New Jersey students who are physically challenged have additional opportunities to pursue higher education thanks to a $1 million gift from an NJIT alumnus, William S. Guttenberg, who has continually demonstrated his dedication to physically challenged young people and to NJIT through his generosity. Guttenberg signed a revised scholarship agreement for an additional $1 million to endow scholarships primarily for physically challenged students, students from Paterson, NJ and other urban centers, students who lost a parent in the September 11th terrorist attacks, and Albert Dorman Honors College students.
A successful entrepreneur and decorated World War II veteran, Guttenberg, of Tenafly, credited NJIT with giving him the tools to succeed. “I’d just like everyone else to have the same opportunities as I had,” he said.
Also present at the signing ceremony were Joel S. Bloom, EdD, vice president of academic and student services and dean of the Albert Dorman Honors College and NJIT President Robert A. Altenkirch. “This is a very nice gift that provides opportunities to a lot of students and that’s what we’re all about at NJIT,” Altenkirch said.
The professional achievements that have enabled Guttenberg to give back so generously to NJIT began with his job after graduation with Bogue Electric Manufacturing, which specialized in electromechanical equipment that included motors and generators. Guttenberg’s BS in electrical engineering from NJIT’s Newark College of Engineering was awarded in January of 1944 under an accelerated program necessitated by the manpower demands of World War II, and in June of that year he was inducted into the army. Guttenberg saw considerable action as an infantryman in Europe, where he was wounded. After recovering, he returned to Bogue, eventually becoming president of the company. He left Bogue in the early 1970’s to start a highly successful firm in the same field, Wilco Electric.
Guttenberg’s focus on helping those with physical limitations is due, in part, to the challenges of cerebral palsy experienced by his own two children. In 1980, he and his wife, Adele, joined several other parents to start Spectrum for Living, an organization they envisioned as providing education, training and a residence for the multi-handicapped when aging parents can no longer meet these basic needs. The organization today serves more than 700 individuals in three New Jersey counties in an intermediate-care facility, group homes, apartments and adult training centers. After the death of their son, the Guttenbergs also contributed a substantial endowment to the JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly for the Chuck Guttenberg Center for the Physically Challenged. The center now offers more than a dozen therapy and recreational programs.
At NJIT, Guttenberg’s support has been recognized with the university’s Alumni Achievement and Outstanding Alumni awards, and with the Weston Medal. In 1990, Guttenberg Information Technologies Center was dedicated in his honor.