The Albert Dorman Honors College, one of six colleges that comprise the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), celebrated its 10th anniversary as a college by recognizing some of the prominent people who have made the college one of the best in the state.
During an awards ceremony and anniversary dinner held at the university, Joel Bloom, dean of the honors college, recognized honored guest Albert Dorman, after whom the college is named. Dorman, of Pacific Palisades, Calif., graduated from the university with a mechanical engineering degree in 1945 and helped create the college in 1995 with an endowment. Architect J. Robert Hillier, who introduced Dorman, called him a brilliant engineer and architect whose insatiable desire to learn and succeed caused him to straddle a various careers throughout his life.
“When Al Dorman was 28-years old,” Hillier said, “Walt Disney asked him to help design Disneyland. But then Al, after working a few years, thought that architects make the decisions, so he became an architect. But after working some years as an architect, Al realized that developers made the decisions, so he became a developer. Still later, he saw it was the bankers that made the decisions, so he became a banker. I sometimes wonder if Al will one day see that all the decisions are made in Washington, and he’ll become president of the United States.”
Also honored during the anniversary celebration were architect Hillier, of New Hope, Pa., founding chairman of the college’s Board of Visitors; and Saul Fenster, PhD, president emeritus of NJIT, of Long Branch.
During a short speech, Dorman said his vision for the college has come to fruition. When helping to form the college, Dorman hoped it would attract some of the best students in the state and country. The college would offer these diverse students financial aid and a rigorous and broad education that would transform them into technological leaders.
“Many of the alumni of the college, who are here today, are proof that the experiment we proposed 10 years ago works,” Dorman said. The graduates are already contributing to society and helping to make NJIT a nationally known university.”
More than 600 Dorman graduates have moved on to leadership careers in industry and government or to prestigious professional schools, Dorman said. They credit the honors college as the catalyst that put them on the path to leadership. Many of these alumni were among the more than 230 celebrants at the anniversary party.
Hillier was also recognized for his long support of the college. Hillier, one of the nation’s leading architects, is also national chairman for the Dorman College Scholarship Campaign, a fund-raising effort that hopes to raise $20 million for an endowed scholarship fund.
Fenster was recognized for originating the idea for the honors college during his tenure as NJIT president, and for acting as its chief fund-raiser until he retired in the summer of 2002. Fenster, who was president of NJIT for nearly a quarter-century, helped transform a small engineering school into the nationally known public research university. Fenster’s wife, Roberta Fenster, was recognized for supporting the honors college, as was Dorman’s wife, Joan Dorman.
The Honors College Alumni Association also pledged to endow a new scholarship fund that will support scholarships to be awarded in the fall of 2006 to Dorman students.
NJIT President Robert A. Altenkirch, PhD, spoke about NJIT’s strong commitment to the Dorman and its students, noting that the college has been deemed a top priority in the university’s strategic plan.
Begun as an Honors Program in 1985 and launched as a college at NJIT in 1995, Dorman enrolls more than 500 of the nation’s brightest students, with SAT scores in the top 10 percent nationally. Dorman builds on NJIT’s rigorous curriculum, offering enriched coursework and seminars, as well as real-world projects with respected faculty researchers and industry leaders. It is part of the college’s mission to attract highly motivated scholars and to prepare them for professional careers, graduate studies and leadership positions in business, industry, medicine, law and government.