.

Shortly following Gupta’s graduation from New York University School of Law, she took on a major civil rights case for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.  She won the case through overturning the sham drug convictions of 35 African-American residents of Tulia, Texas.

This case was retold in Nate Blakeslee’s book, Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town and Halle Berry is set to play the role of Gupta in an upcoming film about the case.

Pat Reid-Merritt

The annual event is named in honor of Fannie Lou Hamer, whose impassioned plea for equal voting rights at the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City helped to bring national attention to this voting rights issue and is cited as a major historical turning point.

Stockton also began a “Loose Change” program to help collect funds toward the upkeep of Fannie Lou Hamer’s final resting place.

“We want Stockton to be the place where Fannie Lou Hamer’s legacy is recognized for its importance to Civil Rights and to the region’s history, Dr. Reid-Merritt said.  When our students are asked if they know about Fannie Lou Hamer, we want the answer to be a resounding ‘yes.’”

Josh Blue of Last Comic Standing Highlights Stockton’s Disability Awareness Week Activities

Josh Blue

Josh Blue, winner of the hit NBC reality show Last Comic Standing came to Stockton as a featured event of the College’s Disability Awareness Week.

Josh, who has cerebral palsy and is a talented sculptor and artist, performed at the Stockton PAC on October 22.  He was introduced by Mrs. Dorothy Saatkamp. In his standup routine, many of Josh’s jokes were and are about his disability.  He talks about how he deals with it and how other people view him.

Proceeds from the show benefited Fisher House, which is dedicated to serving military and veterans’ families in times of need, and the South Jersey Field of Dreams.
The mission of the SJ Field of Dreams is to provide a recreational facility and league for physically and mentally challenged children and adults in Southern New Jersey.

The Fisher House Foundation offers shelter and support to family members when a loved one is injured or wounded in military operations. The organization donates “comfort homes” so that America’s military families can be together during extended treatment for serious injury or lengthy physical/occupational therapy.  A donation to the Fisher House honors those who serve our nation.

Disability Awareness Week activities are sponsored by the following Stockton College organizations: the Learning Access Program, Counseling Services, Alcohol and Drug Prevention, Health Services, Residential Life, Career Services, Dean of Students, College Center, Stockton Police, Vice President for Student Affairs and the Office of Student Development.

Ishmael Beah Gave the Children of War A Voice at Stockton

Ishmael Beah autographs his book A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier for Trish Snyder.

Stockton students, staff and faculty recently welcomed Ishmael Beah, author of the Freshman common reader A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier to the Stockton community. The event was part of the College’s ongoing commitment to civic engagement.

At the age of twelve, Ishmael Beah fled the attacking rebel army known as the Revolutionary United Front in a civil war that ravaged the lives of the people of Sierra Leone.  He ran from the rebels and was routed from villages that could have been a source of protection.  However, the villagers feared him as a child soldier.

In his flight from violence, Ishmael faced starvation.  His days were alternately marked by the search for food and a flight from gunfire and burning villages.  Ultimately, his journey did lead him to become a child soldier.

According to Mr. Beah, “My squad was my family, my gun was my provider and protector and my rule was to kill or be killed.  The extent of my thoughts didn’t go much beyond that.  We had been fighting for more than two years, and killing had become a daily activity.  I felt no pity for anyone.  My childhood had gone by without my knowing…”

Ishmael’s experiences are not tales from a distant land.  His journey from child to killer and his return to find his humanity again does not belong to another time and place.  Mr. Beah did not want to write a book of history, compartmentalized away from the experience of the person who lived it.  In his words, “I was trying to tell the story so that the reader, who is in the United States or wherever, can begin to feel the humanity of what seems so distant or nonexistent.”

“His story resonated with Stockton students, faculty and staff, touching on emotions at the core of human existence.  Ishmael’s metamorphosis from child-victim to soldier and back to a young man who advocates against the enlistment of child soldiers touched a chord within us.  Now Ishmael is actively working to form a foundation to help child soldiers reintegrate into society,” said Faculty Coordinator G.T. Lenard.

A Long Way Gone was selected as the foundation for this year’s First Year Experience, a program designed to bring students together in an intellectual and social community through selections designed around a common theme.  The 2007-2008 theme is Liberty, a subject framed to explore the intersections of liberty and security, the nature and extent of human "free will" and the responsibilities of "free" citizens.

Stockton Fun Fact:
What Stockton sports team stopped to visit “The Big Top” to be with a large number of alumni, faculty and staff at the recent Homecoming Weekend?

(Click here to reveal the answer)

Members of the Women’s Soccer Team stopped
by “The Big Top”.

We spotted members from the mens’ lacrosse and soccer squads. However, our photographer caught a large group from the women’s soccer team, which later defeated William Paterson 1-0 on Val Davison’s unassisted goal.

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