"Education Is About Opening Doors"
“To me, education is about opening doors and windows that you didn’t even know existed,” says Ann Wilson Hartmann ’62. “I received a top-quality liberal arts education at Montclair State. I’ve been grateful for it ever since.”
A scholarship student and physical education major, Ann was very active on campus, serving as president of the Montclair State Education Association, state president of the student chapter of NJEA, and a member of Delta Sigma Chi Sorority. She also worked 40 hours a week on campus and took extra courses every semester. “That helped me get really good at my time management skills!” she recalls with a chuckle.
Ann found her years at Montclair State to be “very exhilarating” and “a formative influence on my life,” she says. “I got a really spectacular liberal arts education there, a very strong foundation,” she shares. “Montclair State also developed me as a leader. My education prepared me for life.”
Ann, a former teacher and nonprofit executive, has done comprehensive financial planning for the past 30 years and has a 22-state practice with her firm. She made provisions in her estate plans for Montclair State with a bequest for an unrestricted endowment. “I want to give back to help other generations have the same experience that I had,” she says. “I am giving an unrestricted gift to help the University meet its greatest priorities over time.” A longtime loyal annual fund donor, she also is a member of the Carpe Diem Society and the Planned Giving Advisory Council. She had a great time attending her 50th reunion and marched in Commencement in May 2012.
“It’s refreshing to me that Montclair State is still an institution of opportunity,” she says. “Many students are the first in their families to go to college as I and many of my classmates were. The institution is still doing the same thing that it did when I was there, just on a larger and more sophisticated scale. It hasn’t lost sight of that original path, and is still the same remarkable place. The things that made the biggest difference are still there: the small classes and professors who really get to know their students. I also appreciate how it provides an affordable education for so many students and their families.”
Ann is also an active volunteer leader with the Girl Scouts, who are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year. “They also helped me develop my leadership skills and now I like to give back.” She and her husband Frank are active with the Toleldo Museum of Art and their church. “If it’s something you care about, you find the time for it,” she says.
“I’m not the same person I would have been without my Montclair State education,” she adds. “It set a path to live the rest of your life and prepared me to be a lifelong learner. I want to help ensure those experiences for future generations at the University!”
Ann’s advice to her fellow alumni? “If Montclair State made a lasting difference in your life, it’s important to give back so that future students can have the same great opportunity in life that we had.”