Rose L. Cali
2021 Annual Scholarship Fundraiser Honoree
Rose L. Cali ’80
Mary Mochary And Michael Kasser Award For Philanthropic Leadership
Mary and Michael, the daughter and son of Alexander Kasser, for whom the University’s theater is named, are avid supporters of the arts and arts education. Their gifts honor the memory of their parents, Alexander and Elisabeth who, during World War II, worked with Raoul Wallenberg to save thousands of persecuted Hungarian Jews and political activists. This award is presented to a member of the community who, through exceptional generosity and engagement, is committed to creating new pathways and opportunities for Montclair State students.
Passionate in her support of education, social services and the arts, Rose Cali has distinguished herself as a decades-long advocate for community partnerships and educational causes. As a philanthropic leader, she is a well-known “connector,” helping form partnerships between the many community organizations to which she devotes her time and talent.
A proud alumna of Montclair State University, Rose has kept close ties to the University and is intent on helping hardworking students from working-class families, what she feels embodies Montclair State’s legacy. She has served the University in many capacities, getting involved in 1991 as a University Board of Trustee member and remaining active on the University and Foundation boards, serving as co-chair for multiple fundraising campaigns and advisory boards, and serving on the John J Cali School of Music Advisory Board. She is the Founder, former President and CEO of the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center on campus, one of her most satisfying accomplishments.
Her loyalty and love for the University is a legacy through an endowed gift for music student scholarships that Rose and her late husband, John, established. Through the John J. Cali School of Music, the Cali family’s generous support has forever changed the University’s music program, improving its growth and excellence and transforming hundreds of students’ lives through scholarships so they can deepen their passion for music and the arts and serve the community as performers, educators, scholars, music therapists and more.
She dedicates herself to many causes and is committed to the Montclair community, serving on the Montclair Art Museum (MAM) Board of Trustees, currently as Board co-chair, and co-chairing the successful MAM Second Century Campaign, helping raise $12.5 million. She has worked on numerous fundraising efforts for the Montclair Public Library, including in 1993 when she launched and managed “Booktoberfest” and co-chaired the Library’s $2.5 million capital campaign. Her extensive board service includes the: Montclair Film Festival; Newark Mentoring Movement; the New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive Education; NJPAC Arts Education Committee and Women’s Association of NJPAC; St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital; Liberty Science Center; National Italian American Foundation; Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Jersey and Essex, Hudson and Union Counties; Mental Health Association of Essex County; YWCA Montclair; Salvation Army of Montclair Advisory Board; Montclair Kimberly Academy; Unity Concerts of New Jersey; and Luna Stage.
As a young child, she learned firsthand the importance of helping others as the Salvation Army helped her mother raise her family in New Haven, Connecticut. Rose graduated Magna Cum Laude from Montclair State University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology. She lives in Montclair and has five children and eleven grandchildren.