This time of year we are vividly reminded of the importance of our mission, as we cheer on the latest 5,235 Montclair State graduates as they embark on the next stage of their lives, amply prepared and filled with the desire to make our world a better place.
At the heart of our charge as a leading public university is our commitment to serve students who reflect the full diversity of our society, without respect to their economic circumstances. As you will see from our cover story, Montclair State has long supported the state’s Educational Opportunity Fund, which recently commemorated its 50th anniversary. EOF has been vital in our mission, enabling us to recruit and enroll a highly motivated, diverse community of scholars and ensuring that countless graduates through the years were able to reach their goal of attaining a college degree.
Another celebratory milestone you will read about in this issue is the University’s designation this year by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a Research 2 doctoral institution – high research activity – reflecting the expansive scope and depth of research in which our students and faculty are engaged and demonstrating the University’s swift ascent toward becoming a dynamic and comprehensive research university. Among these pages you will see how both our commitment to high research activity and to our EOF participants elevate the educational experience for all of our students by helping them prepare for future success.
You will also read of the alarming reality many students face in the pursuit of their degrees: a national epidemic of food insecurity on college campuses. Montclair State has been leading the way in tackling this challenge with our food pantry, community garden and other efforts to help students in need concentrate on their studies without worrying about their next meal. We are grateful to all those who assist us in meeting the needs of our students, and I want to express particular gratitude to Inserra Supermarkets and its Chairman and CEO Lawrence R. Inserra Jr., who was honored at our Annual Scholarship Dinner for his commitment to serving the community and benefitting our students.
I am deeply grateful that with all of your generous support of our Soar campaign, we are close to meeting our historic fundraising goal of $75 million. Indeed, Montclair State and our students are soaring, and I thank you for helping us both us and them to realize our potential.
Susan A. Cole