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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

NJIT Students Take Plunge into Atlantic for Special Olympics, Brrrrrrrr

For a group of NJIT fraternity brothers, winter this year turned out to be chillier than expected, but certainly more profitable. 

Ten NJIT students and an alum took the annual polar bear plunge for the Special Olympics in Seaside last month. All belonged to the Tau Epsilon Chapter of the NJIT social fraternity Tau Delta Phi. Ian Cooper, a native son of Point Pleasant, who knows something about Jersey Shore life, led the effort. Fraternity brothers from Ramapo College joined the fun and together the brothers raised almost $1900.

“It was an awesome experience,” said Cooper. “It definitely got your adrenaline running knowing you were about to jump into the freezing cold ocean. But at the same time, it was refreshing.” Thankfully the weather cooperated for the day of the big event. Students said skies were clear with an air temperature of 45 degrees and water temperature a few degrees below 38 degrees. None wore more than bathing suits.    

Team members raised funds for the event by hosting tables in the NJIT Campus Center and collecting donations among friends and family. Each participant collected more than $100 to participate. NJIT plungers, along with Ramapo brethren, actually ran twice into the Atlantic Ocean. They joined more than 5,000 other participants. 

Joining the fun with Cooper were John Addeo, Ocean; Brian Egger, Stirling; Anthony Krake, Whippany; Lee MacCullough, Wayside; Matt Manchester, Manchester; Brian Peterson,  North Brunswick; Corey Robinson, Newark; Bruno Silva, Lakewood;  Philip Skoblar, Ridgefield; Jason Walker, Oak Ridge.

Special Olympics New Jersey is a not-for-profit, 501(c) 3 organization that provides sports training and athletic competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. The organization operates on an annual budget primarily funded through individual, corporate, civic and foundation dollars that make up more than 98 percent of the annual operating budget.

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.