Scholarship Recognition Dinner Opening Remarks

My name is Phil Ellmore I’m the Chief
Development Officer and Executive Director of the Foundation and I am thrilled to welcome you formally to our scholarship recognition dinner one of
our favorite events of the year an opportunity where we can get to meet
some of our student recipients and where our donors can have a real sense for the
impact that you make with your generous support during our program you’re going
to have the opportunity to hear from our Dean’s and a scholarship recipient from
each of the schools and their stories are inspiring and a true testament to
the incredible group of students that Stockton has and continues to attract
I’m sure that we will be impressed this evening in 2007 just ten years ago the foundation awarded a hundred and forty two thousand dollars in scholarships to Stockton students this academic year more than seven hundred thousand dollars
will be assisting deserving students you can give that a round of applause [applause] I’d like to take this opportunity to
thank and acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our University
Foundation Board of Directors if you’re a member of the Board of Directors I’d
invite you to please stand so that we can thank you I’ve got a number of you
around don’t be shy thank you all very much [applause] I also want to acknowledge the the
wonderful work of the scholarship selection committee their task is not an
easy one the committee receives hundreds of qualified scholarship applications to
review eight hundred and fifty five to be exact this year for a little over 400
awards to be made the scholarship selection committee has done a
remarkable job and I want to give special thanks to Pam Cross and John Iacovelli
who chaired that committee Pam is right here and John is over there
thank you very very much [applause] and would all the members of the scholarship selection
committee that are here tonight please stand and be thanked [applause] and thank you we have many of our
faculty are in the room I want to say thank you to them because they are
called upon to write reference letters for those 855 application and I
appreciate that very much so a round of applause for our faculty [applause] and finally I’d like to extend my thanks to the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid and to
the Development Alumni Affairs staff for making sure that tonight is such a
wonderful night and for all of their hard work so thank you very very much [applause] let me take care of a few housekeeping items dinner tonight will
be buffet style and Chartwells representatives will come around and
will direct each table when you can make your way to the buffet lines please wait
till your table is called and then dessert will be served family-style by
Chartwells so dessert will come to you directly at this time I am very pleased
to welcome our President Dr. Harvey Kesselman for
opening remarks please welcome Dr.. Kesselman [applause] I said I did not want to try what Joe Biden did
the other night as part of our Hughes Center Honors
the Vice President jumped up on top of this stage he looked absolutely terrific
first I’m between you and dinner as Phil just said so I will promise to keep my
remarks brief but I do want to to highlight some of the things that are
happening at Stockton but also to talk about how important this night is first
so first thanks Phil and I thank all of you every single person here for being
here this evening the Foundation Scholarship recognition dinner holds a very special place in the hearts of Stockton community members as Phil
mentioned it’s an opportunity for donors and students to experience that up close
and personal connection with one another for students to be able to thank the
givers behind the gifts and donors to appreciate the harvest
of your generosity by easing the financial burden of our students your
gift allows them to pursue their academic studies with confidence and
assurance it creates a type of fiscal security so our students can fully
embrace the college experience and operate free of financial worry and
strain as donors your philanthropy not only supports the dreams of today but
invests in the future of tomorrow philanthropists and business tycoon JD
Rockefeller said giving is investing tonight our student scholarship
recipients will testify firsthand to the impact the financial seeds you have
planted have made in their lives Stockton has remained faithful to our
guiding principle of students first we all of us take this commitment seriously
and because of it have continued to experience extraordinary gains in three
critical areas first record breaking enrollment our freshman class this year
increased by 32% to nearly 1,600 students making this the largest
incoming freshman class in Stockton’s history and we already know based upon
pre registration data that the retention rate of that many students is actually
slightly higher than our previous years so that’s great news on behalf of the
college and university second and you saw it as you came in so many people
that I got around to the tables to talk to the expansion of our facilities as many
of you are aware we are rapidly expanding our facilities and our regional presence
with the new state-of-the-art residential Atlantic City campus coming
on board in just about another eight or nine months in the fall for fall of 2018
and within the next month or so we will complete the construction of the
academic quad on this campus which includes the second Unified Science Center and the Health Sciences Center and
there’s a fella by the name of Dr. Dean Dean Weiss here Dennis Weiss who as
a result of a lot of his vision those science centers exists and we deserve to
give him a warm round of applause [applause] and third our
reputation in the past couple of years Stockton has received various national
awards and recognition for things that we say are important to us diversity,
sustainability, civic learning and community engagement and that has
translated into us being more recognized nationally this year in US News and
World Report for example were among the top 10 public universities in the north
we’re ranked in the top 10 among New Jersey colleges in Forbes list of
America’s top colleges and we are also ranked seventh nationally and first in
New Jersey for public master’s universities in eduventures
student success ratings but an extremely important area of
institutional pride concerns our commitment to veterans we are most proud
to be ranked as one of the top 20 schools in the nation for veterans by
the Military Times, US News and World Report and the online college plan just
last week we received the prestigious distinction of being recognized by the
New Jersey Order of the Purple Heart for our level of excellent services to our
student veterans and if there are any veterans in this room right now
any veterans, not just student veterans please stand to be recognized for your
service I know there’s a table over there [applause] and many more here [applause] all of us at Stockton thank you for your
service as we continue to expand our footprint here in the region and beyond
our focus as always remains on serving and investing in our students and this
community this is why as represented as the Stockton we are not shy about asking
for your continued philanthropic support because we too know firsthand what your
investment can do and the opportunities it can bring to our students we
understand that your partnership your continual investment your generous gifts
and donations are critical for our student success and we look forward to
collaborating with you on supporting the dreams and investing in the future
tomorrow’s of all of our students thank you very much again for joining us and
please be prepared to feast with one another thank you so very much I am very
pleased to introduce to you our Provost I can no longer say our new Provost but
our Provost Dr. Laurie Vermeulen to get us started welcome Laurie [applause] good evening everyone I’m really thrilled to welcome you here tonight to our scholarship
celebration I’d like to start by thanking all of the donors that are here
tonight I’d like to say that I put myself through school but I didn’t
really had scholarship help all the way even through grad school and I really am
grateful for all those people who donated to help me get through school so
we’re here to celebrate you as well as the students tonight your scholarship
support has a tremendous impact on our students through the unwavering support
from all of you our most loyal donors we can continue to increase the amount of
much-needed scholarships assistance for our students to ensure they achieve
their dream of obtaining a university degree and most importantly a Stockton
University’s degree which is the best out there many thanks to all of our
speakers this evening especially our featured speaker Mr. Tom Roth who has
assured us he’s not going to use numbers in his speech tonight and be tracking
down kids who have to pay their bills so we’re all really looking forward to
this that to this so so I’d like to begin the stars of the show which are
the students and so we’re going to have our Dean’s come up here in alphabetical
order introduce themselves and then introduce the scholarship winners from
their areas and we will start with a is for arts School of Arts and Humanities
Dean Lisa Honaker

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