Montclair State University alumni, friends and former leaders living in South Florida had the opportunity to get together with current Montclair State executives and members of the University Community for luncheon receptions in Pompano Beach and Sarasota in February.
Hosted by Fredric Bednarek ’59 at John Knox Village on February 9, the Pompano Beach luncheon reception was attended by area alumni and friends including Conrad Schmitt ’58 and Audrey Gregg ’71 MA. Montclair State Director of Development and Planned Giving Ely F. Santoni welcomed the guests and Vice President for University Advancement John T. Shannon updated the audience on developments and happenings around campus.
The featured speaker at the event was noted Montclair State political expert, Political Science and Law Professor Brigid Callahan Harrison, who addressed the topic, “Battling for the Hearts of Americans: Florida’s Presidential Politics as a Microcosm of America.” A frequent commentator in print and electronic media on U.S. politics, Harrison provides regular political analysis to ABC, NBC, and CBS, FOX News, among others, and is the author of American Democracy Now.
The event was a big hit with attendees. Summing up her experience, Gregg said, “A fabulous day: warmly greeted by Jack Shannon and Ely Santoni Tuero, had a delicious lunch surrounded by South Florida alums with whom I exchanged contact information, and enjoyed an informative presentation by Professor Brigid Harrison concerning Florida’s role in the political scene. I am very gratified with my education at Montclair State, and am delighted that my alma mater is in my Florida neighborhood.”
The second luncheon reception took place on the other side of the Florida peninsula two days later, on February 11 in Sarasota. Held at The Ritz-Carlton, the reception featured welcome remarks by Shannon, Ellyn McColgan ’75, Associate Vice President for Development Lisa Hoyt, and an update and Q&A session with President Susan A. Cole, who spoke on the University’s recent accomplishments and her vision for the future.
More than 30 alumni, friends and former University leaders attended the event including John (former chairman of the Montclair State University Foundation Board and former member of the CART advisory board) and Mayra Schmidt; Carla Narrett, former dean of The Graduate School; Vaughn Vandegrift ’68, ’70 MA, former dean of CSAM and his wife, Suzanne Bouchoux Vandegrift ’68; and Judith Minier, retired associate vice president for academic affairs for curriculum and instruction.
More Montclair State in Your Neighborhood events are being planned – including a get-together in California in June – so keep up to date with all the events through the Office of Alumni Relations website or contact Jenna Villani at 973-655-7872 or firstname.lastname@example.org