An international philanthropist, art lover and one-time Montclair resident's name will grace Montclair State University's new theater, thanks to the generosity of his family.
Mary V. Mochary and her brother, I. Michael Kasser, along with other family members, have pledged $4 million to MSU's state-of-the-art theater. Currently under construction, it is scheduled to open in 2004. The gift will celebrate the life and accomplishments of their father, Alexander Kasser, and be a permanent tribute to the family's enduring commitment to Montclair, the arts and philanthropy.
Mochary, a Washington, D.C., attorney and former Montclair mayor, is widely known for her generous support of a wide range of civic and social organizations. Kasser, founder of the Holualoa Companies, a real estate investment and management company, with offices from Hawaii to Paris, France, is also an athlete who has completed the Ironman Triathlon eight times.
"We were born in Hungary and our family immigrated to the United States when Mary was eight and I was 10," Kasser said. "My parents chose this community because of Montclair State College High School. Montclair State is an important part of our family history. While our parents were truly a couple of the world, they retained a special place in their hearts for this community and its people."
"It is because of this bond," Mochary added, "that we are pleased to be able to help the University to build this beautiful theater. It will support the performing arts and educational programs at the University as well as bring joy to music lovers and theater-goers for generations to come."
"The kindness and generosity of Mary and her family are well-known," said Dr. Susan A. Cole, president of Montclair State. "On behalf of our talented students and faculty in the arts, I am immensely grateful for this gift. The Alexander Kasser Theater will constitute an extraordinary resource for both the University and the surrounding community."