University alumni and friends donated $5,487,982 during the 2022 giving year. These are just some of the many notable gifts to the Stockton University Foundation this past year:
Three Boats Named for Rowing Supporters
Three boats were dedicated in honor of local rowing supporters at the Stockton University AC Stakes Race held at the Atlantic City Boathouse Oct. 3, 2021.
The “Coach Bob Garbutt,” the “Rows Ann Cahill,” and the “Sue Peterson Family” boats were purchased with funds raised from the Rowing and Growing event at Stockton and a grant from the South Jersey Charitable Foundation.
Bob Garbutt, former Atlantic City High School rowing coach, was honored at the first Rowing and Growing fundraiser in 2020. Over a 40-year career, Garbutt took the Atlantic City High School crew teams to 13 national championships, won the Stotesbury Cup eight times and finished second at Henley in 1994. He and his wife, Judy, a teacher, were also mentors to hundreds of students.
Sue Peterson and her family have been active in rowing for decades. She is president of the Southern New Jersey Scholastic Rowing Association, which coordinates county championship regattas, and is also active with the Atlantic County Rowing Association.
The “Rows Ann Cahill” boat is named for Rose Ann Cahill, a longtime rower and rowing supporter with the Viking Rowing Club in Ventnor.
“We row by her home, and she comes out to cheer the teams on,” said John Bancheri, former Stockton rowing coach. “It’s nice, and it will be cool for her to see that boat go by.”
Bancheri credited Stockton First Lady Lynne Kesselman with recommending Cahill.
Lynne said she and President Harvey Kesselman appreciate what an ambassador Cahill has been for rowing and Stockton.
“She shows quiet leadership and professionalism,” Lynne Kesselman said. “She’s a real role model and a person who will always step up to help.”
Father's Love of Fishing Inspired Career, Scholarship
When he was a child, Gordan Grguric’s family would travel to the island of Silba in the Adriatic where his father, Petar, an electrical engineer, would spend hours and hours fishing.
“He would talk to the professional fishermen and get hints on techniques and where the best fishing sites were. He would rent or borrow a boat and lay down a line for a four- or five-hour trip,” said Grguric, associate professor of Marine Science. “My career evolved from his interest. That island is such a part of my heritage.”
Grguric is honoring his father, and sharing his love of fishing, through a newly endowed $200,000 Silba Distinguished Scholarship, which will subsidize students who are doing research in marine science. The scholarship will award two $3,500 grants per year.
“A number of students want to do research in the summer,” Grguric said. “But if they also have to work, it can be difficult. I wanted to give them a stipend so they can take the time to do the research.”
Scholarship Gala Raises $425,000
Five hundred guests danced the night away in support of the Stockton University Foundation's Scholarship Benefit Gala at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City on Saturday, May 14, which raised more than $425,000.
Net proceeds from the event support the Foundation's Benefit Gala Endowed Scholarship Fund, which provided more than $150,000 in scholarships to 160 students this academic year. The endowment has grown to more than $5 million since 2007.
"The unwavering support and generosity of our sponsors and supporters provides countless students from the region and beyond the ability to pursue the dream of a college education with less financial burden," said Donna Buzby, chair of the Stockton University Foundation Board of Directors.
Stockton donors, alumni and current and former scholarship recipients in attendance enjoyed several unique touches highlighting Stockton's rich history and academic programs, including menu items featuring produce from the University's Sustainability Farm and maple syrup from campus trees, student research projects and displays celebrating Stockton's 50th anniversary of teaching.
Buildings Dedicated to Donor John F. Scarpa
In 2019, John F. Scarpa pledged $8 million from the John F. Scarpa Foundation to Stockton to assist students and programs at the Atlantic City campus, health sciences programs, and other initiatives.
Stockton formally dedicated both the Atlantic City Academic Center and Health Sciences building on the main campus in Galloway in Scarpa’s name and presented him with an honorary doctor of public service degree in recognition of his accomplishments and generosity on Oct. 22, 2021.
