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Business Student’s Apprenticeship Provides In-depth Human Resources Training

“All schools should be making this a priority. It should be across the board,” says Caldwell University business student Crystal Zamora of her human resources apprenticeship program.  Zamora is the first federally registered human resources apprentice in the U.S. thanks to a partnership with the Employers Association of New Jersey.

Crystal Zamora

Zamora, who is majoring in business administration and minoring in human resources, has worked in HR for the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey where among her duties she assisted with payroll and planned a wellness program, and she is currently working in HR at Mott MacDonald, a national engineering firm in Iselin, New Jersey. “The companies I have had the honor of working with have given me such invaluable experiences,” she said.   The networking has been one of the highlights of the apprenticeship.  “There are so many professionals who are willing to help me.”

Apprenticeships are different than internships since students have the opportunity to work for two to three years immersing themselves in the business experiences.   John Sarno, president of EANJ, says most of the students, like Zamora, are the first in their families to attend college and they are “totally committed to their career development, working and attending classes full-time, a long-term commitment that requires the utmost endurance.”

Zamora, who will graduate in December and continue in Caldwell’s MBA program, is applying  concepts she learned in the classroom to “real life experiences” as she is exposed to areas of HR like the Affordable Care Act and Occupational Safety and Health Administration reporting, bargaining agreements, recruitment and promotion, and harassment issues.  EANJ has given her the opportunity to attend classes on human resources administration and law and compensation.

The US Department of Labor is promoting apprenticeships following the 2017 executive order to expand the programs. According to the US Department of Labor, nationally registered apprenticeships are becoming increasing available with reportedly 585,000 in 2018 compared with 375,000 in 2013. Graduates who have had apprenticeships are attractive to employers because they have on the job experience.

Sheila O’Rourke, Caldwell’s vice president of institutional effectiveness and member of EANJ’s board, is happy that Caldwell is one of the first to embrace this way of giving students more in-depth work experiences. “Crystal worked in our Human Resources office at Caldwell University before she started her apprenticeship.  There, I had the pleasure of getting to know her, and to witness firsthand her eagerness to learn and her strong work ethic.  Crystal will be an asset to any HR office lucky enough to employ her.”

Zamora recommends apprenticeships to students in any majors for their personal and professional development. “I hope more of these apprenticeship programs come to life,” she said, because it gives students solid experience and “enhances the connection” between class instruction and the field work.

She is grateful to School of Business professors Virginia Rich and Helen McGowan for introducing her to the program.  “They have guided me throughout the entire experience.”  She knows it has put her on the right path. “I have realized this is something I would love to do and a career I could see myself happy in.”

Featured News, News

Dominican Preaching Conference Opens Students’ Eyes to “Wide, yet Connected World”

Participants of the Dominican Preaching Conference
Participants of the Dominican Preaching Conference
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Participants of the Dominican Preaching Conference
Volunteers for the Dominican Preaching Conference
Caldwell Students Volunteers for the Conference
Participants of the Dominican Preaching Conference
Participants of the Dominican Preaching Conference
Participants of the Dominican Preaching Conference

Caldwell, N.J., June 5, 2019 – Isabelle Pioch came away from the annual Dominican Preaching Conference full of ideas that she would like to bring back to her campus and incorporate into her own life.   From a service day to possibly visiting detention centers to focusing more on contemplation, Pioch is looking forward to taking what she learned and putting it into action.  The Siena Heights University student joined 35 other students from Dominican colleges and universities at Caldwell University May 21-26 to explore how the Catholic Dominican tradition can be a part of their everyday lives.  “I am also going to continue expressing my faith through my artworks and projects,” said Pioch, a graphic design major.  Madison Perry, a biology student at Caldwell, was happy to discover that “preaching is not just standing behind a pulpit but can be expressed through art forms and service.”

Speakers presented on topics such as the Saints of the Order, The Dominican Family, Preaching the Signs of the Times, Preaching Through Service and Preaching Through Art.  In “Saints of the Order,”  “St. Dominic” portrayed by Patrick Spedale, campus minister at St. Pius X High School in Houston, spoke about “holy preaching” and encouraged the students to see that there is “a great need for great preachers of truth today.” Dominicans “love to study and study to love,” he said, and it is important to have “the Bible in one hand and the iPad in the other in order to read the signs of the times.” Dominic was “destined to do great things in life in the name of Jesus Christ,” said Spedale, and he encouraged the students to do the same in striving for the best in their lives.

