After 10 years of being President of the University, Paul G. Gaffney II will be retiring on July 31. Many feel Gaffney has accomplished much in his time here and they appreciate everything he has done for Monmouth.
“I think President Gaffney was a phenomenal leader for our university because he’s so connected to the students, faculty, and campus,” senior Kate Nawoyski said. “He really showed students that he cared about us, and I felt so comfortable being at Monmouth because of that.”
Oscar Sanchez, former Student Government Association President, said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know President Gaffney over my years on SGA. He is a president who puts the students first, is always open to listening, and has a desire to learn more about each individual beyond their student ID number.” Sanchez added, “He has been such a pleasure to work with, and his dedication to SGA is going to be a tough one to match. As a mentor, leader, and role model, President Gaffney has exceeded all expectations.”
Gaffney has seen a lot in his time here and he was able to bring new ideas to the University as well as expand on the plans made by Presidents before him.
“The University was always in great space with a great location. We had an opportunity to build some things, my predecessor had the MAC on the drawing boards and they had been talking about it for ten years,” Gaffney said. “I would say Sam McGill (President 20 years ago) and Becky Stafford (President 10 years ago) got us on a really good track to be a University, to be a Division IA program and keep enrollment up between five and six thousand. They had good ideas and I just sort of kept them going and added some new energy to good ideas.”
In his time here, the University has seen the addition of several new buildings like the Multipurpose Activity Center, Mullaney Hall, Rechnitz Hall and many more in progress. The University was able to afford these new buildings due to President Gaffney seeking out donors who were willing to help.
“He’s been quite masterful at philanthropy and fundraising,” Ed Christensen, Vice President for Information Management said. “We’ve put up a lot of buildings with a lot of fundraised money and some were built entirely from funding that was able to be set aside.”
The first one of these donors was Norma Hess, wife of Leon Hess, who President Gaffney grew close with and admired. “When you see a name like Leon Hess with gas stations all around the world, oil drilling, and he was such a great philanthropist and a great man not only in this area but internationally. I think the fact that Monmouth University attracted that kind of support is good news,” Gaffney said.
Naming the Business School after Hess is what Gaffney feels is his greatest accomplishment as President.
Under President Gaffney, the University has taken many strides from an athletic stand point, especially with the opening of the MAC in 2009.
Marilyn McNeil, Vice President and Director of Athletics, said Gaffney believed in athletics and understood what it could bring to the University. “The first time somebody hears about Monmouth is in September on a football score or soccer game so our athletes are out there sort of marketing Monmouth sooner than everybody else is. It was really important that we look good and that we play well and respectfully,” McNeil said. “Dr. Stafford was terrific, but President Gaffney really made it relevant and made it important and so I think our sense of stature here went up.”
Shane Carle, senior and captain of the track and field team, noted Gaffney’s love for athletics and enjoyed the support Gaffney showed for each athletic team. “He would come to practice every once in a while, would always shake my hand and ask how things were. He always knew what we were up to and was always there to cheer us on,” Carle said.
In addition to helping the school move forward from an athletic standpoint, people also admired the fact that Gaffney didn’t spend all day in his office. Instead he would walk around campus as often as he could, creating visibility and availability.
The Outlook, Monmouth University’s student-run newspaper, in a national competition, has been awarded “Most Outstanding Newspaper,” in addition to first place with special merit, by the American Scholastic Press Association (ASPA) for the second time in the past four years.
The ASPA holds an annual competition for university newspapers, as well as contests for other publications. Papers are judged on content coverage, page design, general plan, art, advertising, editing and creativity. The Outlook scored a total of 955 out of 1,000 points, with perfect scores in content coverage, illustration, and creativity. One judge wrote, “You have an excellent school newspaper, which shows the creativity and journalistic knowledge of your editors, reporters, writers, photographers, layout/graphics designers, and adviser.”
“We try not to be satisfied with `good enough,’” Morano said. “It’s an honor to work with the students at the paper. I’m their biggest fan, and their biggest critic,” he said.
University President Paul G. Gaffney II, an avid reader of the paper is proud of the students’ achievement. “It (the award) sets us apart as a serious paper that looks like a real paper and seriously covers news like a real paper,” Gaffney said. “It is hard to have the time, as full-time students, to thoroughly research complicated issues. Yet, The Outlook takes on the challenge.” Gaffney said he likes to read the editorials and the sports articles, he said he is a fan of student achievement articles. “I like seeing The Outlook around campus, especially when we are trying to recruit new students,” said Gaffney. “[It’s a] great example of student involvement and success.”
“It’s a bit of an unreal feeling. I never really expected as a freshman entering the newsroom, that I would end up editing the paper and we would gain national recognition ,” said Brett Bodner, Editor-in-Chief.
Previously, Bodner served as the Managing Editor for two years under Gina Columbus, now a reporter with The Asbury Park Press, and took over the position as Editor-in-Chief after she graduated. “I learned a lot [from previous EIC’s],” he said. “I learned what to do and what not to do.” Bodner said he has come a long way during his year as Editor-in- Chief. He said he felt adequately prepared at the beginning of his term when it came to layout, copyediting and page design, but had to deal with some obstacles along the way.
It’s hard to believe that it has been four years since I stood beside my best friends at high school graduation. I never thought things would get better than those times even though I was always told that college would be the best four years of my life. After going through it, all the people who told me that were one hundred percent correct.
