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Family Weekend and Homecoming Celebrated

The University community enjoyed two event-filled weekends in October at the Florham Campus that featured a variety of activities that celebrated artistry, homecomings, sports and achievements.

Family Weekend

During Fall Family Weekend, held from October 6 to 8, members of the University community, their families and alumni enjoyed a Hypnotist Show featuring comedian/hypnotist Dan Lornitis, Paint and Sip sessions, a performance by a cappella group Eh440, WAMFest and a variety of sports events.

WAMFest

Film actor Sean Astin, who is known for his roles in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “Goonies” and “Rudy,” was a special guest at this year’s celebration of WAMFest on October 7. WAMFest 2017: A Creative Celebration of the Mind in Words, Arts and Music was held during Fall Family Weekend.

In a conversation with Anthony Tasso, psychology and director, psychology/counseling (Flor), Astin discussed his acting career and his advocacy for mental health research and awareness. To read about his WAMFest appearance and to watch a special edition of FDU’s “Tori on the Street” with Astin answering trivia questions about “The Goonies,” go to “Film Star Sean Astin Headlines WAMFEst 2017 at Fairleigh Dickinson University.”

From left are student Breyton Croom; actor Sean Astin in a conversation with Anthony Tasso, psychology and director, psychology/counseling (Flor); and student Nicole D’Amico.

This year’s WAMFest also featured a conversation between Michael Robbins, poet, essayist and author, Equipment for Living: On Poetry and Pop Music; and James Mtume, Grammy Award-winning rhythm and blues musician and producer; and performances by FDU students Matt Cohen, Catherine Cooney, Breyton Croom, Nicole D’Amico and Abhi Tadakamalla.

Sports

It was also a triumphant weekend for the Devils as they chalked up victories in all their games.

The field hockey team won against the Eastern University Eagles, 4-0, during a charity game held in conjunction with the Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) sorority. Proceeds from the ticket sales went to the Play 4 a Cure Foundation. To read more about the team’s match against Eastern University go to “Field Hockey Cruises to 4-0 Conference Win Over Eastern.”

The Devils volleyball team extended its winning streak to a record of 13 straight games with a 3-0 sweep of the Alvernia Crusaders and the Brooklyn College Bulldogs. To read more about the team’s performance go to “Volleyball Runs Winning Streak to 13 with Tri-Match Sweep.”

Wrapping up the Devils’ showing was the triple victory by the men’s tennis team against the Farmingdale State Rams, 5-4; the Marywood Pacers, 8-1; and the Lycoming Warriors, 8-1. For more about the matches go to “Men’s Tennis Earns Two Wins” and “Men’s Tennis Completes Perfect Weekend.”

Homecoming 2017

Homecoming was held on October 21 and included a football game, alumni awards and class gifts.

Football Game, Klika Celebration

Top photo: Devils banner.
Bottom photo: William Klika, holding #53 jersey, retired athletics director (Flor), with family members and former members of the football team.

The homecoming football game saw the Devils defeat the Wilkes University Colonels, 49-31. Senior Malik Pressly became the all-time leader in touchdown receptions at 31. To read more about the game go to “Pressly Sets Touchdown Mark in 49-31 Win Over Wilkes.”

William Klika, athletics director (Flor), who retired on June 1 after 44 years at FDU, was honored by the football program at a ceremony during halftime. Klika will continue to serve as an adjunct faculty member in the University’s sports administration program.

During his time at FDU, Klika founded the University’s football program in 1974 and served as its head coach until 1996. In 1993, he led the Devils football team to the first playoff berth in school history. Klika earned the Metro Award twice from the Eastern Intercollegiate Football Organization — in 1988 and 1994 — for his contributions to college football.

Klika concurrently served as head baseball coach from 1982 to 1988, earning 61 career wins that rank him fourth all-time in program history. In 1996, Klika started the FDU-Florham Athletics Hall of Fame to honor past student-athletes and teams.

To read more about Klika go to “After 44 Years at FDU, Klika Announces Retirement.”

