Kean University Foundation Newsletter May 2020
Kean University Foundation
Get Involved     Visit Our Website     Upcoming Events

A Message from Bill Miller, Chief Executive Officer

Bill Miller

Dear Kean Alumni and Friends –

As you are no doubt aware, the coronavirus pandemic has had a gigantic impact on Kean University, as it has in virtually every corner of our lives during these past few weeks. Nearly all students are now at home, taking a complete curriculum of online courses. Who would have ever thought? I would be remiss if I did not mention our faculty and staff, also mostly away from campus, who are working tirelessly, and effectively, to educate and support our students.

As we face this challenging time, we also continue to be inspired by the outpouring of concern and support from YOU, our alumni and friends. Thank you. We have heard from so many who want to know, “How can I help?” So, it is in this spirit we say Kean University needs you now more than ever – Kean Cougars helping Kean Cougars – in traditional and not-so-traditional ways.

  • Stay Connected and Promote the University at Every Opportunity
    First, we hope you will stay engaged with the Kean community by visiting both the University and Foundation websites, following us on our social media platforms, and sharing these digital resources with prospective students and others.
  • Help Us with Prospective Kean Cougars
    With the uncertainties facing this year’s high school seniors, it may be even more of a challenge for us to meet our future enrollment targets. You can help by proudly describing to prospective students the terrific place that is Kean University.
  • Assist our Seniors with Tackling the Job Market
    To say that our seniors in the Class of 2020 are facing a challenging job market cannot be overstated. Your help or advice might be particularly timely given the headwinds this group is now facing.
  • Please Consider a Gift
    This disruption has created many unforeseen costs for Kean University and our students. The Kean Fund for Excellence provides the University with the fiscal flexibility to innovate and respond both quickly and decisively to our various Colleges, as well as our faculty and students’ greatest needs, allowing for:
    • The purchase of technology to provide exceptional online instruction;
    • Providing students with additional scholarship support and financial aid; and
    • Assisting with unexpected student expenses, such as meals and transportation.

All of these support services will be more vital than ever for our students and faculty. Please contact us at (908) 316-8920 with any questions or if you need more information. If you are in a position to help, you can also visit us at

We certainly recognize these are challenging economic times, but any gift you are able to make, large or small, will have an impact, including a positive reflection on our institution’s rankings. Please also know that the coronavirus
relief legislation recently signed into law provides greater tax incentives for gifts made in 2020 by allowing all taxpayers to take a charitable deduction of up to $300, even if you do not itemize.

Kean Cougars helping fellow Kean Cougars will get us through the difficult days ahead. On behalf of all of us at Kean University, we thank you for all you have done and continue to do for this special place.

All my best,

Bill Miller
Chief Executive Officer
Kean University Foundation

Drs. Hennings

Kean Receives Historic Gift from Retired Professor

Distinguished Professor Emerita Dorothy Grant Hennings, Ed.D. ’H10 recently made a historic gift to Kean University, where she and her late husband taught for a combined 63 years.

The gift, which is the largest in the University’s history, will fund a scholarship named in honor of biology Professor Emeritus George Hennings, Ed.D. ’H10 and will support students pursuing degrees in science and science education,
as well as the Centennial Fund Opportunity Scholarship, which is open to high-achieving, low-income students across all majors.

To read more about Dr. Hennings’ gift, visit


Kean Alumnus and Foundation Board Member Talks Cybersecurity

cyber securityScott Schober, a member of the Kean University Foundation Board of Directors, and professional cybersecurity expert, appeared on the WPIX Channel 11 news on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, to discuss warnings issued regarding the security of Zoom meetings. The video of his appearance, and subsequent correlating article, are available here.

You can visit Scott’s blog via the link below for your continued awareness
of cybersecurity matters. There he outlines tips and additional safeguarding
measures which can be taken to ensure your security.


Dr. Bernice Rydell Van-Steyn Weiss Makes Major Gift to Kean University Food Pantry

Dr. Bernice Rydell Van-Steyn Weiss, widow of Dr. Nathan Weiss, President, Kean University from 1969 to 1989, recently made a significant donation in support of the Kean University Food Pantry. When asked why she decided to make this very generous and thoughtful gift, she replied, “I gave this gift in the hopes that others will also recognize that many college students with limited funds throughout our nation are forced to make choices that negatively affect their health and, ultimately, their progress as a student. No student should go hungry; and, if universities such as Kean can provide the means to help them, we have a humane responsibility to do so.”

Lauretta A. Farrell, D. Litt, Director of the Kean University Human Rights Institute, under whose auspices the Kean University Food Pantry operates, has eloquently expressed the community’s gratitude, stating, “Never has this been
truer than now, when we are all faced with such incredible uncertainty. As our students transition from in-person to remote learning, changes in living conditions, and inconsistent income, Dr. Weiss’s generous gift will enable us to keep Cougar Pantry stocked and operational. This will, we hope, ease some of the burdens our students are experiencing.”