Scarpa and his wife, Jana, joined President Harvey Kesselman, Board of Trustees member Leo Schoffer and Stockton Foundation Board of Directors Chair Donna Buzby in formally unveiling the “John F. Scarpa Academic Center” sign on the Albany Avenue side of the building in Atlantic City.
Vice President for University Advancement Daniel Nugent said it is unique to be naming two buildings after one individual.
“I am confident the university’s founders would be pleased not only to see how their university has grown, but to know that philanthropists and community supporters would believe so strongly in Stockton’s mission, and role as an anchor institution here in Atlantic City, that they would choose to make a major investment in our university’s exciting future,” Nugent said.
$1M Nolan Ryan Memorabilia Collection Donated to Stockton
Nolan Ryan’s Hall of Fame baseball career was impressive in many ways. The flame-throwing pitcher, whose career spanned a remarkable 27 years (from 1966 through 1993), remains the Major League career leader in strikeouts (5,714) and no-hitters (7). He’s had his jersey retired by three different teams, was the first pitcher to officially record a pitch at more than 100 mph, and the first to earn a $1 million salary.
Leo S. Ullman’scollection of Ryan memorabilia is truly extraordinary. The real estate investor, and former owner of the Shore Mall in Egg Harbor Township, has amassed over a period of some 27 years, nearly 15,000 individual items that in total, were recently appraised as being worth over $1 million.
Ullman recently donated his collection, believed to be the largest of its kind in the world, to Stockton University. The school is developing a class on collecting with the exhibit as its focus for the Spring 2023 semester.
“Stockton is excited to become the new home for Leo’s vast and unique collection of Nolan Ryan memorabilia,” said Leamor Kahanov, Stockton provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We believe the collection will be a great academic resource for courses like sport history or statistics.”
Kesselman Fund Will Support Club and Intramural Sports
Stockton’s table tennis team may not be as well-known as the N.J. Athletic Conference champion men’s basketball team, but a new fund endowed by President Harvey Kesselman and First Lady Lynne Kesselman will help them and other club teams attend competitions and enhance their presence on and off campus.
The Kesselmans signed an agreement on May 5 in the Stockton esports gaming room, creating the $25,000 Kesselman Club Sports & Intramurals Achievement Fund. The fund will help pay for costs such as tournament entry fees and travel for students in the more than 20 club and intramural sports at Stockton.
“It is important to us that you have the opportunity to go to competitions,” Lynne Kesselman said. “You are representing Stockton University and we are proud of you.”
Stockton club and intramural sports include cheerleading, ice hockey, bowling, esports, ultimate frisbee, flag football, bowling, quadball, fishing, fencing, co-ed tennis, indoor soccer and men’s rowing, volleyball and golf.
Esports teams compete in multiple games, and the Rocket League team has qualified for a national and international tournament in May and June. The flag football and Quidditch teams have also traveled out of state for tournaments. The table tennis team recently competed in a tournament against teams from Princeton and Rutgers.
'Ospreys Give' Raises More than $116,000
The Stockton University Foundation's fourth annual Ospreys Give raised $116,337 for student and University programs. A record 763 donors contributed during the 24-hour event from Oct. 6-7, 2021, exceeding the anticipated goal by 38%.
The theme of last year's fundraising event centered around the University's 50th anniversary and asked donors to support University priorities to help keep students first, advance academic programs and centers, strengthen the community, advocate for social justice and equity and inspire athletic excellence.
Nearly $40,000 was received in matching and challenge gifts from alumni, friends, faculty and staff. Matches and challenges supported a number of worthwhile initiatives, including the University's forthcoming Multicultural Center, student study tours and Veterans' initiatives.
Dr. Howard and Gayle Gross, longtime supporters of Stockton University, designed a challenge to support the Osprey Pantry, Stockton's newly expanded food pantry.
"Ospreys Give provided an opportunity for us to offer a challenge gift to benefit the Food Assistance Program and to inspire others to join us," the couple said. "Together, we raised nearly $4,000 to help alleviate food insecurity and had a truly meaningful experience."
Donors also supported specific academic, student and athletic programs as well as the general Stockton Fund.