A session on social justice included topics such as immigration, climate change, human trafficking, economic justice, and peace and security. The students were encouraged to look for solutions for famine, war, prejudice, racism, and sexism through advocacy, fundraising, and by asking systemic questions and look for answers.

Perry enjoyed meeting other students from across the United States.  “Despite not being Catholic, this conference has helped me grow closer to God and I was happy to have met such an accepting community of students, mentors, and staff.”    It was an empowering conference, said Pioch, “and really opened my eyes to the wide, yet connected world around me.”

Sister Gina Fleming, O.P., executive director of the Dominican Youth Movement USA, was in awe of the participants’ energy and interactions.  “The future of our communities, our country, and our world is in the hands of these young people.” It was a privilege for her to share the Dominican charism with the students. “I have tremendous hope that they will make a difference with their lives.”

Caldwell’s director of campus ministry, Colleen O’Brien said it was a gift to see the students engage in their faith in more active ways.  “Our Caldwell students learned quite a bit and hopefully they will be able to carry this experience with them into their future. We look forward to putting some more Dominican values into practice this next school year.”

Dana McStowe, the campus ministry program coordinator, assisted in running the program. Caldwell student Kassandra Pardo also attended.

The Caldwell students who helped with set-up and other logistics were Brooke McPherson, Maria Lesniewski, Julianna Verso, Brittany Gaule, and Anthony Pineros.

 

Business News, Featured News, News

Recent Graduates are in Top One Percent of Business Undergraduates

Recent graduates Zulenny Reyes-Calderon and Aida Osmeni were recognized at the New Jersey Collegiate Business Administration Association honor society ceremony May 3. L to R: Caldwell Business Professor Bernard O’Rourke; adjunct at Caldwell and professor at Essex County College, Dr. Germaine Albuquerque; Reyes-Calderon and Aida Osmeni; Associate Dean of the School of Business and Computer Science Virginia Rich and Business Professor Monika Sywak

Recent graduates Zulenny Reyes-Calderon and Aida Osmeni were recognized at the New Jersey Collegiate Business Administration Association honor society ceremony May 3. L to R: Caldwell Business Professor Bernard O’Rourke; adjunct at Caldwell and professor at Essex County College, Dr. Germaine Albuquerque; Reyes-Calderon and Aida Osmeni; Associate Dean of the School of Business and Computer Science Prof. Virginia Rich and Business Professor Monika Sywak

Caldwell, N.J June 3, 2019 -Recent graduates Aida Osmeni and Zulenny Reyes-Calderon were recognized at the New Jersey Collegiate Business Administration Association honor society ceremony on Friday, May 3 at Middlesex County College. The top one percent of undergraduate students pursuing degrees in business are invited to join NJCBAA.

Osmeni received a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in financial economics and math and Reyes-Calderon received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration on May 19 at Caldwell’s commencement ceremony.

Dr. Virginia Rich, associate dean of the School of Business and Computer Science, says the School of Business is very proud of Osmeni and Reyes-Calderon. “We are delighted that our students’ hard work and dedication is recognized by the NJCBAA with this distinguished award.”

Osmeni is employed at Crum & Forster and Zulenny is working in her family’s business.

 

Library

Share your service experiences with the Caldwell University Archives!

Have you participated in a mission trip or service-related activity at Caldwell University? Submit your photos, reflection essays, and short videos to the Caldwell University Archives!

Our “Living the Mission” project seeks to document and preserve student experiences in service activities at Caldwell University. This includes the annual immersion trip to Belize, Midnight Runs to aid the homeless in New York City, spring break trips to Philadelphia, Caldwell Day, Service Saturday, and other local volunteer opportunities. Your contributions will help to create a permanent record of participation in service activities and allow us to preserve the content for future research.

We welcome contributions from Caldwell University students, faculty, and staff. To submit an item, visit the “Living the Mission” website: https://livingthemission.omeka.net/

Email archives@caldwell.edu for further information.

Featured News, News

“Human Not So Kind” Art Exhibition Focuses on Natural World, Beauty and Destruction

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Caldwell, N.J., May 20, 2019 – The Mueller Gallery at Caldwell University is featuring an exhibition focusing on the natural world and its beauty and raising awareness of how humanity is disrupting that beauty. “Human Not So Kind” was created by student Phoebe Schepacarter for her senior art project.

Schepacarter, who received her Bachelor Fine Arts degree on May 19, said the exhibition gave her a way to highlight issues that many people are not talking about related to nature and the environment.

