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Celebrating a Century of Service ; MSU Marks Anniversary With Look Back and Ahead

September 23, 2008

By JOHN A. GAVIN, STAFF WRITER

Montclair State University turned 100 years old this past week, a milestone celebrated Saturday with concerts, art sales, seminars, children’s activities, crafts displays, marching bands, alumni events and fireworks.

The celebration was a culmination of 18 months of preparation, organizers said.

“We wanted to involve all of the community,” said Dr. Susan A. Cole, the university’s president. “Montclair State is a public university of the people. So we wanted to set aside a day that would be with the people.”

The celebration for the 16,700-student university, which spans Montclair, Clifton and Little Falls, drew 6,000 to 8,000 people, many of them alumni and prospective students, said Julie Adams, executive director of Alumni and Community Relations.

One of the day’s most popular events was the “mini” university in University Hall, at which professors lectured on some of the requirements for various careers.

As Ram Subramanian, a professor in the School of Business, talked about hotel management before about 200 people, prospective student Vandana Phull, 25, of Bergenfield, listened intently.

“It’s a great opportunity for students from all over to come and listen,” said Phull, a psychology major who wants to earn a master’s degree in business administration. “You get to learn about a variety of selections you can make.”

Dan Silletti, 17, who came with his mother, Lisa, said he also was considering business as a possible career.

“I took a class in marketing,” said Silletti, a high school senior from Mount Olive. “You need to know a little bit of everything.”

There also were lectures about epidemiology, acting, sexuality education and pre-law.

Outside, activities were lively and plentiful as parents and children watched jugglers, stilt walkers and magicians.

Music ranged from the 1960s doo-wop group, the Checkered Past, to classical music played by the Suzuki Strings, a youth violin ensemble connected with the university’s Preparatory Center for the Arts.

As an extra highlight, the event also included an alumni reunion.

Bob and Maria Schmidt of Manahawkin, who met as students at the university in the early 1970s, returned for the reunion and to celebrate the school’s changes.

“I found out my locker is still there,” Bob Schmidt said as he looked at the many buildings constructed since he graduated in 1971.

“A lot has changed,” said Schmidt, who’s retired and lives part- time in Florida. “We really haven’t been back since.”

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University milestones

1908 Opens as New Jersey State Normal School at Montclair.

1927 Becomes Montclair State Teachers College.

1932 The college is authorized to offer master’s degrees.

1958 Montclair State Teachers College merges with Panzer School of Physical Education to become Montclair State College.

1994 Montclair State College becomes Montclair State University.

Source: Montclair State University’s Web site

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E-mail: gavin@northjersey.com

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(c) 2008 Record, The; Bergen County, N.J.. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.




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