Montclair State in Your Neighborhood

President Hosts Town Hall Meeting with Alumni in Washington, DC

Jose Woss '09 and Keith Roachford '87 at the town hall meeting

President Susan A. Cole and Washington, DC-area alumni gathered in the capital in June for a town hall meeting at the National Press Club. Cole addressed the state of the University, along with its recent accomplishments and future plans. The town hall format provided alumni with the opportunity for an open dialogue with the president.

Vice President for University Advancement Jack Shannon welcomed alumni to the event, telling the crowd he hoped the town hall meeting will become an annual event and asked attendees to spread the word to fellow alumni. Executive Director of Alumni Relations Jeanne Marano said that although they may not get to campus often, out-of-state alumni can stay connected by joining MONTCLAIRconnect—an online community where they can learn about events, search the directory for classmates, create a Montclair State alumni email and more.

Cole noted that alumni play a crucial role in Montclair State’s ability to achieve its vision for the future and serve as vital advocates for the University, helping to build its reputation, promote centers of excellence and recruit new students. In addition, alumni serve as key contacts for current students and fellow alumni in the job search process and do so much to assist, including speaking on panels, providing informational interviews, posting internships and job openings and offering mentor opportunities.

As traditional state funding allocations no longer adequately support the growth and development of public universities, she said, continued financial support from alumni is critical to the University and the thousands of students it will serve in the years to come.

Recent alumnus Harsh Bhatt ’11, who graduated with a BS in biology, thanked President Cole and Montclair State for the wonderful opportunities and positive experiences he had as a student. “Montclair State University has given me an excellent opportunity to fulfill my dream of completing 62 credits in one year to achieve my bachelor’s degree in biology,” he said.

Alumni enjoyed the opportunity to hear about the University and meet the president, as well as the chance to network with fellow Red Hawks in the area. Plans are underway to make this an annual event to build a strong network among Washington, DC-area alumni.

Valerie Maholmes ’80, ’84 MA was especially delighted that President Cole and other University administrators traveled to the area and hopes to help coordinate future regional events: “It was a wonderful event and very gratifying to hear Dr. Cole talk about all of the advances the University has made since I graduated, as well as the vision for the future. We look forward to having more of these events in our area in particular to address important advocacy issues. The town hall meeting inspired us to have more alumni meet-ups in the area so that we can continue to support the goals and mission of Montclair State University.”