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TCNJ News Releases Archive

TCNJ donors roar with unwavering support despite pandemic challenges

TCNJ donors roar with unwavering support despite pandemic challenges

Two nursing students work with equipment in TCNJ's nursing simulation lab.
A gift from Jim Lafkas ’56, included in his estate plans, will create an endowment to support new programming within the Department of Nursing.

The College of New Jersey extends a Lion-sized thank-you to the 4,586 alumni and friends whose generous support made the 2021 academic year a fundraising record setter. Between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, donors gifted $20,061,723 to the college in support of its mission to ensure that a rigorous education, an inclusive community, and rich experiences remain accessible for generations of learners to come.

“That so many would give so much in spite of the hardships and disruptions caused by the pandemic speaks volumes about our community,” said President Kathryn A. Foster. “We are incredibly grateful to all who continue to support this institution and its essential mission.”

This year’s total shatters the previous record of $15.6 million set in 2015 during The Campaign for TCNJ, a five-year, comprehensive fundraising effort. It includes the largest-ever unrestricted gift from an individual, a $5 million anonymous gift that the college will use to foster academic innovation, further its commitment to the neighboring communities, and improve facilities for student-athletes.

Donors also came out in record numbers during the Sixth Annual Day of Giving, a 24-hour period in March during which over 2,000 donors contributed more than $364,000 in support of initiatives across the campus and in all seven schools.

Other fundraising highlights include:

  • A sizable estate gift from Harold ’40 and Lois Winterhalter that will benefit two major college initiatives: The renovation of Roscoe West Hall to create an Inclusive Excellence Suite, and the completion and updating of “the loop,” the popular campus walking/jogging path. The suite will house a new Intercultural Center, the Accessibility Resource Center, and other student-focused resources. The loop project will include construction of the missing segments of the path near the campus’ lakes and across from the community garden near the softball field.
  • A gift from Jim Lafkas ’56, included in his estate plans, will create an endowment to support new programming within the Department of Nursing.
  • New endowed scholarships for outstanding School of Education undergraduates, as well as funding to support equipment and facility needs in the school. Both are possible thanks to the estate of H. Karl Neidlein.
  • A gift from Jonathan J. and Barbara Belding (both members of the Class of 1972) that will fund half of the tuition cost for three School of Engineering students for four years.
  • A grant from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation that will for the next three years provide support for 15 rising sophomores from underserved communities who are pursuing majors in laboratory and field-based sciences, allowing them to participate in TCNJ’s research-oriented Mentored Undergraduate Summer Experience.

Funds raised by the college are stewarded by the TCNJ Foundation, which is overseen by an all-volunteer Board of Directors.

“Our success could not be possible without the talent, leadership and dedication of our board members,” said John P. Donohue, vice president and executive director of the TCNJ Foundation. “They freely give their time and expertise to ensure these funds are invested and managed properly and we’re grateful for their contributions.”

Learn more about supporting TCNJ.


Luke Sacks

Jay and Barbara Belding remember their roots with scholarship gift

Jay and Barbara Belding remember their roots with scholarship gift

Jay ’72 and Barbara ’72 Belding were at a worship service when their pastor offered words of advice that made them both pause. “Our pastor said, ‘Do your giving while you’re living, so you’re knowing where it’s going.’ Both of us looked at each other and said, ‘That’s for us.’ That pierced our hearts,” says… Continue Reading

Ian Ruderman named president of TCNJ Alumni Association

Ian Ruderman named president of TCNJ Alumni Association

The TCNJ Alumni Association welcomed Ian Ruderman ’89 as its new president on July 1. Ruderman took the reins from Peter Simons ’98, who completed a very successful three-year term. Ruderman is currently the managing director for Creative Financial Group, with 25 years of experience in the financial services management field. He is a 1989… Continue Reading

TCNJ Link connects Lions with Lions

TCNJ Link connects Lions with Lions

TCNJ is asking all its Lions to come together. The Office of Development and Alumni Engagement and the Office of Career and Leadership Development launched TCNJ Link, a dynamic new social platform that connects all members of the TCNJ community. Whatever your role in our community—faculty, staff, alumnus, or student. Wherever you are in your… Continue Reading

TCNJ alums hit the red carpet at 2021 Academy Awards

TCNJ alums hit the red carpet at 2021 Academy Awards

As Hollywood prepares for its biggest night of the year, twin brothers Keith ’07 and Kenny Lucas ’07 are poised to represent TCNJ in a big way with their Best Screenplay nomination for Judas and the Black Messiah. The brothers’ idea for Judas — which honors the life of Fred Hampton, the chairman of the… Continue Reading

Winterhalter gift allows college to “close the loop”

Winterhalter gift allows college to “close the loop”

Students, faculty, staff, and the local community will soon be able to close the loop — around Metzger Drive, that is. Thanks to a generous unrestricted estate gift from Harold ’40 and Lois Winterhalter, the college will begin the process to complete and update “the loop” — a popular 1.8 mile walking/jogging path — around campus.… Continue Reading

Freedom reader: Alumnus Larry Abrams wins MLK award for getting books into kids’ hands.

Freedom reader: Alumnus Larry Abrams wins MLK award for getting books into kids’ hands.

“Why shouldn’t every kid in America have books?” That question tugged at Larry Abrams MAT ’01 as a young teacher in Lindenwold, New Jersey, when he learned that many students in his economically disadvantaged district didn’t have access to books at home. And that question became his motivation with BookSmiles, a labor of love —… Continue Reading

Alumni Association welcomes three new alumni chapters

Alumni Association welcomes three new alumni chapters

TCNJ alumni across the globe have a new way to connect with each other, and their alma mater, thanks to the creation of three new alumni chapters. The Alumni Association Board announced the approval of a career and community studies chapter, a theatre chapter, and a New York City regional chapter.  These groups provide TCNJ… Continue Reading

Alumni Association helps college fight food insecurity, promote inclusivity

Alumni Association helps college fight food insecurity, promote inclusivity

Food insecurity and campus inclusivity are two prominent issues on the forefront of TCNJ’s 2021 agenda; and the Alumni Association Board of Directors is here to help the cause. On November 12, the board fully funded a $12,500 proposal for the campus food pantry, The Shop@TCNJ. It also provided partial funding to the Division of… Continue Reading

Students still MUSE despite coronavirus challenges

Students still MUSE despite coronavirus challenges

For more than a decade, TCNJ’s Mentored Undergraduate Summer Experience (MUSE) has given students an invaluable opportunity to conduct research alongside members of the faculty. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic and limited on-campus engagement this year, the program was a success with 70 students collaborating with 40 faculty members on 46 projects. The… Continue Reading

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