Colleagues, Students, Alumni Bid 'Adieu' to Dean Newman

Photo by Michael Aquino

Dean Newman (fourth from left) is pictured with members of the College of the Arts' staff.

After nearly a quarter century at Montclair State University, Dr. Geoffrey Newman, Dean of the College of the Arts, will be retiring at the end of this academic year. Below, colleagues, staff, students and alumni share their thoughts, comments and well wishes on the occasion.

______________________

I am grateful for Dean Newman's faith in "the new."  It is rare in America's short cultural history to find someone who says what he believes and then acts accordingly, particularly when venturing into the unknown. It is new work that moves our culture forward and Dean Newman's winning support is exemplary.  It is  very important to acknowledge the uniqueness of The Alexander Kasser Theater, which is due, in large part, to Dean Newman's tenacity, ingenuity and good taste. The Kasser is one our country's best-designed multi-arts theaters, which is a credit to the College, the University and New Jersey!

Jedediah Wheeler, Executive Director
Arts and Cultural Programming

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Dean Newman has been a mentor and guiding light to his students. He created many scholarships and performance-abroad opportunities, which have not only made college more affordable for many, but have also vastly expanded students'  outlook on the world and on the potential for their lives.  He dares our students to "dream," to overcome obstacles and to seize their future.  He, likewise, continues to be an inspiration to his colleagues and staff - an attribute which will resonate with me personally and, I'm sure, for all of us, for years to come.

Linda Davidson
Assistant Dean 
College of the Arts

______________________

Looking back, I would reaffirm that Dean Newman fulfilled the ultimate mission of an academic dean, which is to seek out, elicit, encourage and support the strengths of his faculty and then champion their efforts so that they can find their greatest potential and realize it to the fullest. Such is the case with the Creative Research Center (CRC), and for that I shall always be grateful, as will the culture of this University long after his departure -- and mine, for that matter.  

Prof. Neil Baldwin
Department of Theatre and Dance and CRC's Founding Director,
College of the Arts

______________________ 

One of the greatest accomplishments during his tenure as Dean is the growth and development of the global education program. Most faculty take the College of the Arts' involvement in international projects as a given, but this was not always the case. In the late 1980s, early 1990s, Geoffrey and his staff initiated global activities before there was a major push to create them by other campus constituencies. I was fortunate to be involved in one of them. I’ll miss his laugh.

 Prof. Suzanne Trauth
Department of Theatre and Dance
College of the Arts

______________________

I met Dean Newman as an undergraduate student while attending classes here in Life Hall,...also sat on the Board of Governors with Dean Newman at MOC Musical Theatre, and was awarded the Dean’s Artist/Scholar award as a graduating senior here.  Dean Newman genuinely cares for the students, faculty and staff.  He’s also got a great laugh that is infectious.  If I had to pick one thing I would miss most about him, the first thing that comes to mind is his stories.  He has photos all over his office and remembers when and where each event took place.  Dean Newman is a celebrity in his own right, on- and off-campus, and I have enjoyed learning all about his endeavors and celebrity encounters as Dean. I can’t thank him enough for all the thoughtful things he has done for me over the years!  I will truly miss his presence as he’s been a constant on the Montclair State University campus since I arrived.  As an alumna, the College of the Arts holds a special place in my heart and I will always think fondly of Dean Newman’s leadership and dedication.  I wish him nothing but happiness and good fortune in his retirement!

Alyson Thelin Davison (BA '02, MA '04)
Assistant to the Dean
College of the Arts

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Dean Newman did so much for the Dance Program.  We grew from under 10 people to over 100 on his watch and I will always be grateful to him.  He was also one of the most positive people who always had a kind word for you no matter how busy.  I have been here for 25 years so we really "grew up together" at Montclair State.  I will miss him and wish him all the happiness in his retirement.

Prof. Lori Katterhenry
Department of Theatre and Dance

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My first and last impressions of Dean Newman are the same: warm, honest, caring, educated, funny, lots of personality and class. He gave me an opportunity to speak to him, unannounced, and to work in the office after I had been unemployed for a year. I was truly at my wits' end and he gave me an open door for which I say "thank you." Dean Newman has this ability to be completely authentic. I  will miss his voice and laugh most of all. 

Kilolo Kumanyika (BFA '93)
Assistant to the Associate Dean

 ______________________

His words, "Marie, it's just a means to an end," have served me well. Thank you Dean Newman for all your support.  You have been a true teacher.

Marie Sparks
Director of Administration

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Geoffrey Newman's expertise truly encompasses the various components of the College of the Arts. His plan for the evolution of schools in our College will continue to move us in the right direction, offering a multitude of unprecedented opportunities for future generations of students. And his sophisticated understanding of the paradigm shift in the field of communication is right at the heart of the new School of Communication and Media. He has provided a long-term blueprint that will keep us relevant.

Dr. Harry Haines, Chair
Department of Communication Studies