Stockton to Recognize Three Distinctive Alumni with Awards on Oct. 9

For Immediate Release


Contact:         Maryjane Briant
                        News and Media Relations Director
                        Galloway, N.J. 08205
                        (609) 652-4593

Galloway, N.J. - Stockton University will recognize Madeleine Deininger, chair of the Board of Trustees, community activist and philanthropist Elijah Langford, and Associate Professor Marilyn Vito of the School of Business, with Distinctive Alumni Awards on Oct. 9.

Deininger, who started at Stockton as a 16-year-old and earned a B.A. in Liberal Studies in 1980, will receive the Alumni Impact Award. She has served on the board since 2007.

She is the founder and president of the Sonoma, California-based Kismet Wines, Inc. where she has developed a highly successful national marketing and sales program for California and European fine wines. Deininger also is a general partner at Bedrock Vineyards, which supplies premium grapes to Ravenswood, Bedrock Wine Company, Turley, Carlisle, Biale, Robert Mondavi, Franciscan and Simi wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties.

Greatly influenced by her time studying at Stockton with Stephen Dunn, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing Emeritus, she and her husband, Joel Peterson, sponsor the annual Ravenswood Poetry Reading Series at the university. She and her family reside in Sonoma, Calif. and Margate, N.J.

Deininger received her master’s degree in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College and is the recipient of an honorary doctor of Humane Letters degree from Stockton.

Langford, an Atlantic City native, will receive the Outstanding Young Alumni Award for his work organizing philanthropic and charitable events to help people in need. Examples of his work include: sponsoring and escorting 10 female cancer survivors to dinner in honor of breast cancer awareness month on his 22nd birthday; donating 100 book bags to First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Oz for their Hip-Hop Public Health initiative in New York City; collaborating with heavyweight boxing Champion Mike Tyson in donating coats to kids; participating in a bone marrow drive; and spreading Christmas cheer by bringing NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal to Atlantic City to play Santa to deliver gifts to families affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Langford, 23, is also the 2016 NAACP Youth Award winner. His professional goal is to create and produce a television series about his philanthropic efforts and broadcast it for motivational use.

He received his B.A. in Communication Studies in 2015.

Vito, an associate professor of Business Studies, will receive the Professional Achievement Award.

She joined the Stockton faculty in 1993 and has served as the program coordinator for Business Studies since 2011, steering the program successfully through accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Vito is a 1980 alumna of Stockton with a B.S. in Business Studies, and 1985 alumna of Monmouth College (now Monmouth University) with an MBA. She completed the Stonier Graduate School of Banking with a certificate in graduate management in 1989. She is also a licensed certified public accountant (CPA) in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania and a certified management accountant (CMA.)

Her professional career included financial management roles in several institutions, including Security Savings & Loan, Horizon/Marine National Bank, and Meridian Mortgage (one of the top 50 mortgage bankers in the country at the time of her employment from 1989-1993.) Vito also served as national president of the American Society of Women Accountants (now the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance) in 1992-93.

At Stockton, Vito served as Faculty Assembly president in 2007-2009 and fostered the move to a Faculty Senate structure. She served as program coordinator for Business Studies (from 1995-96 and again in 2011 to 2016); and as coordinator for the Women’s Studies Minor (1998-2000).

She has served on Stockton Board of Trustee committees for academic planning, finance and investments. She has also served numerous committees and in leadership roles for Middle States Accreditation, AACSB Accreditation, Vision 2010 and Vision 2020 task forces.

The Distinctive Alumni Awards event, to be held from noon-2 p.m. Sunday in the Campus Center Event Room, is part of University Weekend, a celebration for Stockton alumni, students and families.

To view a schedule of all events taking place Oct. 6-9 during University Weekend, please visit