Freehold Architect Donates $5000 Annual Scholarship To Help Architects at New Jersey Institute of Technology

NEWARK, Jan. 8--An annual scholarship of $5000 was recently created by the architectural firm Ecoplan to support a student enrolled in the New Jersey School of Architecture (NJSOA) at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). "The scholarship is to be given to an undergraduate or graduate student who is industrious and demonstrates great promise as an architect, but who also needs the money," says Martin Santini a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and benefactor of the gift.

Santini is the chief executive officer of Ecoplan, Englewood Cliffs and Freehold, a 27-year-old architectural, planning, interior design and project management firm.

"I set up the scholarship on behalf of two NJIT alums who have been exemplary. They have significantly contributed to the growth and reputation of the firm and have recently been promoted to principals because their work has been so impressive," says Santini, a Cresskill resident. The alumni are Hans P. Erdenberger, AIA, Verona, an Ecoplan vice president and 1983 graduate of NJSOA, and Steven Leone, AIA, Freehold, an AIA principal and a 1986 graduate of NJSOA.

"The quality of education that both Hans and Steve acquired at NJIT enabled them to become outstanding professionals capable of one day taking over my firm; they will have an enormous impact on my firm and through their work on the quality of life throughout New Jersey. I believe it is important to support future Hanses and Steves," he Says. Santini has been a long-time advocate for both architects and education. He has been active at the state, local and national levels of AIA. The organization is dedicated to serving its members, advancing the profession, and improving the quality of the built environment.

Santini recently stepped into the national role of regional director for New Jersey representing the state at the national level of AIA. Santini is also president of the Architects League of Northern New Jersey, a section of AIA/NJ. During 1995 and 1996, he served as AIA/NJ State President. "A first rate school of architecture needs to have a close relationship with the profession and the support of enlightened professionals such as Martin Santini of Ecoplan. The fact that an increasing number of graduates trained at the New Jersey School of Architecture are becoming partners in major architectural firms speaks to the lure of professional education. It also bestows a responsibility on the school to continue to provide graduates of the caliber of Hans and Steve to the profession," says Urs Gauchat, dean of NJSOA.

Aside from creating a scholarship to help a struggling architecture student, Santini, who sees architecture as an instrument of social good, often donates the services of his firm to New Jersey institutions and communities. Ecoplan's recent projects have included donating pro bono services to the John Harms Center for the Arts and the Community Baptist Church, Englewood and Habitat for Humanity, Morristown.

Since Ecoplan was founded in 1974, the firm has served more than 800 clients, completed more than 1000 projects for governments, corporate and commercial clients. Its most recent project, Paradise Harbor Condominiums Complex, which turned an old paper mill factory located on the Hudson River in Pierpont, NY, into 83 luxury condominiums, received recognition from the construction industry. Other notable firm projects include designing the new center of technology management at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken. The project received a bronze medal from AIA/New Jersey's 2000 Design Awards Program. More award-winners were the Spider Monkey Pavilion at the Van Saun Park Zoo in Paramus, the Wyckoff Family YMCA, Wyckoff, and the Railroad Café and Restaurant, Englewood. Ecoplan was recently named the 2001 architectural firm of the year by AIA New Jersey.


NJIT is a public, scientific and technological research university enrolling more than 8,800 students. The university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees to students in 80 degree programs throughout its six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, Albert Dorman Honors College and College of Computing Sciences. The division of continuing professional education offers adults eLearning, off campus degrees and short courses. Expertise and research initiatives include architecture and building science, applied mathematics, biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and science, information technology, manufacturing, materials, microelectronics, multimedia, telecommunications, transportation and solar astrophysics. Yahoo! Internet Life magazine cites NJIT as a "perennially most wired" university.

Contact Information:   Sheryl Weinstein
Robert Florida
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