During a visit to Los Angeles in February 2007, Agnes O’Connell, PhD, Professor Emerita of Psychology and Montclair State University Distinguished Scholar, discovered a vibrant Emeriti Association at the University of California—Los Angeles that for some forty years has been a model for other universities. She became convinced that with some modifications, Montclair State University would benefit from such an association.
In Spring 2007, under the leadership of Dr. Agnes O’Connell, a committee began to consider the possibility of establishing such an association at Montclair State University. In addition to Dr. O’Connell, the Founding Committee was comprised of Warren Heiss, EdD, Professor Emeritus of Communication Sciences and Disorders; David Kelly, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Classics and General Humanities and Montclair State Distinguished Teacher, and later Maria Schantz, EdD, Professor Emerita of Reading and Educational Media. The impetus for the work of the Founding Committee came from that original encounter in February 2007 and extensive research and consultation with similar organizations in colleges and universities throughout the United States. This impetus was magnified by the realization that many universities, from Ivy League to state universities across the country and locally, had long recognized the importance of their retired distinguished faculty as an integral part of their institutions.
One of the first institutions to establish an Emeriti Association was a state institution, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1967. Both large and small universities and colleges soon followed suit, each with its own culture. The Founding Committee believed that the celebration of Montclair State’s Centennial Academic Year provided the optimal opportunity for the University to grant official recognition to an Emeriti Association of distinguished members of the academic community whose careers and service contributed so much to the outstanding reputation of Montclair State University.
After many months of meetings and far-reaching research on countless emeriti associations, emeriti colleges, emeriti centers and general retirees’ associations, the Founding Committee determined that the most likely fruitful approach was to propose an Emeriti Association as other institutions had done so successfully. The Committee prepared a forty-two page proposal for the establishment of the Montclair State University Emeriti Association and submitted it to Provost Richard Lynde in the Fall of 2007. The proposal contained a rationale which made the arguments that:
- Emeriti have contributed significantly to the reputation and status of the University.
- Many Emeriti continue to contribute to the reputation and status of the University through their professional achievements, publications and presentations, and their community service.
- Universities across the country have long recognized Emeriti and retired faculty as an integral part of their campus communities, supporting Emeriti Associations and benefitting from the prestige and goodwill created by them.
- Emeriti are advocates for the University and its educational mission. Emeriti serve as ambassadors for Montclair State University in the community, state and nation, as well as in professional and academic organizations and activities.
- Emeriti are a significant scholarly resource for the University. The collective wisdom and knowledge of Emeriti benefit current and future faculty and students.
- Emeriti are an important financial resource for the University.
In Spring 2008, the Provost sanctioned the Montclair State University Emeriti Association. We established this web page, a dedicated e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org), and began to recruit emeriti for Association membership. The benefits that emeriti now have are: a University ID card, a University e-mail address, library privileges, listing of Emeriti on departmental websites, invitation to all open University events, and on-campus accommodations for Emeriti meetings and events.
We welcome Montclair State University faculty members and administrators who have been accorded Emeritus or Emerita status. Faculty members approaching retirement should also contact our Association for information. On our website, you will find the rationale for the Montclair State University Emeriti Association, our objectives or mission, our benefits and privileges, online resources for emeriti and retirees, as well as news and announcements. You can join our Association by contacting us at email@example.com for an application.
Our website is a valuable and “user-friendly” resource for everyone. It offers a broad range of information, news and announcements, and links to relevant websites. In addition, the website serves to better connect our membership so that we can all benefit from each other’s knowledge and dedication. We welcome suggestions for improvement to the website. Let us know of additional links, resources and activities that would be of interest to our membership.
There are many opportunities for committee memberships and opportunities to contribute your expertise to our collective effort. There is much that we can accomplish together.
We hope that you join the Montclair State University Emeriti Association and spread the word among your colleagues about the Association and the website.