As an end-of-the-semester celebration, the campus community joined together for Montclair State University’s annual World’s Fair Day to honor the University’s rich diversity through food, dance performances and music from around the world.
This year’s event included a special collaboration with One Day for Montclair – the University’s annual giving day fundraiser designed to celebrate the contributions that help provide increased opportunities for students to follow their dreams through the creation of scholarships and programs.
Thanks to matching gifts and donation challenges, including a challenge to donate what you’d spend on your latte on Thursday, One Day for Montclair raised more than $215,000 through 1,424 gifts.
“We asked our campus community to come together for One Day for Montclair to create something special, and we are just amazed by how well the call to join us was answered,” says Director of Annual Giving Kara Baldwin Brennan ’92. “We were so inspired by the tremendous energy felt throughout the day knowing how impactful these gifts will be.”
Combining the event with World’s Fair Day made it even more fun, she says.
Anyone strolling by the Amphitheater on Thursday, April 28 was welcome to check out performances and enjoy other entertainment including a DJ, a photo booth and food trucks. As part of One Day for Montclair, the Class of 2022 was on hand to raise funds for its class gift, as well as for scholarships. Rocky also made an appearance, handing out lollipops with #1Day4Montclair and a QR code for the fundraising website and to help spread the word.
Not only were students invited to taste and experience different cultures but they were also introduced to many department offices and campus organizations that set up information tables at the event, giving students the opportunity to become more aware of the variety of organizations available to them on campus.
“The World’s Fair Day event is one of the best events we have, and I anticipate that it would touch almost everyone on campus,” says Vice President for Student Development and Campus Life Dawn Soufleris. “It’s an opportunity for students to value the diversity and culture on our campus and have a moment of breathing and fun before finals and to just celebrate who we are and the fact that we are a pretty amazing institution.”
Jo Ann Perez, a senior English major, volunteered at the event for her Chinese Culture class and encouraged students to pay more attention to the Chinese courses offered at the University.
“I highly recommend students check out the Chinese table or even take Chinese courses at Montclair because they are so much fun. You learn so much about the culture through the wide range of classes and can even take a class in Chinese cinema,” Perez said.
Richard Steiner-Otoo, a sophomore Environmental Studies major, was attracted to the energy of the event as well as the effort to help spread awareness for the various cultures of students on campus.
“I came to this event today mainly because of the liveliness and the energy that it brings,” Steiner-Otoo said, adding that he also enjoyed the free food and performances. “I think sometimes we can become very … comfortable with what we know and we don’t realize that there are so many cultures being practiced on our campus so it helps us to be able to open our eyes to that.”
Sophia Parra, a sophomore Communications major, is a member of the Hawk Squad student organization and volunteered at the event to promote school spirit on social media.
“It’s really nice to be here and experience all of the different cultures since there are so many beautiful cultures in this world,” Parra said.
Story by Communications Intern Rosaria Lo Presti. Photos by University Photographer Mike Peters.