A generous gift from The Honorable Robert G. Torricelli, who represented New Jersey in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate for 20 years, has named Lecture Hall #1040 in Montclair State University’s University Hall in honor of his mother and University alumna Betty Lotz Torricelli. On Thursday, September 14, 2017, at 12:30 p.m., an official ribbon-cutting celebration will be held in the newly named “Betty Lotz Torricelli ’40 Lecture Hall.” This gift was made possible by The Rosemont Foundation, established by Senator Torricelli in 2007.
“We are most grateful to Senator Torricelli and The Rosemont Foundation for choosing to honor his mother, Betty Lotz Torricelli, by naming a lecture hall for her at her beloved alma mater,” said Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole. “It is a fitting and generous tribute to an alumna who distinguished herself over a long career as both a teacher and librarian.”
Cole will deliver welcome remarks at the celebration, which will be followed by updates from Jack Shannon, vice president for University Advancement. Senator Torricelli will speak about his mother at the celebration. Following the ribbon cutting and presentation of the plaque honoring Betty Lotz Torricelli, members of the Torricelli family and guests will enjoy lunch in the President’s Dining Room.
As a lifelong educator and librarian, Betty Lotz Torricelli shared her love of knowledge with countless young people. An English major and Social Studies minor, she earned her bachelor’s degree from Montclair State in 1940. As a student, she was active in several clubs, including the Aldornia, or English Honor Society; the Phrontisterion, or Literature Club; and the Poetry Club. An accomplished archer, she was also a member of the Women’s Athletic Association.
After graduating, she embarked on a career dedicated to encouraging and mentoring generations of young scholars. While she began her 25-year career with the Mahwah School District as a third-grade teacher, she later served as the high school librarian before becoming coordinator of the district’s library services. During that time, she was an adjunct professor at Rutgers University, where she co-founded the School of Library Science. She also served two years as head of the New Jersey School Library Association and was appointed by Governor Brendan Byrne to the State Library Advisory Council, where she was a member from 1978 to 1983.
She instilled her passion for learning and service in her son, often turning the family’s dinner time in their Franklin Lakes home into “teaching moments.” The wisdom passed down during these conversations shaped Senator Torricelli’s political views and inspired his life of public service.