Strength in Numbers: SGA Veterans Establish Alumni Leadership Scholarship

Student Government Association (SGA) alumni have come together to create an exciting new philanthropy program — Montclair State’s very first Affinity Circle, in which a group of individuals come together and combine their gifts to donate toward a common interest.

Of all student organizations, the SGA is one of the most active student groups on campus. Alumni who were former members of the Association remain strongly connected to the University, fellow classmates, and the current student members.

The SGA Affinity Circle Committee and friends are working with the Montclair State University Foundation to show their support of their alma mater by establishing an endowed scholarship, the SGA Alumni Leadership Scholarship, for $25,000. The scholarship will go to a student who is a leader in the SGA or an SGA-chartered organization with a GPA of 3.0 or better.

“As a former SGA President and now a professional corporate recruiter, I’ve seen both sides of what student leadership and involvement in such activities can do,” says Christopher Fitzpatrick ’04, chair of the SGA Affinity Circle Committee.  “I learned more about myself and about working with others during my time in SGA than I have during any other period, and professionally I've hired people who were similarly involved and watched as they've excelled.  The SGA Alumni Affinity Group is designed to bring together generations of dedicated and concerned alumni student leaders to extend personal and professional networks, and to create a resource that will ensure future students of Montclair State will enjoy the same or enhanced experiences of student leadership that highlight thousands of Montclair State alumni.”

“The SGA Affinity Circle Program allows recent alumni to make a tangible connection with their alma mater,” says Jonathan Preciado '10 '12 MBA. “Personally, I look back fondly on the wealth of experience gained during my time as an undergraduate at MSU, and the role campus involvement played in my professional and personal development.  Being involved in Greek Life and many SGA organizations built lifelong connections with friends and peers, and provided out-of-classroom experience that has proved very beneficial in my professional life.”

The Kickoff Event for the Scholarship was the SGA Alumni Reunion on January 18, 2013 at The Shannon Rose in Clifton, NJ, where members of the SGA and SGA chartered organizations came out and caught up with fellow graduates.

“By providing financial support for students who are involved in SGA organizations, our scholarship ensures that financial limitations will not prevent an individual from experiencing campus life to the fullest,” Preciado adds. “It allows Affinity Circle members to give back to a cause that they have a personal connection to, and makes the gift more tangible than a general donation to the fund.  I encourage all alumni who were involved in an organization to join the Affinity Circle, and share the benefits of campus involvement with those who might not have the same opportunities we did.  It feels good to know that my contribution will truly make a difference!”

“Whether members of the SGA decision-making body, fraternities, sororities, or any of the numerous and unique class I-V organizations, there is no student-run body more unique that Montclair State University’s SGA, and that isn’t a designation that goes away with graduation,” adds Fitzpatrick.

Please consider a gift to the SGA Alumni Leadership Scholarship and become a part of the SGA Affinity Circle. Use your credit or debit card at our secure online giving site to support Montclair State today. For more information, please contact Jenna Peraino in the Office of Alumni Relations at 973-655-7872 or perainoj@mail.montclair.edu.

Affinity Circle Committee
Chris Fitzpatrick '04, Chair

Barry Bernstein '00

Arun Bhambri '11

Joseph Christensen '09

Pooja Patel '12

Jon Preciado '10 '12 MBA

Shakeel Radford '10

Michael Saias '03

Jesse Schwartzman '11

Vanessa Adames '11

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