College ‘springs’ into the season with annual Gala

The College’s fourth annual Spring Gala, an event centered around raising scholarship money for the College and awarding the year’s major sponsors, took place last Friday at the Greenacres Country Club in Lawrenceville.

Faculty and staff attended, but many guests were corporate and civic citizens of the area who offer financial support to the College. The donors (there were 20 this year) are given a chance each year to sponsor students. The students attended the gala at no cost.

“We almost try to turn that room into The College of New Jersey for one night,” Peter Manetas, director of Development and Alumni Affairs, said. “There are some students who are coming to meet their sponsors for the first time.”

Last year’s Spring Gala raised more than $40,000, directly supporting student scholarships at the College.

“Anything beyond the meals goes to the scholarships,” Manetas said in reference to the $175 ticket price. Donations such as Broadway tickets are also made to the event, which are auctioned off to raise additional funds.

Honoring those who donate to the school is also a key part of the event, Manetas said.

“One of the major purposes of the Foundation Spring Gala is to award the Foundation’s three major awards,” he said.

Meta Griffith received the 2004 TCNJ Citizen of the Year award.

At age 96, she serves as chair of the board and president of Griffith Electric Supply Company of Trenton, which has donated significant scholarship funds to the College over the last 25 years.

The Alfred Harcourt Foundation was awarded 2004 TCNJ Foundation of the Year.

The Foundation sponsors over 20 students at the College, directed toward students interested in public service careers.

The 2004 TCNJ Presidential Honoree this year is alumna Barbara Meyers Pelson, who sponsors a music scholarship at the College. She also provided funding for the lobby of the Music Building.

Manetas stressed the importance of celebrating the efforts of those who have stepped forward to support the College.

“It means an awful lot when you think about state cut-backs,” Manetas said.