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Annual Scholarship Fundraiser to Honor Legacies of Susan A. Cole, Four Distinguished Alumni

Outdoor event to increase student support will feature College of the Arts student performances

Posted in: Arts, Press Releases, University

Annual Scholarship Fundraiser

On May 22, Montclair State University will pay tribute to the distinguished service of President Susan A. Cole – and honor four distinguished alumni – at the 2021 Annual Scholarship Fundraiser. Proceeds from the outdoor, on-campus event will provide continued scholarship support for future generations of Montclair State students.

The night will honor the immeasurable impact of Montclair State President Susan A. Cole and her 23 years of distinguished service and leadership as she prepares to retire in July.

“Susan Cole has led the University through a remarkable period of growth and transformation,” said Francis M. Cuss, MD, chair of the Montclair State University Board of Trustees. “Thanks to her vision, her leadership and her tireless efforts over the past two decades, the University is well prepared for continuing academic progress and a bright future, and we applaud President Cole for all she has done for Montclair State students and the State of New Jersey.”

Four graduates of Montclair State – philanthropic leader Rose L. Cali ’80, former Chairman of the Deloitte US Board of Directors Michael J. Fucci ’80, NBCUniversal Sales Account Manager Denise Rover ’84 and NewsOne at ABC News Vice President Al Prieto ’84 – will also be recognized for their contributions to the University and the community. The evening will feature performances by students from Montclair State’s College of the Arts in the outdoor Amphitheater adjacent to the Alexander Kasser Theater.

Since 1999, the Annual Scholarship Fundraiser has raised millions of dollars to support student scholarships that provide financial assistance to hundreds of students of limited financial means, enabling them to pursue and complete their studies at Montclair State.

“Every scholarship dollar raised matters for Montclair State students, with more than 70% of our students relying on some form of financial assistance to attend college,” says Vice President for Development Colleen Coppla. “We are tremendously grateful for the network of support that lifts our students up and helps them transform their lives through an excellent and affordable Montclair State education.”

Rose L. Cali will receive the Mary Mochary and Michael Kasser Award for Philanthropic Leadership for her decades-long advocacy for community partnerships and educational causes  – including an endowed gift for music student scholarships that she and her late husband, John, established through the John J. Cali School of Music and her extensive service to the University on multiple boards and as the founder, former president and CEO of the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center.

Michael J. Fucci will be honored with the Rose and John J. Cali Award for Business Leadership and Community Engagement, which is given to a member of the business community committed to creating strategic partnerships that enhance research and discovery and ultimately benefit the larger community.

Denise Rover and Al Prieto are co-honorees and will receive the Margaret and Herman Sokol Award for Alumni Achievement and Civic Leadership, which is bestowed on a Montclair State graduate who has made a significant contribution to industry, culture and/or society. In addition to their decorated careers, both alumni have been integral members of the University’s College of the Arts, with both serving on the College’s Advisory Board and Prieto also serving as a member of the Advisory Board of its School of Communication and Media.

Top sponsors of the event include the McMullen Family Foundation, ADP, Deloitte, Inserra Supermarkets, Liberty Coca-Cola Beverage, Michael Kasser and Mary Mochary Families, Peapack-Gladstone Bank, Rose L. Cali, and Schumacher Chevrolet Auto Group.

All Montclair State University guests, students and staff who are registered for the event are required to complete a COVID-19 screening assessment prior to arriving on campus. Please read important event information for additional details about the event and our safety protocols.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. on May 22. For more information or to support student scholarships, visit

Note: Please see for a detailed description of Deloitte’s legal structure.