When officials and benefactors of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) convened earlier this month to celebrate the victory of reaching the financial goal of the Albert Dorman Honors College Scholarship Endowment Campaign, the university celebrated more than the success of a fundraising campaign, said Honors College Dean Joel S. Bloom, EdD.
“The important accomplishment we’re recognizing is that we’ve been able to expand the Honors College enrollment by more than 100 of the nation’s most academically accomplished students, regardless of their economic means,” Bloom said. “These talented young people are essential to the future of our state and our nation. As we help them to reach their full potential, they will play a critical role in the technology-driven economy of the 21st century.”
The campaign raised $22.8 million, exceeding its $20 million goal and allowing the Honors College to increase enrollment from 500 students to the current level of 611. The campaign will continue in the mass appeal and, in particular, to meet additional ongoing needs of the Dorman challenge.
Major campaign benefactors included Albert A. Dorman, PE and his wife Joan, of California; William S. Guttenberg, of Tenafly; Louis A. Kamentsky; and Manuelita S. Michaud in memory of the late J. Ray Michaud.
Other benefactors were Paul V. and Elizabeth Kastner, of Massachusetts; W. Peter Metz, of Mountainside; and Gertrude G. Morse of Maryland.
Still more donors were Gilbert W. Glass of New York City; Daniel A. Henderson of Texas; Raymond J. and Sonia McGowan of Florida; George M. Newcombe of California and the George and Joan Newcombe Charitable Gift Fund.
Corporate donors included Gourmet Dining Services, Madison; Schering-Plough Corporation and the Schering-Plough Foundation, Kenilworth; Schoor DePalma, Inc., of Manalapan; and the Pepsi Bottling Group, Inc., Somers, New York.
“We will reap the dividends of this campaign for a long time to come,” said J. Robert Hillier, chair of the board of The Hillier Group, Inc., of Princeton. “We are not only helping students aspire to the highest levels of academic achievement, but we are encouraging them to lead, and to seek lifelong engagement in activities that benefit many others as well as themselves.”
Hillier, who served as national campaign chair, offered his thanks to participants in the fundraising effort, especially the campaign steering committee. In addition to himself and Dorman, the committee comprised Richard S. Bowles, chair of the college’s board of visitors; C. Stephen Cordes, of Westfield; Michelle Melucci, of Madison; Amy A. Pappas, of Tenafly; Roberta Renard, of Summit; and Peter J. Tomasi, of Little Falls.
Founded in 1994, Albert Dorman Honors College recruits students with SATs in the top 10 percent nationally and with mathematics proficiency in the top two percent. In addition to scholarship support, the Honors College offers an enriched curriculum featuring a variety of learning options such as independent study, research projects, industrial internships and service learning programs to NJIT students majoring in engineering, architecture, computing, business, science or math.
The college is named for engineer and industrialist Albert Dorman, P.E., a 1945 graduate of Newark College of Engineering at NJIT, who challenged the university more than a decade ago to develop a new type of educational program that would foster a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs who could take a leading role in shaping the 21st century marketplace. NJIT awarded Dorman an honorary doctorate of science in 1999.
“When we began this experiment, I said that the overriding need in industry, in academia and in government is for outstanding technically trained individuals who can integrate various disciplines and differing approaches,” Dorman said. “NJIT has succeeded in developing a program that does just that. In addition to a firm foundation in the technological disciplines, our students learn to think critically and analytically, and to evaluate the social and ethical implications of their work. They develop excellent communications skills and learn to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team and as team leaders.”
Dorman said that the success of the Honors College is reflected in the achievements of its graduates, citing the testimony of several young alumni:
• Biren Bhatt, Carteret, who graduated NJIT in 2005 with both Truman and Goldwater scholarships, is currently a medical student at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He says that Albert Dorman Honors College gave him an important head start towards a career in public health by allowing him “significant research experience and exposure to service activities in Newark.”
• Leena Raut, Old Bridge, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 1999 and a master’s in 2001, before attending Brooklyn Law School, is a New Jersey deputy attorney general specializing in environmental issues. She credits the Honors College with providing “a richer, broader learning experience” that helped her to develop her “leadership and interpersonal skills.”
• Daniel Kopec, New York City, a 1999 NJIT graduate, now practices architecture at the New York office of Santiago Calatrava, the famed architect/engineer for the new World Trade Center Path Station. Calatrava owns his own furniture design company, DJK Furniture, and teaches architecture at New York Institute of Technology. Kopec says that the Honors College gave him “the seeds of inquiry that have led his career down multiple concurrent paths of exploration.”