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Stockton to Name Holocaust Resource Center, Additional Gifts Honor Virginia Tech Hero
Stockton President Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr. (left) greets Leo Schoffer on the occasion of the College receiving its largest-ever gift to name the Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center.
Stockton President Herman Saatkamp announced at the recent Board of Trustees’ meeting three significant gifts to support the Holocaust Resource Center totaling $850,000 – including the largest single gift in the history of the College.
A $500,000 gift from Leo B. Schoffer and his family named Stockton’s Holocaust Resource Center in honor of Leo Schoffer’s parents. One of the nation’s first centers of its kind at a public college in the United States, the facility, which opened in 1990, will be rededicated as the Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center.
Leo Schoffer, a successful developer and businessman with offices in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, is also an attorney specializing in environmental law. He serves on the Board of Governors of the Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation and is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Rutgers University Foundation.
“Mr. Schoffer has long been a friend of the College, serves on the Board of one of the two hospitals on our campus, and is dedicated to higher education,” Stockton President Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr. said. “We are delighted that his parents’ names will be commemorated in association with our Center.”
Sam and Sara Schoffer, Holocaust survivors and natives of Vilna, Poland, were married in a forest following their escape from a Jewish ghetto in their hometown. They immigrated to the United States in 1949 and raised their children, Lynda and Leo, on the memories of their experiences. As a result, involvement and support of the Jewish community became a central theme in the Schoffers’ lives.
“Our family wishes to express their appreciation to Stockton for the special opportunity to name this Resource Center to honor two survivors who are loved and respected in our community,” Leo Schoffer said. “My parents favorably symbolize and represent the many survivors of the Holocaust who settled in southern New Jersey and made an important impact on this community.”
The President also announced a $250,000 gift from The Azeez Foundation of Egg Harbor Township, to name a room in the Holocaust Resource Center honoring the memory of Liviu Librescu.
Professor Librescu, 76, was a Holocaust survivor and professor at Virginia Tech who sacrificed his life and saved the lives of his students during the recent massacre on the Blacksburg campus. Without hesitation, Professor Librescu blocked the door of his classroom as the shooter attempted to enter. He held off the gunman as his students escaped through the windows. Librescu, who was a professor of engineering, was shot to death, “but all the students lived – because of him,” said Virginia Tech student Asael Arad.
A third gift of $100,000 has been donated by Mr. Jack Koopman of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, who has been a strong benefactor of the College’s program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. “For some time, Jack has been very excited about the fine work of the Center and its students,” said Jan Colijn, Dean of General Studies and a native of the Netherlands who has been Mr. Koopman’s friend since they were both children. Mr. Koopman already generously supports the College with an annual gift of $50,000 for student scholarship in Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
Stockton Graduates Largest Class Ever at 35th Annual Commencement
Longtime Stockton Facullty members Bill Daly (left) and Alan Arcuri at Spring Graduation.
More that 1,200 students were graduated at the Stockton Sports Center on May 6 during the largest graduation ceremonies to ever take place at the College. The degrees, including 70 graduating students earning Masters Degrees, were conferred during two separate ceremonies for the various divisions of the College. All Masters candidates, Arts and Humanities and Professional Studies candidates participated in the 10:30 a.m. ceremony. General Studies, Natural Science and Mathematics, and Social and Behavioral Science candidates participated in the 10:30 a.m. ceremony.
William L. Gormley, who served the 2nd Legislative District in the New Jersey Senate for nearly a quarter century until he resigned in February, delivered the Commencement Address at both ceremonies.
The College paid tribute to Senator Gormley with the conferral of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa by Dr. Clarence Hoover, Chair of the Board of Trustees.
“This is a country struggling with some difficult problems and you are our best hope for solving them,” Sen. Gormley told the candidates. “It is time for a new generation of leadership, and you are that new generation.”
Stockton Benefit Gala Raises Record $675,000 for Student Scholarships
Stockton Student Ambassadors and scholarship recipients take time out for a group photo at the recent Benefit Gala.
Former Gov. and Mrs. Jim Florio (at left) stopped for a photo with Faculty member Laurie Greene (second from right) and Alumna Bridget Harrison.
The 27th Annual Stockton Scholarship Benefit Gala was attended on April 21st by more than 900. The region’s top civic, business and community leaders, as well as Stockton students, faculty, staff and administration enjoyed the festivities, which included live and silent auctions and gourmet dining, in addition to entertainment by rock and pop music legend Neil Sedaka.
