For Spencer’s, $250,000 donation to Stockton only begins to repay how university has helped South Jersey company

Here’s an example of business and higher education working together.

For the second consecutive year, Spencer’s and Spirit Halloween continued its generous support of the Stockton University Foundation with a $250,000 donation.

CEO Steven Silverstein — announcing the new gift at the company’s headquarters in Egg Harbor Township — talked about the close ties between his business and the university. More than 1 in 6 of the company’s 665 employees are Stockton University alumni and about 22% of the company’s interns are Stockton students.

“We are very proud and pleased to support Stockton and the School of Business for the second year in a row,” he said. “But our link to Stockton goes way, way deeper than that. Money is great, and it certainly goes a long way, and I’m sure they are appreciative, but our involvement and engagement will continue to grow.

“Clearly, you guys are very important to us as a resource and a place of learning.”

The new donation will go toward three different initiatives at Stockton:

  • $100,000 to continue the existing scholarship fund for computer science and marketing students;
  • $100,000 to support internships through Stockton’s School of Business;
  • $50,000 to support the creation of new programs in the School of Business.

The third initiative is the one that Warren Kleinsmith, the dean of the School of Business, is most excited about.

“They are not only offering internships, they are supporting new curriculum development, such as courses in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and our master’s programs,” he said. “It’s a very strategic partnership, and we hope to continue to grow it.”

Stockton President Joe Bertolino also thanked Spencer’s and Spirit Halloween for becoming more of an integral part of the School of Business beyond just offering valuable internships.

“Members of your team have been visiting some of our information technology and business classes to speak to students about not just the business end, but everything from cybersecurity to managing a large organization,” he said. “My hope is that we will continue to have your folks come and work and train our students — and our students will continue to have an opportunity to come here and work.”