When Kenneth Malmud ’76 recalls his journey to becoming a student at Montclair, he is taken by how different the campus is today. He is also quick to note how much at the University hasn’t changed.
While enrollment has nearly doubled since he attended, with Montclair now the second largest public university in the state with more than 21,000 undergraduate and graduate students, the University’s commitment to making quality higher education available to all who seek it has never wavered.
Similarly, Malmud’s commitment to his alma mater has been impressively steadfast – he has been a loyal donor to Montclair for the past 40 years.
“There was no question that I would attend a state institution of higher education,” he says. “Montclair was close to home, and my family could afford the tuition.”
“The education I got at Montclair was excellent as well, rivaling the experience I had later, when I studied at Georgetown Law,” he continues. “At Montclair, the prime focus was on teaching. The classes were academically challenging, and the professors were available to answer questions. They wanted what was best for you.”
In fact, his decision to pursue law was due, in part, to the quality of his undergraduate course work at Montclair. He majored in political science with a public administration minor. “I was thinking about going into teaching, but decided to sit for the LSAT,” he says. “My scores were so high that it would have been crazy not to study law!”
Montclair provided Malmud with more than academic preparation. During his undergraduate years he was deeply involved with the Student Government Association (SGA), serving as SGA attorney general and as student representative to the Board of Trustees which, he says, was a highlight of his college years.
“It was a fascinating experience,” he says. “As a student, I got to work alongside high-profile community and business leaders.”
He also participated in Phi Alpha Psi Senate fraternity, helping work on concerts held in Panzer Athletic Center for artists such as Bruce Springsteen and James Taylor.
To this day, Malmud appreciates the opportunities he had to have real impact at Montclair. That includes his involvement as a student delegate to the presidential search that resulted in the appointment of David W.D. Dickson, the first African American to lead a four-year college in New Jersey.
As a donor to Montclair, Malmud views the University’s combination of excellence in higher education and affordability as a high-value investment.
“Montclair provided me with a quality liberal arts education, setting me up for success,” he says, pointing to his 40-year career as an attorney. He was with Commercial Union Insurance Company for 10 years, and then at Selective Insurance for 30 years, first as a litigation trial attorney and later as corporate claims coverage counsel. He is now retired, spending time with his wife of 40 years and enjoying the company of his one-year-old grandson.
Malmud’s support for Montclair is also a response to the changing nature of higher education funding. “State funding comprises a much lower percentage of Montclair’s budget than it did in my day,” he notes. “There is much more pressure to maintain the affordability that makes the University accessible to all. Alumni support is more important than ever.”
“I especially like to give to the general fund,” he adds. “This way the University can use the funds to fill needs as they come up.”
Malmud remains inspired by his undergraduate experience. “Montclair helped make me who I am,” he says. “I want to ensure that Montclair is always a place where students find opportunities to develop confidence and grow as leaders.”