One Board Member’s Journey

December 2023

On November 30, Gerald Tarantolo, Kean University Foundation Board of Director, presented at the Intro. to Non-Profit MPA class. The class has been working in conjunction with the Kean University Foundation on a Philanthropy Center pilot program this semester and Mr. Tarantolo spoke regarding volunteerism and board relations.

During his presentation, Mr. Tarantolo reflected on his unique affiliation with Kean. His relationship was not initially formed because of being an alumnus of Kean, but by forming a friendship and networking with Kean University faculty and staff. The board’s desire to be open to diverse types of members from various backgrounds, careers, socio-economic statuses makes the board unique. Mr. Tarantolo states that the Kean University Foundation Board of Directors seeks out members who did not necessarily have a prior affiliation with Kean, but could identify with and uphold the key core values of the University and the mission of the board.

Mr. Tarantolo said to the students in the class regarding volunteerism and philanthropy, “I think we are all inherently givers, whether that be of our time or monetarily. Ultimately, what makes people give is that it must be something of a passion, something you identify with, or an affiliation, or specific experience. From the moment I was introduced to Kean, I knew its mission was something I was passionate about. The welcoming nature not only of the Foundation Board of Directors, but the Kean Community itself, has prompted me to want to continue to give of my time. I feel a strong sense of belonging and pride volunteering for Kean.”