Morristown, N.J. (April 17, 2015) – Old friends, a new venue, and a wonderful atmosphere were the ingredients on April 16, 2015, for an evening devoted to raising more than $130,000 in scholarships for CSE students. Alumni, friends, faculty, staff, and administration gathered in the Annunciation Center to celebrate the College's ability to provide education to those who would otherwise be underserved.
Our two outstanding alumnae, Allison Adams '85 DMD and Jane Kurek '05 were honored, and special recognition was conferred upon Paul Boudreau, the president of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, for his advocacy of higher education and his support of CSE.
Sally Cleary, vice president of institutional advancement, welcomed the audience and served as emcee. She noted that the evening is devoted to increasing scholarship funds and to honor those who support CSE. She introduced the student scholarship recipient, Kidist Nigussie '17, of Orange, N.J.
Kidist spoke to the gathering and chronicled her story of coming to CSE.
"The night before (high school) graduation, I got a letter of acceptance and a letter saying I had received the President's Scholarship. Just like that my college career was beginning," she said.
At CSE, she is able to focus on her studies and be involved in pursuits that will enhance her education. As a biology major, she is considering the medical field and is an intern at Morristown Medical Center in the emergency room. She also works several hours a week in the Office of Institutional Advancement.
President Helen J. Streubert spoke about the changes in the College over the past 115 years. But the changes have not impacted the original vision.
"We work hard every day to make sure that our students' time with us is transformational," said President Streubert. "We are committed to educating the whole student: mind, body and spirit. It goes without saying that our graduates will attest to the fact that they came to College but they found a place they could call home."
She spoke also of some of the College's notable alumni who had received scholarships and have gone on to make their mark in the fields of education, law enforcement, journalism and law.
Sister Rosemary Moynihan, chair of the Board of Trustees, spoke of the College's changing direction of looking to admit an underserved population to CSE in 2016 – young men who seek education in an institution that provides service opportunities as well as a comprehensive education. She noted that the response to date has been positive.
Speaking about the newly adopted long-range strategic plan she noted, "The plan would not re-write our history, it would merely build on chapters already written – chapters that include the introduction of coeducational continuing studies in 1976, and coeducational graduate programs in 1993."
Dr. Allison Adams '85, who owns and operates Adams Dental in Madison, N.J., spoke of her journey through CSE. As a first generation college student, she felt she had the opportunity to develop her leadership skills and became part of the Tri-Beta Biology program. She also noted that her classes in biology and chemistry more than prepared her for dental school – and Dr. Colicelli's chemistry metaphors are used in her life as a wife and mother. Dr. Adams said that she has a 34-year history with CSE and the Sisters of Charity who frequent her business and support her goals.
Jane Kurek '05, executive director of Provident Foundation, was a Continuing Education student who "first chose CSE because it was close to home." She soon discovered the CSE was everything she needed in terms of education, guidance and skill building with skills that she could use in the workplace.
Paul Boudreau, president of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, spoke candidly about education and the fact that no one can take your education from you. He noted that coming to CSE was a "big deal" and it offered four very important elements: a place to solidify skills, to open one's eyes to how much one does not know, to crystalize one's values and develop a "personal GPS," and to spread one's wings to become a trailblazer.
The Paper Mill Playhouse Broadway Show Choir gave a rousing display of musical fare. This inspirational and uplifting repertoire left the gathering with a sense of gladness as they left the Dolan Performance Hall to enjoy dessert and coffee.