June 6, 2022
Caldwell University Honors Community and Education Leaders at Gala
Caldwell, N.J., – June 6, 2022 – More than 300 Caldwell University alumni and supporters gathered on June 2 at the historic Pleasantdale Chateau in West Orange, New Jersey, for the Presidential Scholarship Gala to benefit student scholarships and celebrate community leaders.
The University recognized Caldwell Dominican Sister Gerardine Mueller, O.P. ’54, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and the HealthCare Foundation of New Jersey (HFNJ). Caldwell President Matthew Whelan, Ed.D. thanked the honorees for their leadership and the attendees for supporting the University in its mission in providing excellence in education to Caldwell University students. Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Archbishop of Newark, provided the invocation prayer. Dr. Whelan presented an award to each honoree. The emcee for the event was Bob Mann. Professor of Communication and Media Studies for the University.
Caldwell alumna Dr. Linda Sue Galate ‘66 introduced her former professor Sister Gerardine Mueller, O.P. ’54, who, at 100 years of age, was honored for her life of service and dedication. A Dominican Sister of Caldwell, Sister Gerardine founded the University’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program and has been a beloved artist-in-residence on the campus for more than 50 years.
Barry H. Ostrowsky, CEO of RWJBarnabas Health, presented an award to Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. in recognition of his exemplary leadership during his two-decade tenure and in the COVID-19 response and recovery plan for Essex County.
Peter Ubertaccio, Ph.D, Caldwell University’s vice president for academic affairs, presented the honor for the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey (HFNJ). Accepting on behalf of the foundation was board chair Amy Schechner. HFNJ was celebrated for its support of Caldwell University’s Art Therapy Center, its School of Nursing and Public Health, and its Counseling Center, and for advancing healthcare and mental health care initiatives in New Jersey.
Attendees and students were delighted to meet and network. Supporters appreciated talking to some of Caldwell’s exceptional students who attended the dinner. Some students were highlighted in a video including first generation university students Yaman Thapa, Destiny Gonzalez-Ortiz and Walter Gimenez. They shared their gratitude for their respective Caldwell University scholarships and the benefactors who made them possible.
Thapa, a native of Nepal, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with a minor in Neuroscience, will be attending Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Cold Spring, New York to pursue her Ph.D. Gonzalez-Ortiz of Carteret, New Jersey received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. She has been accepted to the Johns Hopkins Diversity Summer Internship Program. In the future, she plans to apply to medical school. Gimenez, a resident of Newark, received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with minors in Finance and Global Business. He has been working as a finance intern at an investment advisory brokerage firm in Chatham, New Jersey and plans to pursue a master’s degree in finance and become a certified financial planner and a certified financial analyst.