The event raised more than $675,000 with proceeds supporting the College Foundation Scholarship Fund. As a result of the Benefit and other fundraising efforts, the Foundation makes it possible to offer scholarships to talented student scholars.
Neil Sedaka put on a strong performance of his long list of hit songs.
President Saatkamp lauded the Gala Committee, particularly Chairpersons Mac and Kay Seelig of AC Coin and Slot and Globe Vending, and Honorary Chair Mark Juliano, COO of Trump Entertainment Resorts. He also praised the commitment of Co-Chair sponsors Atlantic City Electric, Avalon Carpet Tile and Flooring, Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, Capaldi, Reynolds and Pelosi, Commerce Bank, The Press of Atlantic City, Trump Entertainment Resorts and Wachovia Bank.
“The event certainly reflects the excellent collaboration we have with our many community partners,” Dr. Saatkamp added. He noted the College’s expanded outreach in the region, such as the hospitality management program, the new Aviation Research Park that is being developed near the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center, and the many community activities, classes and training programs at the Carnegie Library Center, Stockton’s Atlantic City satellite location.
Highlighting the event were remarks by Stockton College students who are beneficiaries of the Foundation’s scholarship program, including Myrlande Thelemaque, a senior biology major from Pleasantville. She will continue her studies at Stockton in the doctoral program in Physical Therapy. Ms. Thelemaque was an honor student at Pleasantville High School, where she ranked fourth in her graduating class.
Stockton Swears in Alum as Member of Board of Trustees
Madeleine Deininger is sworn in as Stockton’s newest member of the Board of Trustees by Dr. Clarence Hoover.
Madeleine Deininger was confirmed by the New Jersey legislature as the newest Trustee of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and was officially installed at the Board of Trustees’ May meeting held in the Townsend Residential Life Center on the College campus.
Ms. Deininger, one of the first Stockton Alumni to become a Board member, was appointed to a 6-year term until June of 2012. She replaces Celeste Carpiano who retired from the Board in June of 2006.
Ms. Deininger maintains a home in Margate, Atlantic County and has long been a supporter of higher education. She and her husband, Joel Peterson, began an endowment for the Visiting Writers' Series at the College.
Madeleine Deininger is the founder and President of the Sonoma, California-based Kismet Wines, Inc. where she has developed a highly successful national marketing and sales program for Californian and European fine wines. She is a 1980 alumna of The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, where she received her baccalaureate in Liberal Studies. Upon graduating from Dartmouth College in 1985 with a Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies, she founded Kismet Wines, Inc.
Ms. Deininger is also a general partner at Bedrock Vineyard, which supplies premium grapes for Ravenswood, Sebastiani and Simi wineries in Sonoma County. In addition, she is a member of the Board of Directors for the prestigious Blue Oak School in Napa County.
In her spare time Madeleine is a freelance writer and poet. She and her husband Joel Peterson sponsor the annual Ravenswood Poetry Reading Series at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. She also helps sponsor The Schoolhouse Stomp Steppers Drill Team in Pleasantville, New Jersey and has helped sponsor the Margate Mother’s Club July 4th Beach Fireworks program.
Madeleine and her family reside in Sonoma, California and Margate, New Jersey. Her interests include real estate investments and home design and restoration in Vermont, Northern California and New Jersey.
Two Stockton Softball Players Named To District All-Academic Team by ESPN the Magazine
Stockton softball players Melissa Baumgartner and Melissa Kerr were rewarded for the efforts in the classroom with selection to the ESPN The Magazine’s Academic All-District II Softball Team. Baumgartner was named to the College Division Second Team while Kerr was voted to the College Division Third Team.
Baumgartner, a sophomore designated player from Mt. Ephraim, Camden County, is a biology/physical therapy major at Stockton with a near-perfect 3.99 grade point average. On the field, she batted .310 with five runs, two doubles and three RBI in 29 games played during the 2007 season. Baumgartner also tied for the team lead with four pinch hits, including a walk-off RBI single to give the Ospreys a 2-1 victory over College of New Jersey.
Senior first baseman Kerr is a biology major from Laurel Springs, Camden County, carries a 3.58 grade point average. She started all 38 games for Stockton and led the team in batting (.382) and slugging percentage (.600) while also tying for the team lead in triples (4), home runs (2) and RBI (18). In addition, Kerr finished second on the team in doubles (10) and third in runs (21). Kerr was named to the NJAC All-Conference Second Team this season, and was among the recent graduation class.
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