The front room of the gallery features 14 different pieces representing the natural world. “These works feature seven different biome areas that focus on the natural beauty of each area. Contrasting the beauty of each of these landscapes, are multiple ways that humanity has negatively affected the natural world,” said Schepacarter of Franklinville, New Jersey. Each landscape piece has an informational panel that has five facts about the biome and a statement about the ways humanity is destroying the world.

The back room of the gallery focuses on the positives of what humanity is doing for the earth. “There is a nine foot tall mural that is a map of the world indicating how well each country is taking care of the world and there are 24 panels highlighting specific places where people are taking care of the world. The panels also provide recommendations on how people can alter their lifestyles to be more earth friendly,” explained Schepacarter.

“I hope to make people feel responsible and to create a wave of change, even if it is just small daily changes to improve the world we live in, as it is the only one we have and we are all responsible for the condition it is in,” said Schepacarter.

Schepacarter’s artist statement is:

It is human nature to believe we are not at fault. To believe that we are doing the right thing because it directly benefits us. Contrary to this belief not everything we do is right or just, but everything we do has a cause and effect. The world around us is constantly changing and we are all the cause. These pieces were created to show the beauty of the natural world and how we are all at fault for the destruction of this world around us. To inform people of all the destruction we are causing just by living. However, there is hope. Around the world there are countries changing their way of life to protect the world they have and to improve it for those to come. Everyone is at fault. But this also means that everyone can be the positive change we need to see in the world. Even if the change is only small steps, it is still something and will make a difference. We need to be more human-kind and less human not-so kind.

“Human Not So Kind” will be on display in the Mueller Gallery through the summer. To make an appointment to see the exhibition, contact Professor Suzanne Baron at sbaron@caldwell.edu.

Featured News, News

Caldwell University Celebrates 77th Commencement

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Caldwell University celebrates 77th commencement

Former secretary of higher education Rochelle Hendricks receives honorary degree

Caldwell, N.J., May 19, 2019 – Caldwell University celebrated its 77th annual commencement Sunday, May 19 awarding degrees to 467 graduates.

Marisa Castronova of Nutley, New Jersey, delivered the student address at the graduate commencement ceremony. She advised her fellow graduates to consider the person who earned the degree and to remember that he or she is the driving force behind the degree. “A degree is not a living entity…It can’t walk, it can’t talk.” Castronova, who received her doctorate in educational leadership in December, said, “Consider you, the person who earned it. Consider you, the person who decided to embark on an educational trek requiring hard work, dedication and sacrifice.”  She encouraged graduates to take time to reflect on what they have learned about themselves. “For knowing who you are and what you are capable of will enable you to transform knowledge into something great.” Castronova is a science educator at Robert L. Lazar Middle School in Montville, New Jersey.

Kathryn Marano, also of Nutley, delivered the undergraduate commencement ceremony address. She suggested to graduates that they are all “rocket scientists” who have been building rocket ships that will lift off when they leave the auditorium. Utilizing the image of the rocket ship, Marano said the classes they took were the framework of the ship, while the attributes they learned at Caldwell including kindness, resilience, integrity and respect would help  them navigate the rocket ship “through tough and uncharted territory.” The most important components of the rocket ship are the team of professors, classmates and staff whose guidance students will take with them after graduation, she said. “With the rocket ship complete, we are ready to take on the world, and I am confident that we will be the pioneers of the future and successful in whatever paths we choose.” Marano will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with minors in small business entrepreneurship and marketing in August.

An honorary degree was awarded to Rochelle Hendricks who served as the first secretary of higher education for the state of New Jersey from 2011 to 2018. She encouraged the graduates to imagine the world the way they would like it to be and to let the light of God shine through them as they strive to make the world a better and brighter place.   “As you make a living, be sure to make a life,” and remember the values that are timeless and transcendent, she said.

Members of Caldwell’s class of 1969, marking their 50th anniversary, were recognized.

President Nancy H. Blattner, Ph.D., presented doctoral students with their Ph.D.s and Ed.D.s, graduate students with their Master of Arts, Master of Business Administration or Master of Science degrees and undergraduates with their Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Science in nursing degrees.   A Master of Science in Accounting degree was awarded posthumously to Kelly Marilly Gonzalez. Her brother accepted the degree from Dr. Blattner.

President Blattner told the graduates that it was a day of great joy and pride for them, their family members and loved ones who supported them. She said the university was “sending you forward, not just as graduates, but as people who we expect to make a difference.” She advised them to stay connected to their alma mater that has “not only been your learning community but also your family for four years.” Each student, she said, “has made an indelible impression on me.”

