Tony Award-winning choreographer Savion Glover thrilled friends of NJIT at the university’s recent annual black-tie benefit dinner, Celebration. The former Newark native danced for 50 minutes to a standing room only crowd. “As soon as he started tap dancing, everyone in the room was awestruck,” said one party-goer. “It was like being at a Broadway show. When he stopped dancing, people virtually chased him out of the room for photographs.”
The event, held, once again, at Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange brought together some 250 supporters of the university. NJIT President Robert A. Altenkirch served as master of ceremonies for the evening.
“Dinner proceeds endow student scholarships,” said Jacquelynn Rhodes, associate vice president for development. Since 1995, many of NJIT’s most generous supporters have gathered annually for this event, which has raised nearly $3.5 million in scholarship funds.
Many NJIT students are the first in their families to attend college, and they rely upon merit and need-based scholarships. A festive evening of dinner and dancing, Celebration honors individuals for achievements beneficial to the state and nation. Organizations exceptional for their commitment to NJIT’s mission are also applauded.
Princeton-based architect J. Robert Hillier received the prestigious President’s Medal for Lifetime Achievement. Hillier, who has taught in Princeton University’s School of Architecture since 1992, began his solo practice in 1966. Since then, he has accumulated more than 300 design awards and enlarged his original practice into a major national firm creating among other things, corporate campuses for Glaxo-SmithKline, Wyeth, Sprint, and Capital One. Closer to home, Hillier’s firm designed NJIT’s College of Architecture and Design.
In 2007, Hillier merged his firm with RMJM Group, an Edinburgh-based international architectural design practice, to create one of the largest practices in the world. Today, he is behind the wheel of a new business dedicated to land use strategies and execution, an outgrowth of an independent development company he has operated since the 1970s. The company is responsible for almost two dozen projects in the Princeton region and 12 new ones are underway. He is also the majority owner of Princeton Magazine and the Princeton newspaper Town Topics. He also created with his wife Barbara the internet magazine WWW.obit-mag.com. He recently assumed the chairmanship of Princeton’s Regional Chamber of Commerce. Hillier serves on the NJIT Board of Overseers as well as the Albert Dorman Honors College Board of Visitors.
C. Stephen Cordes received NJIT’s Edward F. Weston Medal for Professional Achievement. Cordes graduated from NJIT in 1972 with a BS in industrial engineering. Today, Cordes, of Westfield, is a managing director and member of the executive board of ING Clarion Partners, a leading investment advisory firm specializing in real estate, in New York City. Cordes heads the private equity real estate portfolio management group with assets under management of $23 billion. He is an investment committee member, chairman of the firm’s operating committee and is portfolio manager and is chairman of the board of directors of a closed-end value-added sector fund. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Rutgers University and is chairman of the Board of Visitors of NJIT’s Albert Dorman Honors College.
Hess Corporation, headquartered in New York City, was named the Outstanding Corporate Partner of the year. Hess is a global energy company engaged in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas, as well as the refining and marketing of petroleum products, natural gas and electricity. Over the years, NJIT has received from the Hess Corporation nearly $500,000 in funding. This includes the Amerada Hess Corporate Merit Award scholarship provided through NJIT’s Otto H. York Department of Chemical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering. Hess has supported NJIT’s pre-college programs to assist minorities interested in entering the field of engineering and other similar programs to help elementary, middle and high school students prepare for a university education. Hess’ assistance includes hands-on involvement; Hess Vice President and Chief Information Officer Jeffrey Steinhorn serves on the Advisory Board for the College of Computing Sciences and Walter Vertreace, director of Equal Employment Opportunity, serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Pre-College Programs. Steinhorn accepted the award at the event.