Alumni Awards and Class Gifts Presented

This year’s awardees were Sameer Khan, BA’06 (Flor), Outstanding Young Alumni; Juzetta Linder, AA’90, BA’92 (Metro), Volunteer of the Year; and Richard Wellbrock, BA’60, MBA’64 (Flor), Elia G. Stratis CASTLE Award.

From left are President Christopher Capuano; Richard Wellbrock, BA’60, MBA’64 (Flor), Elia G. Stratis CASTLE Award; Sameer Khan, BA’06 (Flor), Outstanding Young Alumni; Juzetta Linder, AA’90, BA’92 (Metro), Volunteer of the Year; and Stephen Bozer, MBA’06 (Metro), president of the Alumni Association Board of Governors.

The Outstanding Young Alumni Award is presented to a graduate who has achieved exceptional success in his or her profession and who has graduated in the past 15 years. Recipients are recognized for being emerging leaders in their fields and/or for service to the University and/or the Alumni Association.

Sameer Khan has been a management consultant at Deloitte for the past 11 years. He was selected to coach a group of new analysts at the firm’s leadership training center, Deloitte University, and has been one of the highest-ranked coaches. Khan has played an active role at FDU as an alumnus: a Devils advocate and supporter of the Robert T. Shields Alumni Golf Outing; actively involved in leadership-development initiatives through the NCAA; and chair of the NCAA’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee for three years.

The Volunteer of the Year Award is given to an alumnus/a who has contributed significantly to one or more of the following areas: academic programs, admissions, athletics, career development, chapters, fundraising and student life.

Juzetta Linder is a former senior executive business partner at Avis Budget Group. As president of FDU’s Black Alumni Chapter for the last three years, she has planned numerous fundraisers such as the annual alumni basketball game, which raises money for the Chapter’s scholarship fund. At the Boys & Girls Club of Newark, she has served as president of the club’s Parent Association, organized a fundraiser that helped restore heat in the organization’s facility, chaperoned countless activities for children and organized toy drives for the holiday parties. She created a charitable venture called Random Acts of Kindness, where she inspires others to pay it forward.

The Elia G. Stratis CASTLE Award is the highest award the Alumni Association presents and is given to a graduate who has demonstrated a lifetime of outstanding loyalty and service to Fairleigh Dickinson University. Recipients have made significant contributions to a specific college, school or program within the University or have served with distinction in organizations such as the Alumni Association Board of Governors or the University Board of Trustees.

Recipient Richard Wellbrock is a member of the Florham Campus’ first graduating class, a member of Gov. Chris Christie’s Higher Education Council and an advocate for higher education in New Jersey. A PINNACLE recipient, he is a consistent benefactor of FDU including Wroxton College and Shields Field. His two children are alumni of FDU. Wellbrock held a variety of positions at the New Jersey Council of County Colleges and Raritan Valley Community College. He leveraged his positions at Raritan Valley Community College and FDU to establish an on-campus relationship between the two, a joint effort which has served as a model for other partnerships between community colleges and FDU. Wellbrock also served as a member of the FDU President’s Advisory Board for several years.

Gifts from the Class of 2017 were presented by Kayla Adams, BS/MS’17 (Metro), and Michella Sanih, BS’17 (Metro), of the Metropolitan Campus Student Government Association, and graduate student Noelle Shirey, BA’17 (Flor), Florham Campus student representative to the Alumni Association Board of Governors, to President Christopher Capuano; Stephen Bozer, president of the Alumni Association Board of Governors; and to the FDU community.

In addition to two flowering plum trees that were planted on campus, the Metropolitan Campus class of 2017 also donated more than $10,000 in student scholarships. The Florham Campus gifts are a new garden outside the Student Center and an electronic information monitor in the Student Center.

At the presentation of the Class of 2017 gifts are, from left, Stephen Bozer, MBA’06 (Metro), president of the Alumni Association Board of Governors; graduate student Noelle Shirey, BA’17 (Flor), Florham Campus student representative to the Alumni Association Board of Governors; Kayla Adams, BS/MS’17 (Metro), and Michella Sanih, BS’17 (Metro), of the Metropolitan Campus Student Government Association; and President Christopher Capuano.