Laurita Warner, chair of the Board of Trustees and alumna, said some things at Caldwell never change like a welcoming environment, dedicated and caring faculty, “an administration who work tirelessly to provide a campus where students can thrive and learn, and the mission inspired by Saint Dominic and our Catholic tradition to prepare students to think critically, pursue truth and contribute to a just society. And friendships that last a lifetime.” She extended two wishes to each of the graduates, “the gift of memories of Caldwell University as fond as mine are and the very best future life has to offer.”

Undergraduate and master’s students wore gowns made from 100 percent post-recycled plastic bottles.

 

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Sport management students host event to support business professor’s nonprofit for education in India

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Caldwell, N.J., May 14, 2019 – Students in Business Professor Neil Malvone’s Sports Event Management class and in the Sport Management Club hosted a nightfall volleyball event to support Pawel’s Children which improves education in India. The non-profit organization was founded by Business Professor Monika Sywak in honor of her son.  

Malvone said the students were thrilled to create the event to help Pawel’s Children.  

Each semester, the event management students create an event from ideation to implementation as a way to learn the course material in an experiential fashion. They handle all aspects of the event including finding participants, sponsors, and bringing in spectators, as well as the event logistics,” said Malvone.  

Sywak is grateful to Malvone and the students for their support. The founding of the Pawel’s Children goes back to 2014 when Sywak says the organization “found her” and it was love at first sight. They support the Abhaneri School in an impoverished area of India that Sywak “stumbled on” during a sightseeing trip with her friends Shalini Madaras and Denise Walsh.     

They were distributing soccer balls in a rural area of Rajasthan when they stopped at the Abhaneri School. They saw that 300 children were learning in a structure with dirt floors, no running water, no bathrooms or electricity, and unstable walls. After leaving the kids that day, Sywak says, she could not stop thinking about them, “how special they were and how much they really wanted to learn.” Even with a language barrier and her friend’s translation, Sywak could feel how “sincere, humble and genuine” the people were and could see they “had a real  love for education.”

“They just needed a little help to take it further,” says Sywak, who teaches undergraduate and graduate finance and ethical business strategy courses. She and her friends decided to start with a small project, financing the construction of bathrooms. They suggested making the donations in memory of Sywak’s son, Pawel, who had died in 2012 at 20 years old. As they started spreading the word,  they could see there was support for the project. Soon after, they applied for the nonprofit status and Pawel’s Children was born.

Alumni News

A TRAILBLAZER and “the Only Girl in the Room”

Charlene Hamrah

Pictured is Charlene Hamrah and the “boys’ club” in the 1980s.

Charlene Hamraah

Charlene Hamrah on a recent trip to the Grand Canyon.

Charlene Hamrah, Class of 1969

As a shy high school student in the 1960s, Charlene Hamrah had not given much thought to the idea of attending college. She was interested in the business world and planned to apply to a secretarial school. However, she took a different path, becoming a trailblazer in what was then the male-dominated field of business, at a time when men referred to women as “girls.”

Her mother’s influence and encouragement convinced Hamrah to have a bolder vision for her life. “She insisted that I go to college,” recalls Hamrah. At Caldwell College for Women, she majored in business and minored in education. “There were only five business majors in my graduating class, but the campus was close-knit and very social; I made many friendships I’ve maintained to this day.” She blossomed in the nurturing environment at Caldwell and began to think seriously about her future.

After graduating, Hamrah found a position as a business teacher. Although she asked to teach bookkeeping and more advanced business courses, she was assigned the typing and shorthand classes on the theory that she was “a better role model for girls.” Hamrah found teaching skill subjects dull and uninspiring, and this provided the impetus for her to make a career change. In her second year of teaching, and for more than three years while working full time, she commuted to Rutgers-Newark for evening classes, earning an MBA with a concentration in finance in 1975. It was, she says, an exercise in endurance—and a bit lonely since she was the only woman in many of her classes. At the time, women averaged 10 percent of MBA enrollments nationally. Today, women represent more than 40 percent of MBA students, thanks to pioneers like Hamrah.

She landed a job in New York City as secretary to the financial officer of a small commercial insurance company and continued to travel to Newark for evening classes. When Hamrah completed her MBA, she moved into a supervisory position and eventually became the vice president for financial planning and analysis at that company. This once-shy young woman had found her voice and had secured her place as a leader. In 1989, while in her early 40s, she took on a new challenge: the role of motherhood, when she adopted her son, Damon. After the premature death of her husband, Hamrah became the single working mother of a young child.

