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Veritas Award 2007

Special Veritas Award
Pioneer in Caldwell College History
Elizabeth (Betty) Glenn Matuszak ‘43

Elizabeth (Betty) Matuszak is the first and finest example of a Caldwell College liberal arts education.  It took a pioneer spirit to enroll in the first class of an as-yet-accredited college for women in 1939. Through her strong interest in science,  Betty helped to create the science curriculum and commuted alone to Seton Hall University in her junior year to take courses in Physics and Analytical Chemistry, which were not yet available at Caldwell.  As a member of that small charter class, Betty helped to develop the clubs, sports, and traditions that would grow with such enthusiasm over time and received the first College C-Pin for her efforts.

After graduating with a B.S in Biology and Chemistry, Betty was one of the first women to enter the corporate science field when she accepted the position of Analytical Chemist at Exxon.  Here she met her husband, Alfred, a research scientist, and as she raised her four children at home, Betty continued courses toward teaching accreditation at Seton Hall and Kean Universities.  When her children were older, she taught at the elementary level for over 20 years in the Westfield public school system, as well as St. Mary’s School in Rahway, McGinn School in Scotch Plains, New Jersey and Mount Saint Dominic Academy in Caldwell, New Jersey.

When Family Living and Sex Education became state-mandated, Betty was one of the first to take coursework at Columbia University Teachers College to prepare her to present the material in grades 4-6 in all Westfield elementary schools.  To assist the Dominican sisters to prepare the same material, she taught one semester at Caldwell College in 1969. As science curriculum changed, Betty took further coursework at Fairleigh Dickinson University in “Hands on Science.”

When an Alumnae Association was started shortly after graduation, Betty was chosen to be the first president and over three years developed the traditions of the organization.  In the succeeding years, she returned to support countless events and activities and her daughters, both of whom are science graduates of Caldwell, recall campus Easter egg hunts and parties.  She has served on Homecoming committees and has been a member of the Veritas dinner committee and in 1970 received the Alumna of the Year Award for “keeping the spirit of the of the Alumni Association alive for 47 years.”

Betty has a long history of community volunteer service, including teaching CCD, serving on the Pastoral Council, and taking communion and meals to the homebound through St. Anne’s Parish in Garwood.  Her pioneer spirit and scientific curiosity have taken her, often with her family, to all 50 states, 28 countries and 4 continents. She volunteered to participate in the National Study on Women’s Health and continues to share her vitality and enthusiasm with classmates and friends.

Excellence in Administration
Sister Alice Matthew Thees, O.P., Ph. D. ‘54

Throughout her many-faceted career, Sister Alice Matthew’s administrative skills shine through and reflect her extraordinary accomplishments.

After a traditional beginning as an elementary/secondary teacher of math and science, Sister joined the faculty at Caldwell College in the Math department, where she attained a professorship, served as a department chairperson,and eventually moved to the position of Academic Dean.  She left Caldwell to serve as Campus Chaplain for Fairleigh Dickinson University in Rutherford, New Jersey where she also taught math as an adjunct professor.

From education, Sister Alice Matthew moved into fiscal planning for the Sisters of Saint Dominic Congregation and, as Chief Fiscal Officer for ten years, administered all the Congregation’s assets.  Under the astute eye, investment of the endowment funds was improved to provide funds for renovation and repair to Congregation-owned facilities.

In 1995, Sister Alice Matthew opened Sienna Village, a 250 unit affordable senior housing complex in Wayne, New Jersey.  To accomplish this, Sister acquired the site and developed both the environmental wetlands and market/feasibility studies.  She also selected the architect and construction manager, designed and negotiated the financing package, and arranged with Wayne Township for special considerations.  She has served as Director of Siena Village ever since.

Sister Alice Matthew has also formed a partnership, Community Housing Developers (CHD), with Gail T. Bressler to act as consultants in the development of affordable housing.   One of their first projects was the planning and development of Lincoln Hill Village in West Milford, New Jersey, and affordable, 50-unit, independent living facility for seniors which opened in 2003.  The Community Housing Development team is presently serving as consultants to the North Jersey Religious Coalition on Housing for Women and Children.

After receiving her B.A in Mathematics and Chemistry from Caldwell College, Sister Alice Matthew obtained an M.A. in Mathematics from Villanova University and her Ph.D in Mathematics Administration from Columbia University.  In 2002, she received the Father Victor Yanitelli, S.J. Award for service to the people of God by SOAR (Support Our Aging Religious).

Excellence in Librarianship
Caroline Ward M.L.S. ‘68

Caroline Ward has devoted an entire career to children’s literature and library services.  From her first position as Children’s Librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to her current position as Coordinator of Youth Services for the Ferguson Library in Stamford, Connecticut, she has developed ever-widening levels of responsibility, research, leadership and commitment to her profession and the young public she serves so well.

Caroline spent over ten years at the Vermont Department of Librarian in Montpelier where she initiated and implemented programs and standards for statewide children’s library services and coordinated the statewide librarian certification program.  She then moved to the Nassau Library System in Uniondale, New York and spent the next ten years as Children’s Services Manager providing, consulting, education, advocacy and service coordination to staff of the 54 member libraries. Caroline had held a similar position at Brooklyn Public Library before joining the Ferguson Library in Stamford, as Coordinator of Youth Services in 1999.  Here she manages a budget of $100,000 and a staff of 22 employees and supervises and develops programs and services for children and teens in the Main Library, three branches and a bookmobile.

After receiving her BA in English from Caldwell, Caroline obtained an MLS from Drexel University and has completed additional coursework at University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She has been an adjunct faculty member at St. Michael’s College in Vermont, the Palmer School of Library and Information Science at Long Island University and, most recently, the School of Information and Library Science at Pratt Institute.

Over the years, Caroline has been a judge for the prestigious National Book Award (Juvenile), the Boston Globe/Horn Book Award and the Regazzi Prize (Bologna, Italy) and has been chaired numerous professional committees, such as the ALSC John Newbery Medal Committee, the ALSC Theodor Seuss Geisel Beginning Reader Award, the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer/Illustrator Award and the NYLA Empire State Children’s Book Award.  She has also served as President of the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC).

Caroline has numerous grants and publications to her credit and has been a frequent presenter; most recently at the 2004 International Board on Books for Young People Conference in Capetown, South Africa, where she spoke on “Africa As Viewed Through American Picture Books.”  In 2005, she received the 2005 Grolier Award from the American Library Association for Outstanding Service to Youth.

In her free time, Caroline competes in sailboat races on Long Island Sound.  She is married to John Romans and has two stepsons, John and Andrew, and three grandchildren: Sarah, Jack and Betsy.