Monmouth has been an unbelievable experience for me. I got to do so much and meet so many great people. Some of whom, I’ll be friends with for the rest of my life. There’s not enough time or ink to write down all I want to say about the people I’ve met, but here are some shout outs I was able to fit on one page:
Mom: Thank you for your unwavering support through everything over these four stressful years. You’ve always been there for me and have helped me get through whatever obstacle I had to face. You’re not only my mom, but you’re my best friend and I’m lucky to have the greatest mother in the world. I just hope you’re prepared for me to move back in for the first time in three years, haha. Love you!
Professor Morano: I learned so much from you in the past four years and since I’ve come to college, you’ve helped me increase my writing skills. You’ve been a great advisor to me and have given me many life tips that I will always remember. Thank you for all the help and aid throughout the years and I hope to still keep in touch with you after graduation.
Brothers of Phi Kappa Psi: Hey jerks. I know I wasn’t around that much this year, but that doesn’t change all of the great times we had over the past four years. From the beta class to the Bod Zone, the memories and stupid stuff we did will always be something I cherish. Gregg, Kyle Evans, Kyle Walter, Matty Ferns, Brandon, Shane, Casey, Miggs, Jeff, Tom, Decarlo, Deeg, Sean, Kinsella, Crazy John, Fichera, and everybody else, I love you all. Live ever, die never boys.
Andrew/Arod: Where do I begin? You’ve been my best friend since the fifth grade and now we’re graduating college together. You’ve always been there for me through the good times and the bad. You transferring here freshman year when things weren’t really going great for me, really helped me through that time. I may be an only child, but you’ll always be the brother I never had.
The past few weeks I have just been looking forward to warmer weather and some free time. I have almost been too busy to get nostalgic or sentimental about my years at Monmouth… and then I started writing this article. I remember thinking that I would never graduate eight grades – that time was a figment of my imagination.
When I got to high school I felt the same way, but when I graduated I was relieved that the next four years of my life were already planned out. Now here I am, weeks before graduation and no yearlong plans set in stone, no time allotted safety net. Realizing I am about to finish my last full week of classes as a college undergrad puts a knot in my stomach.
I have had a vast amount of personal growth over the past four years here. There are a number of people I would like to take the time to thank:
There are a lot of people who have helped me get to where I am today, and I am grateful for each one of you.
First would be my family. My father: for encouraging me to pick a profession based on my passion and not the paycheck, and for being a prime example of just that. For stressing the importance of education, no matter the cost, and making sure I had a strong foundation for my future. Although one of his biggest regrets was knowing that he would not live long enough to see me graduate college, I have a sense of pride and accomplishment knowing that in just 23 short days, I will walk across the stage of the PNC Bank Arts Center in my cap and gown.
My mother and my sister: for being the strongest support system and the best friends a girl could ask for. Mom, you are my rock and the world’s most awesome woman alive. I am so lucky to have such a close bond and great friendship with you. Thank you for letting me call you up to ten times a day just to say “hello” or just because I feel like it. Nicole, I cannot believe that you used to hate me and wanted to be an only child. Thank you for realizing how awesome I am and always having my back.
The nation of North Korea is flexing its muscles and trying to scare the international community by threatening to attack the United States. Last week, North Korean leader Kim Jung Un authorized the use of weapons against America. A U.S. official also told CNN that the North Koreans currently have two medium range missiles loaded and ready to attack the U.S. The missile components, according to American and South Korean officials, have a range of 2,500 miles.
They also claim to have nuclear weapons ready to be launched. Many observers say that they do not have the capability right now.
China, who North Koreans seem to view as an ally, have rebuked the actions of the North Koreans. New Chinese President Xi Jinping said at an international conference Sunday that “Countries, whether big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, should all contribute their share in maintaining and enhancing peace.”
Dr. Charles Cotton, professor of political science, and international relations agrees, “They do not have the capabilities to launch a nuclear strike against the U.S.”
He continued, “Even China has told them not to attack the United States.” Not only has the supposed allies of North Korea told them not to attack the U.S., Fidel Castro, the longtime leader of Cuba, has said in a rare written commentary that “North Korea should not risk starting a war that could affect 70 percent of the Earth’s population.” He also called the situation on the Korean peninsula “absurd” and “incredible.” Castro, who was at the middle of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, says this poses the greatest risk to the world since the Cold War.
Dr. Christopher DeRosa, associate professor of history at the University, agrees with Cotton that an attack from North Korea is unlikely. “They are most likely blustering to increase their leverage, foreign and domestic. But in so doing, the DPRK has created a dangerous environment in which one side or the other might miscalculate each other’s intentions,” said DeRosa.
The South Korean government says that they believe North Korea will launch a missile on April 10. Though they assure the world this is a test, South Korea is ready for any kind of attack from the rogue regime. Senator John McCain from Arizona believes that this kind of brinksmanship from North Korea could be very dangerous.
On CBS’s “Face the Nation” he said that “More than once wars have started by accident and this is a very serious situation.” The United States and South Korea would retaliate against any attack, and McCain is also positive we would win in any armed conflict.
Many would question the motive behind this kind of brinksmanship and rhetoric from the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The U.N. has continuously sanctioned North Korea for conducting nuclear tests.
Sophomore international relations student Saliha Younas doesn’t think that North Korea will attack the United States, but wouldn’t be surprised if they did.