As her confidence grew, Hamrah was undaunted by the challenge of being the only woman in “the boys’ club.” Her male counterparts acknowledged her intellect, work ethic, and determination; she earned promotions, although not as quickly as the men, and was frustrated by the inequity in her compensation. Her advice for today’s students: “Stay focused and get the job done, go the extra mile, do not be afraid to ask questions, and ask for help when you need it. If you want more responsibility, ask for it—and for the salary that goes with the job.”

The next chapter of her career took Hamrah to Wall Street when she joined AIG, a global giant in the insurance and financial services industry. Promoted through the ranks, she took on numerous roles in finance and accounting, eventually leading the investor relations department. She later became one of the few female officers at the firm, reaching the pinnacle of her career as vice president and director of investor relations. “It was both an internal and external relations position. I guess I wasn’t shy any longer,” Hamrah says with a laugh. As the key contact for institutional investors, she was responsible for reporting financial results, explaining and answering questions about those results, and meeting with investors to explain the company’s operations and opportunities. It was not a job for the faint of heart.

Was there a point at which she finally felt acknowledged by the men with whom she worked? “When the then-CEO of AIG named me corporate vice president,” she says. “On one hand, I felt I deserved it long before that day; on the other hand, I was thrilled. Perhaps most important to me is that the CEO was known as one of the toughest bosses in corporate America, yet he liked and respected me.”

Over the years, Hamrah has remained connected to Caldwell and is “very impressed by what has been accomplished in the past decade and by the students I have met… The campus has changed and enrollment is increasing, but it still has the close community spirit that I loved as a student. The Sisters of St. Dominic deserve credit for taking the bold step of admitting men and expanding the academic programs,” she adds, “and Dr. Nancy Blattner’s vision and leadership have brought Caldwell into an exciting new era.”

Caldwell remains a touchstone in Hamrah’s life. She has made a generous leadership gift to the Campaign for Caldwell and serves as co-chair of the campaign steering committee alongside Elaine Tweedus ’66. In anticipation of her 50th class reunion in the fall of 2019, Hamrah is working with a group of her classmates to conduct outreach and hopes for a great turnout.

“As I look back on my life’s journey,” she says, “I am most struck by my transformation from a shy, quiet girl with a narrow worldview to a confident business executive who embraced opportunities and traveled the world, making many friends along the way. I will be forever grateful to Caldwell for helping me develop a foundation for success—in my career and in many other areas of my life.”

—-Christina Hall

Alumni News

Family Ties Lead to Heartfelt Chapel Commitment

Jon and Stephanie Hauge made a gift to underwrite the crucifix for the new chapel.

Stephanie and Jon Hauge were never students at Caldwell University. Their daughter, Greta, did not study at Caldwell either. So what inspired this generous couple to contribute $25,000 to the Campaign for Caldwell?

Their involvement with Caldwell began more than 20 years ago. Stephanie’s brother-in-law, Tim Manning, served as Caldwell’s vice president of institutional advancement from 1995 to 2000, when they lost him to cancer.

“I was financial vice president at AT&T when Tim joined Caldwell,” Stephanie recalls. “Sister Patrice was president, and there were very few lay people on the board of trustees at that time. Tim saw the value of bringing business leaders onto the board. He knew I had financial expertise and recruited me to become a trustee.”

Stephanie served on the board for nine years, until 2006. Six of those years were spent on the executive board, first as chair of the finance committee and later as chair of the audit committee. She worked closely with her brother-in-law to bring corporate grants to the institution, including funding from the AT&T Foundation.

During this time, Stephanie and Jon developed a high regard for the institution and its Catholic mission. They became, and have remained, loyal donors and can be counted on to give at the President’s Society level each year. Stephanie continues to champion the university in other ways as well. Through her involvement with the Financial Women’s Association of New Jersey, an organization that promotes and supports women leaders, she organized an
event on campus that featured a panel of distinguished women executives—including Dr. Nancy Blattner—who spoke about the challenges of balancing demanding careers with
full lives.

The Hauges’ fondness for Caldwell is, in many ways, tied to their memories of Tim. In 2002, the couple honored Tim’s memory with a major donation that was recognized through the naming of the Manning Campus Bookstore. It was their way of honoring their brother-in-law’s deeply felt commitment to this institution.

They were thrilled to learn about Caldwell’s plans to relocate the university’s chapel, formerly in the Mother Joseph Residence Hall, to the first floor of the Newman Center. “I was especially happy to hear that the beautiful stained-glass windows are going to be incorporated into the design for the new space,” Stephanie notes.

