April/May 2016

Scholarship Dinner Honors Donors

FDU’s first Scholarship Dinner was held on March 1, 2016, at Hennessy Hall on the Florham Campus. The dinner provided an opportunity for the University’s scholarship donors and students to come together, and to thank donors for their generous support.

“Scholarship support profoundly impacts the lives of our students by relieving the stress and burden of loans, inspiring confidence and achievement and creating opportunities to develop leadership skills,” said President Sheldon Drucker. “As scholarship donors, you see potential in our students, you recognize their hard work and perseverance, and you give them hope for the future. This is a wonderful gift,” he said.

Alumnus Howard Gogel, BS’79 (Flor), who established the Howard Gogel Endowed Scholarship, spoke of his passion for giving. He said that, going back to the early days of running his own business, when things were tough and he struggled to get by, he found joy in giving whatever he could, whether it was time or resources, to help those in his community.

Scholarship combo
Left photo: With University Trustee Antoinette Petrocelli, second from left, are recipients of the Petrocelli College Associate Degree Scholarship, from left, students Amani Soto, Carolina Zardoya and Karina Moreno.
Right photo: From left are Beth Hennessy (Edward’s and Ruth’s daughter); Jessenia Rodriguez and Marissa Levis, recipients of the Edward L. Hennessy, Jr. and Ruth S. Hennessy Foundation Endowed Scholarship; and Trustee Emeritus Edward Hennessy.

Addressing attendees on behalf of FDU’s scholarship students, Marissa Levis, a freshman in the QUEST program and recipient of the Edward L. Hennessy, Jr. and Ruth S. Hennessy Foundation Endowed Scholarship said, “When the email congratulating me on the scholarship popped up in my inbox, I was in disbelief. I was so happy and grateful that I burst into tears and called my parents to tell them how thrilled I was. This scholarship has meant so much to me because it means I can continue to learn.”

Levis thanked alumnus Edward Hennessy, BS’55 (Ruth) and trustee emeritus, “for lifting the stress and worry over finances and supporting my dreams.” Turning her attention to all of the scholarship donors in the room, she said, “Because of you, someone from a small town can dream big and make big plans. Because of you, students see new possibilities and envision an exciting future. This is a wonderful gift that will stay with us our whole lives.”

Christopher Capuano, University provost and senior vice-president for academic affairs, encouraged students to stay involved with the University when they become alumni. “As scholarship recipients,” he said, “you have a special appreciation for what giving to help students is all about.”

Thanking donors, he added, “You know how important you are to us. We have ambitious plans and goals for our students and we can’t do it without you.”

Scholarship students in attendance presented each donor with a tree seedling as a gift.