A longtime donor and alumni volunteer, Ackershoek recently added a provision in her will for a scholarship for future educators. “To leave something in your will to help students benefit through scholarships is very meaningful to me,” she says. “Montclair State was a huge part of my life—first as a student, then as a volunteer and leader. I wanted to help another student who’s interested in education and becoming a teacher.”
She lauds the work of the Alumni Association and has served on the executive council, helped create Alumni Green and the alumni legacy scholarships, helped freshmen on Move-In Day, and helped plan events, including her 50th reunion in 2009.
The 2007 Paterson district Teacher of the Year, Ackershoek always encouraged her students to apply to Montclair State—and several did attend, as did two of her cousins. Many of her students were the first in their families to attend college, as was she. Ackershoek created six high school scholarships at John F. Kennedy High School in Paterson in her late husband Nicholas’ memory and has continued to fund them for the last 14 years.
Ackershoek says she got the idea for the bequest from a friend, Maria Schantz ’60 MA, who also is in the Carpe Diem Society, Montclair State's planned giving group. Her advice to alumni is to “get connected—come back home!”