The university’s plans for the new chapel meant the Manning Campus Bookstore would have to be moved. When a new location was chosen, a re-inauguration event was held, complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and luncheon. “It was a lovely family celebration. There is a new plaque outside the bookstore that tells visitors about Tim,” Stephanie notes.

The Hauges’ gift is a testament to Caldwell University’s strong Catholic mission. Stephanie and Jon are very committed to ecumenical causes near and far. “Jon and I love to visit churches when we travel. We were drawn by the idea of making the chapel more central to the lives of the students by putting it in the Newman Center. The new chapel will be a wonderful expression of the university’s Dominican roots.”

Stephanie has a master’s in theology and has dedicated countless hours to serving as an RCIA director and in the music and lector ministries at her home parish, Resurrection Church, in Randolph, New Jersey. There is no doubt the Hauges’ gift in support of the new chapel at Caldwell University reflects their confidence in the university’s commitment to its Catholic identity.

Smart gift planning enabled the Hauges to maximize their support. Stephanie explains, “At our age and given the current tax laws and minimum distribution requirements, it makes more sense for us to direct our charitable giving from our IRAs. Doing so reduces our ordinary income and produces additional tax benefits. It’s a better way to give.” Jon’s retirement benefits made it possible to secure additional corporate matching funds from Pfizer.

The Hauges’ newest gift is being made in memory of their parents—Olaf and Gladys Hauge and Edward and Mary Jordan. In recognition of their support, Stephanie and Jon will be listed on the donor wall as benefactors to help underwrite the crucifix. “Our parents were very faith-filled people,” Stephanie says. “They knew the importance of education. And they felt, as we do, that is a beautiful thing to have a church at the center of a community. This is a fitting tribute to them.”

The new chapel will be a wonderful expression of the university’s Dominican roots.

Alumni News, Featured News, News

Caldwell University Unveils Multicultural Center Named for first African American Student

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Caldwell, N.J., May 10, 2019 – Caldwell University unveiled its new multicultural center on Thursday, May 9.  The Eileen Jones Multicultural Center is named after Eileen Jones, Esq. ’57, the first African American student to attend and graduate from Caldwell University.

President Nancy H. Blattner, Ph.D., OPA welcomed friends of Jones, alumni, students, staff, faculty and other guests to the dedication and official opening.

“In recognition of all the wonderful cultures that make up the Caldwell University family, this center will serve as a resource for the promotion of multicultural awareness, understanding and appreciation,” said Blattner. “In the spirit of our core values of Respect, Integrity, Community, and Excellence, this will be a place where a variety of programs and events are hosted with the goal of a creating a learning community.”

Blattner explained that Jones earned her B.A. in social studies from Caldwell and then went on to earn a J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law. In 1977, Jones was the first woman appointed chief of the administrative review staff for compensation and pension at the Veterans Administration Central Office in Washington, D.C.  In 1981, she returned to Newark and became the assistant director for the Veterans Administration.  Among the many honors she received, Jones was one of three inaugural recipients of the Caldwell Veritas Award in 1986, an annual award given to celebrate professional excellence of Caldwell alumni.

“Eileen was a smart and motivated woman, and a trailblazer in many ways,” said Blattner.  “Eileen was kind, funny, and warm, and had an infectious smile and really good sense of humor.”

Jones was involved in the community, holding executive positions at the Arts Council of Orange and the Orange Community Advisory Board, and was she also involved with the Newark Museum, the Civic Action League, and Caldwell’s EOF Program.

A lifetime supporter of Caldwell University, in 2015, Jones established a scholarship to help high achieving students with financial need.  Before her passing in January 2019, she donated a gift of property to the university with the intention that the proceeds of its sale be used to establish a multicultural center on campus.

Angela Zaccardi, also an alumna, said she and Jones met when they were both at what was then Caldwell College for Women. They “remained friends forever…she was a great lady and very thorough,” said Zaccardi.

Maud Carroll and her daughter Denise Carroll were among the guests thrilled to be celebrating the dedication.   Maud remembers teaching music to Eileen beginning when she was eight years old and to her sister who became an accomplished musician.    Anna Layton, of East Orange, New Jersey, who met Jones back in the 1940s, was also happy to be at the celebration.  “Eileen was always there for me.”  Also attending was Ernestine Polhill, of Orange, New Jersey, who said that before Jones passed away they had talked about attending the Center dedication together.  “I wouldn’t have missed this for anything.”

The opening prayer was given by student Dennis Martin of the class of 2021.