Tom and Carol Loser donated $5 million to the College to support the School of Nursing, Health and Exercise Science in honor of their 25th wedding anniversary. The donation, accepted last Wednesday at a ceremony held in Loser Hall, is the largest in the College’s 151-year history.
“It is an extraordinary contribution that will benefit the College for generations,” College President R. Barbara Gitenstein said.
“(The College) has been caught in a reduced funding net . and the College must turn to private donors,” Tom Loser said.
Because of the current budget situation at the College, the Losers decided that now would be the best time for the gift.
“The College needs the money now, not 75 years from now,” Tom Loser said.
“Tom (Loser) said it correctly when he said it is time for folks to step up and support schools like (the College), and particularly (the College), because of the budgetary woes of the state of New Jersey,” John F. Marcy, vice president of Development and Alumni Affairs, said.
“It is especially meaningful in light of New Jersey’s state budget cuts,” Gitenstein said.
The Losers have shown dedication to the College and its mission, though neither ever attended the College.
“It’s not the money that is the best story . it’s the story of this family who (has) made a huge statement of support for quality education,” Gitenstein said.
“They have been fans of the College . for decades and have been particularly complimentary of the current faculty and administration,” Marcy said. “They simply believe in our mission, and have been duly impressed with how we have carried it out.”
Marcy said he was excited not only for the financial impact of the Losers’ gift, but also for the “powerful affirmation it represents.”
Tom Loser said he considers the gift an investment in the future. He hopes it will serve as a suggestion for others to reach out to the College.
“I have no doubt that the Losers’ contribution will prompt others,” Gitenstein said.
“We hope it will serve as an example for others to follow, regardless of the level of support,” Marcy said.
Ultimately, the gift will help fund programs and activities at the discretion of the dean.
“The Loser gift will support the program in nursing,” Marcy said. “It is a gift annuity that will eventually become part of our endowment, so it becomes a permanent fund whose earnings only are used for programmatic support.”
“The gift will provide the school with much-needed resources,” Gitenstein said.
The dean of the School of Nursing, Health and Exercise Science position is being renamed in recognition of Carol Loser and her extensive work in genetics and biology. The position has been renamed Carol Kuser Loser Dean of the School of Nursing, Health and Exercise Science.
Susan Bakewell-Sachs, the current dean of the School of Nursing, Health and Exercise Science, says that she feels a “deep personal honor” as being the first to hold this new title.
According to Bakewell-Sachs, the school hosts about 300 undergraduate students and is at maximum capacity with the population doubling over the past six years. She emphasizes the “focus on quality.”
Carol Loser was a member of the 1950s Rockefeller Institute scientific team that made significant discoveries about DNA and genetics that helped build a foundation for biological research.
In 1987, the Losers donated $1 million to the College, which at that point in time was the largest private donation in the College’s history. That money helped to build Paul Loser Hall, named after Tom Loser’s father, who was a superintendent of schools in Trenton.
The Loser family has had a long history in the community. Tom Loser co-founded Wyrough & Loser, Inc., a Ewing-based chemical company that launched a new form of specialty chemicals for the rubber industry.
Tom’s younger brother, Dr. Paul D. Loser, was the first business lecturer to be invited to teach at the Trenton State Teacher’s College. He created and for some time was the chair of what is now The College of New Jersey Foundation, which helps administer private gifts and support for the College.
“In my brief acquaintance with the Losers, I have found them to be truly generous people,” Marcy said.
Gitenstein said, “It is a long tradition of lives intertwined.”