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Donor Impact Stories

Montclair State University Foundation Vice Chair Anthony M. Carlino Esq. ’77

Anthony M. Carlino, Esq. ’77 experienced the challenges of being the first in a family to attend college. He now champions the University’s mission to provide world-class higher education for a highly diverse, largely first-generation student population.

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Anthony Carlino

Anthony M. Carlino, Esq. ’77 and his alma mater have come a long way since the 1970s.

The first in his family to graduate from high school, Carlino didn’t have a lot of guidance when it came to choosing a college “A friend’s brother had graduated from Montclair State, so I put in an application here as well. The first time I saw the campus was the day I registered for my freshman classes.”

Today’s students might have a hard time recognizing the campus Carlino attended. In those years Governor Brendan T. Byrne visited campus to promote voter registration, the SGA sponsored “Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics” presentations, and efforts to widen the intersection of Valley Road at Normal Avenue were under way – with some concern about the $200,000 cost.

But Montclair State was also moving toward becoming a higher education powerhouse devoted to diversity and opportunity. President David W.D. Dickson recently became the first African American to lead a four-year college in New Jersey, the cheerleading team welcomed its first male members, and the Black Student Union was organizing forums on affirmative action.

For Carlino, Montclair State would change everything. “Montclair State offered me the financial aid that I needed – which included part-time campus jobs working behind the desk at the game center, handing out equipment and working in the gas station that was on campus in those days,” he says with a laugh.

The undergraduate education he received at Montclair State led to acceptance into Seton Hall Law School. “At first I was so intimidated,” he says. “I was in classes with graduates from Princeton, Colgate, and Lafayette. But within a few weeks I realized that my Montclair State education had prepared me well.”

Carlino has had an enormously successful career that included a judicial clerkship for The Honorable Fred C. Galda, A.A.J.S.C. and service as an Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor. He is now a Senior Partner at McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLC, a top firm with 250 lawyers in thirteen offices in nine states. He is also a past President of the Bergen County Bar Association and a former member of the New Jersey State Bar Association Board of Trustees.

Carlino, who played lacrosse as an undergrad, is still in touch with fellow athletes from his college years. “A lot of my favorite memories are related to the team,” he says. “Since it was Division III play, most of us weren’t too concerned about becoming professional athletes. Instead, we just really enjoyed our sports and had fun.”

An invitation from a neighbor, who is on the Feliciano School of Business Advisory Board, to attend a School get-together led Carlino back to campus and eventually to the Foundation board. He has been on the Foundation board for just over ten years and in 2021 became vice chair. He also is a founding member of the committee that started, and continues to run, the Red Hawk Open, which raises funds for the athletic department.

“I have always supported Montclair State,” says the long-time President’s Club member. “Being on the Foundation board is an opportunity to raise money to help students like me who otherwise couldn’t afford to go to school.”

As vice chair Carlino plans to do all he can to support the chair, Greg Collins ’79, which in turn will support the Foundation’s mission. “We realize the life-changing impact Montclair State has for its students, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college.”

Although he has a front-row seat to new developments at the University he still marvels at how it has changed since he graduated, progress he attributes to President Cole’s leadership.

“Earning the Carnegie Classification of R2 was so exciting,” he says of the University’s designation as Ph.D. granting research institution. “When I think back to the commuter school I attended, that now has thousands of residential students from around the country and the world, as well as an amazing number of areas of study and concentration, it’s hard to believe.”

“Montclair State remains dedicated to first-generation college students,” he assures us. “And we are giving them world-class opportunities in just about every discipline, from nursing to communications and media. We are here for students who are ready to work hard.”