College launches 18.19.20 fundraising initiative

By Kristen Frohlich
Staff Writer

The College announced a yearlong process of fundraising, entitled 18.19.20, on Thursday Sept. 14 in honor of College President R. Barbara Gitenstein, who is retiring in June 2018.

The initiative’s numerical name is a play on three elements of the campaign. The 18 is a reference to the year 2018, in which Gitenstein will retire. The 19 represents the 19 years that Gitenstein has served as president. The 20 refers to how funds generated by the campaign will support the College’s future in 2020 and beyond.

“The goal of this initiative is to raise $7 million to help ensure TCNJ continues to attract and engage the nation’s sharpest minds, connect students with their own potential for success, and develop an active global citizenry,” said Luke Sacks, the College’s Head Media Relations officer.

The initiative was implemented not only to raise money for the College, but also to honor Gitenstein’s legacy.

“This is a fitting way to honor the legacy of a truly outstanding leader and to ensure the continued excellence of this institution that she and we care about so deeply,” said Jorge A. Cabellero, chair of The College’s Board of Trustees.

Campaign for TCNJ, the College’s first-ever fundraising campaign, was completed in May 2017, which successfully raised $47.6 million, exceeding the original goal by $6 million, according to the College’s website.

“The total includes more than $25 million in student scholarship support, as well as funding to enrich the academic program and student experience, and provide for needed capital improvements,” according to the College’s website.

The 18.19.20 campaign is expected to be similarly successful.

Vice President for College Advancement John Donohue believes that the 18.19.20 campaign will raise the “fundraising total to another symbolically significant number.”

While “18.19.20” is an intentional reference to important numbers for the College, the College’s recent fundraising efforts are unintentionally raising symbolic values.

“In 2018 we should top $55 million, which couldn’t be more appropriate, for 1855 is the year our college was founded,” Donohue said.

Funds generated from the initiative will not all contribute to the same areas of the College.

“Each donor can designate where they would like their gift to be allocated,” Sacks said.

Donors who are interested in contributing to the 18.19.20 Initiative can visit tcnj.edu/give for more information.