Dr. Irene Douma Retirement Celebration
On Thursday, October 3rd, more than 100 alumni, faculty, friends and family gathered in the University Hall Conference Center to pay tribute to Dr. Irene Douma upon her retirement from the School of Business Accounting program after a 40-year career.
From alumni who graduated in 1974 to recent 2013 graduates, Dr. Douma’s former students came together to recognize this professor who had so much influence on their lives and their careers. The event also offered alumni to network with each other and to re-connect with former colleagues and business partners.
Maj Kristensen ’13 a Marketing alumna who took Dr. Douma’s class to satisfy her core business class requirements, attended the event. “Dr. Douma was the first professor I had in college to tell me that I was a bright student with great potential. She inspired me to live up to that potential.” Just five months after graduation, Maj is Research Manager in the Travel & Leisure Group at Phoenix Marketing International in Branchburg, NJ.
Faculty who had worked with Dr. Douma for many years were touched by the esteem in which their colleague was held by her former students. "An inspiring event for two reasons. First the respect and gratitude shown for Irene, and second the fond memories and pride shown for Montclair State," stated Accounting Department Chair Frank Aquilino.
Alumni shared many fond memories of their time at Montclair State, admitting that they were long overdue to reconnect with the School of Business and the University.
The ticketed event was a fundraiser to establish the “Dr. Irene Douma Fund for Accounting Academic Programs” in support of student scholarships and networking activities, as well as faculty research publication fees and license renewals. With ticket purchases and donations, more than $10,000 was raised to support the fund, while sponsorships from KPMG, Fulton Bank (thanks to accounting alumnus Paul Stahlin ’74), Frank Marcos ’80 and Tom Lawless ’90 helped to raise money for the event.
Dr. Douma could not have been more pleased by the event turnout, the sincerity of the remarks and the love and gratitude that was evident throughout the evening:
“’Thank you’ does not begin to give full meaning to how it felt to be among former students, friends, colleagues and family members. It was the culmination of my extraordinary journey of teaching and being part of the evolution of the accounting program at Montclair State University. The kind words and good wishes that were expressed will continue to resonate with me.
I am fortunate to have experienced the initialization and growth of an exceptional accounting program. With the recent changes in curricula and the forthcoming new School of Business building, I expect greater growth in quality and reputation. I urge our alumni become more involved and pay it forward.
THANK YOU all for the most wonderful trip of my life! Now to Bora Bora!”