Even as he was growing up in South Orange, Sal Anderton ’95 was always interested in public affairs and government, so it was no surprise that when he came to Montclair State, he chose to major in political science. What followed in his academic and business careers may not be a surprise to people who know him, but it certainly is impressive.
Anderton enrolled in the honors program at Montclair State and found that in addition to political science, he was also drawn to philosophy and classical literature. This led him to spend a summer session studying political philosophy and rhetoric at St. Anne’s College in Oxford through the honors program. He graduated with majors in both political science and philosophy, a minor in classics, and completed courses in pre-law.
Although his academic workload alone was enough to keep most people busy, Anderton found the time to be involved in many campus activities and organizations. He was a member of the Theta Xi fraternity and was elected as the student representative to the University Board of Trustees, as well as president of the Student Government Association.
After graduation, Anderton went on to earn a J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law and joined the West Orange law firm of Gordon & Gordon, P.C. There he distinguished himself by working on several high-profile cases, including representing the State of New Jersey in the historic tobacco litigation which resulted in a $7.6 billion settlement for the state. He then spent three years working as a legislative counsel to the New Jersey Commissioner of Labor and a state assemblyman before joining Nancy H. Becker Associates, a Trenton government affairs firm. He now also practices law privately with the Montclair law firm of Tobia & Sorger.
True to form, he continues to be involved in much more than his work. He is not only an adjunct professor at Montclair State but an active member of the Montclair State University Alumni Association and has even served on its Executive Board. He enjoys teaching and sharing his experiences with students. “As an adjunct, I like to think that I’m giving them more practical and less academic advice,” he says.
At an April celebration for Montclair State University Department of Political Science and Law’s 2007 graduates, Anderton was recognized for his successes and honored as a representative of the quality and potential of graduates of the department. He addressed the graduates and, using his own life as an example, spoke to them about how there are many ways to achieve goals. “Political science isn’t really science; it’s an art,” he told them. “There is no formula for how to find a career or achieve a goal. It’s more like a piece of art that you put together using your own hands, sweat and tears.” Whether science or art, no one can deny that Anderton has done it his own way—and done it very successfully.