The Cougar Pantry is remaining open during this time for students in need of food. The Pantry is adhering to all CDC guidelines and is considered essential. At this time, they cannot accept food donations; however, if you would
like to make a monetary donation, please visit and select Cougar Pantry.

Augustine Foundation
L-R: Music Professor Matthew Halper, DMA; Sophomore music and computer science double major
Philip Palmarozzon; Adjunct Professor Jorge Caballero

Kean University Music Conservatory to Offer Prestigious Augustine Foundation Classical Guitar Scholarship

Kean University has joined the ranks of world-renowned colleges and schools of music in offering a music scholarship supported by the prestigious Augustine Foundation.

The Augustine Foundation Classical Guitar Scholarship will be awarded competitively to a promising young classical guitarist — an incoming freshman in Kean’s Music Conservatory — for the academic year starting in Fall 2020. Funds will go towards in-state tuition and fees, books and academic supplies, and a showcase performance by the recipient. The Augustine Foundation is a significant supporter of the classical guitar through scholarship funding at institutions, such as The Juilliard School, as well as funding for classical guitar concert series at the 92nd Street Y and the Manhattan School of Music in New York City.

Per Matthew Halper, DMA, professor of music at Kean’s Music Conservatory, “We are thrilled an organization of the stature of the Augustine Foundation has acknowledged the quality of classical guitar instruction at Kean. In the hands
of our internationally recognized studio faculty, such as Jorge Caballero, a meritorious and fortunate student will be given a singular opportunity to develop as a guitarist.” Caballero is a Kean adjunct professor and concert artist in
classical guitar.

The Augustine Foundation was established in 1980 through a donation from Rose Augustine of Albert Augustine, Ltd. Her husband, Albert Augustine, is credited as being the developer of the modern nylon guitar string.


Beloved Professor Visits with the Foundation Team

Burger ImageOn January 27, 2020, the Kean University Foundation welcomed to their offices Carl Burger, retired Kean University professor of fine arts and Professor Emeritus.

In addition to visiting with the Team at the Foundation, the main purpose of Carl’s trip was to view a variety of paintings and sketches the Foundation had received a few months prior from one of his former students. Carl was thrilled to see the artwork on display and quickly confirmed they were, in fact, pieces he had created earlier in his career. Carl exclaimed with joy, “No doubt these are mine!”, and all members of the Foundation present were equally happy to see the big smile on his face.

Bill MillerPhotos of some of the sketches and paintings the Foundation received from Carl’s former student can be seen here, as well as photos of additional framed pieces which were gifted to the Foundation by Carl to help “brighten up” our office suite.

On behalf of the Kean University Foundation, we extend a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to Carl, not only for his artwork, but also for his years of dedication to Kean students and his generous contributions to the world of art.


Check Presented to Kean University for Student Scholarships

Check PresentatioonOn February 14, 2020, Alice Weinstein, President of the Essex Hudson Union Chapter of New Jersey Association of Public Accountants, presented Kean University and the College of Business and Public Management with an $8,500 check to support student scholarships.

Jin Wang, Ph.D. and Dean of the College of Business and Public Management at Kean University, gratefully accepted Ms. Weinstein’s generous contribution.


Kean Alumnus Inspires Students in the College of Business and Public Management

On February 6, 2020, alumnus Mark Callazzo ’93, President of Alpha Fund Partners, spoke to students and faculty during the Dean’s Forum for the College of Business and Public Management. He spoke to those in attendance about his time at Kean and how it helped steer him on a path towards a career in the real estate industry.

This was not Mark’s first time speaking at a Kean function, as he has previously participated in the university’s Alumni Student Networking Night held in March 2019. Mark enjoys being able to interact with Kean students and faculty
and appreciates the opportunity to give back to his alma mater.

  Thank you

To all the teachers; to the nurses and doctors; to all the essential workers who are out in the field every day – we thank you for your hard work and dedication, especially during this particularly trying time. The commitment you and your colleagues have shown during the past two months, from continuing to educate your students under unconventional circumstances, to caring for those suffering from illness, and everything in between, is nothing short of amazing.

To all the mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and mothers-to-be, we wish you a very happy Mother’s Day and hope you enjoyed celebrating your special day!

We wish you good health and continued safety.


Looking for Info or Have Questions?

Kean University Foundation, Inc.
1000 Morris Avenue, Union, New Jersey 07083
908-316-8920 | 908-316-8921 (Fax) 
Privacy Policy  |  Visit Our Website  |  Unsubscribe