College Alumni Association

The Alumni Association, a volunteer organization, has recently made a $150,000 contribution to the College. It was given at the start of the Sesquicentennial Celebration – $1,000 for every year the College has been in existence.

The donation is mainly being used for the Sesquicentennial Celebration, a new landscaping project and a new sophomore scholarship.

The money was raised through a series of fundraising activities done by the Alumni Association. The activities ranged from fundraising benefits to telethons.

“The Alumni Association has been wonderful about offering to support the College’s fundraising efforts by being advocates not only for the College, but for the students who currently attend TCNJ,” Peter Manetas, assistant director of development and alumni affairs, said.

Twenty-five thousand dollars of the donation was given to cover most of the expenses of the Sesquicentennial Celebration, which will run through October 2005. They also donated an additional $50,000 for Sesquicentennial celebration initiatives.

The Alumni Association also gave $50,000 to fund the development of a landscaping project that will be known as “Alumni Grove.” It will be built on the south side of Lions Stadium and will include a fountain as well as many park benches.

There is also a plan to make bricks available for alumni to purchase. Their names will be inscribed in the bricks, and they will be used to form a walkway through the Grove. Most of the money made from the bricks would help finance the Alumni Grove, while any additional money would be used for the Sesquicentennial Celebration.

“In addition to providing much-needed scholarship support for students of future generations at TCNJ, the brick program is meant to provide all members of the College community to recognize the important people along the way who have contributed to their TCNJ experience,” Manetas said. “Years from now, we hope that the Alumni Grove walkway will be visited by alumni and friends of all generations, thereby creating a sort of new tradition.”

The remaining $25,000 of the donation is being used to form an endowed Sesquicentennial Alumni Scholarship. It would be an annual scholarship, and one or more would be given out each year.

Starting this fall, two $1,000 scholarships will be available for sophomores. To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be enrolled full-time, be in good standing and show that they are involved in the campus community.

There will be three members of the Alumni Board on the selection committee, which will make its decision based on academic progress, financial need, campus involvement and the required scholarship essay.

When students were informed of the recent donation, they had mixed feelings about how the money is being spent. Many appreciate the new scholarship opportunity but think that the rest of the money should have been used for other things.

“I think the scholarship part is very generous, but I don’t think that the Alumni Grove is something that current students are going to use all that much,” Brandon DiMartino, sophomore health and exercise science major, said.

However, Inga Hye, sophomore special education major, said she was satisfied with the ways in which the donation would be used. “I think it is really great that so many alumni have gotten together such a generous gift for our campus community.”

“I did get some pretty nice Post-It notes during the Sesquicentennial celebration,” she added.