ROI Influencers: Higher Education 2021 — Doers and donors

Anonymous donors
Rutgers University-Camden; The College of New Jersey
Rutgers-Camden received a $3.5 million gift from a faculty member, who asked the school to launch a new program to attract students who have distinguished themselves academically and demonstrated a commitment to public service to Rutgers Law School in Camden. The school has created the Rayman L. Solomon Scholars program — in honor of the former dean.
The College of New Jersey will use a $5 million gift from an anonymous donor to create an Academic Innovation Fund, the Greater Trenton Commitment Fund and the TCNJ Hall of Champions (for athletics).

Brian Bridges
Secretary of higher education
State of New Jersey
Bridges, who started in the role last November, has earned high marks from presidents, who said he has helped a group with diverse needs and challenges remain focused on the most important items (health and safety, affordability and overall school finances).

José Feliciano; Kwanza Jones
Entrepreneurs and philanthropists
Various endeavors
Pair donated $20 million, the largest gift to date by Black and Latino donors in Princeton history, to directly help the university’s strategic goal of undergraduate expansion by assisting in the construction of two adjoining dormitories at one of the two new residential colleges being built. They will be named in their honor.

Gene Lepore
Executive director
N.J. Association of State Colleges and Universities
Recently took over leadership of organization that works with seven key universities after more-than-10-year career in the state Senate Majority Office, where he served as deputy executive director and director of budget and fiscal analysis.

Chris Paladino
New Brunswick Development Corp.
He is the go-to guy for schools when they are looking to upgrade their facilities. His efforts are all over the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers and now can be found in Stockton’s expansion in Atlantic City.

Paul Profeta
Entrepreneur and philanthropist
Paul V. Profeta Foundation
Thanks to gift from Profeta, the single-largest donation in school history, NJIT will launch two new education and research centers: the Paul V. Profeta Foundation Real Estate Technology, Design and Innovation Center and the Paul V. Profeta Foundation Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Dana Redd
Rowan University/Rutgers University-Camden joint governing board
Redd, the former mayor of Camden and state senator from the 5th District, is heading up an effort to create a much-needed research hub centered in Camden. 

Stephen Reynolds
Independent Colleges and Universities of New Jersey
Named head of what is a merged organization of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of New Jersey and the Independent College Fund of New Jersey.

Steve Sweeney
Senate president (D-West Deptford)
State of New Jersey
Sweeney has been a cheerleader for promoting more programs and initiatives where county colleges and four-year colleges partner — and he has been a leader on helping college become affordable for those who feel its price tag puts it out of reach.

James Tuchi
Entrepreneur and philanthropist
Millennium Healthcare Solutions
Tuchi, a telehealth pioneer, gave Rutgers $8 million as a way of saying thanks to the doctors he credits with saving his life decades ago. Rutgers officials said the gift will propel advances in biohazard management, medical device development, post-trauma care and crisis communication.

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