Gala raises scholarship money, honors contributors

The TCNJ Foundation held its third annual Spring Gala on Friday, April 4 at the Greenacres Country Club in Lawrenceville. Sixty of the College’s scholarship recipients were invited to attend.

The money raised at the Spring Gala will be used to provide scholarship funding for students. This funding is especially important this year due to the proposed state budget cuts.

In the past two years, the Foundation has been able to raise thousands of dollars for student scholarships. The goal of this year’s event was to raise $40,000. The Foundation raised $16,000 at the 2001 Gala, and $25,000 in 2002.

This money is given to the Outstanding Student Recruitment Program (OSRP) at the College. The OSRP is dedicated to attracting potential students statewide and providing scholarships for those top students.

This year, the Gala was moved from Trenton Country Club to Greenacres Country Club, due to increasing interest in the event. Approximately 220 people attended. Tickets cost $175 per person.

Peter Manetas, assistant director of developmental and alumni affairs, said the Gala is “a community fund-raising event,” but also “an event to honor a corporation and three individuals who have sustained interest and support in the College.”

Lenox Incorporated was awarded the 2003 TCNJ Corporation of the Year.

Lenox and First Union Bank were the top two sponsors of the event. Each contributed $10,000 to the Foundation. “Lenox sponsors a student scholarship here and has done a lot for the College over the years,” Manetas said.

Walter D. Chambers, the chair of the Board of Trustees, was awarded 2003 TCNJ Presidential Honoree of the Year.

Walters has provided the College with “devotion and commitment of the highest degree,” Manetas said.

Thomas N. Loser, the former president and founder of Wyrough & Loser Incorporated, was named as the College’s Citizen of the Year.

Loser presented a large donation for Paul Loser Hall, which was named after his father.

Donald R. Waters Sr., the former chief executive officer of Waters & Bugbee Inc., and Foundation Executive Board member, received the College’s Leadership Recognition Award. Waters died in January, and his son accepted the award on his behalf. Waters was responsible for getting corporate sponsors for the College throughout the Trenton area.

He and his wife fundeded an annual business scholarship at the College.

Approximately 20 students with scholarships offered by both the College and private corporate sponsors attended the Gala.

“This event gives donors a chance to actually meet the students they are supporting,” Manetas said.

The Foundation consists of 30 volunteer members, most of whom are not alumni.

According to Manetas, the Foundation “exists as a private fund-raising forum in coordination with the Office of developmental and alumni affairs.”

Connie Calisti, graduate of the class of ’78 and member of the TCNJ Foundation, was responsible for organizing the Gala.

The TCNJ Foundation also hosted the annual Golf and Tennis Classic in October at the Trenton Country Club. One hundred and fifteen people participated in the event and $23,000 was raised.

“With the tight economy and budget cuts, we are overwhelmed by the support we have gotten. This is not a good year for the economy, and the fundraising has been a huge success,” Manetas said.