- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 18 November 2015
- Written by JAMILAH MCMILLAN | ASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR
The Founders’ Day Convocation Ceremony took place on Veterans Day. Members of the community gathered to celebrate the University’s 82nd anniversary, as well as the dedication of Pozycki Hall.
Due to inclement weather the event was moved into the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC) and was followed by a reception in Pozycki Hall. During the ceremony full-time faculty in an array of academic robes sat in rows closest to the stage. Students from the choir, and the orchestra performed from both sides of the podium where President Paul Brown, PhD presided.
In recognition of Veterans Day, Dr. Brown opened the ceremony with a moment of silence for those who had risked their lives to preserve our country. “Veterans Day honors all American veterans both living and dead, and for their dedicated and loyal service to our country. Today is the day that we ensure that veterans know how deeply appreciative we are for the sacrifices that they have made in their lives to keep our country free,” said Dr. Brown.
This year’s Founders’ Day acknowledged Elaine, and Steven J. Pozycki, an alumni from ‘73. The Hall was dedicated in their names due to their generous contributions to the University, and Pozycki Hall. Steven Pozycki is the Founder and Chairman of SJP Properties, a New York based developing agency of large scale commercial and residential real estate. Elaine Pozycki is a founding partner, and manager of SJP Properties philanthropic efforts. Together they have been active supporters of the university. In 1973 Steven J. Pozycki graduated from Monmouth College with a BS in business administration, and less than a decade later he and his wife founded SJP Properties.
Following Presidents Browns opening remarks the chair of the university’s board of trustees, Henry D. Mercer, was invited to the podium where he shared various unrecognized aspects of Steve Pozycki’s journey to success. “Let me tell you a few things you might not know about this real estate mogul, humanitarian, philanthropist, and public policy advocate. Some of his early jobs consisted of delivering newspapers, working in construction, doing roofing, masonry and odd jobs such as delivering pizza,” said Mercer.
The Pozycki’s were not the only individuals recognized during the ceremony. Kara Snyder, the president of the Student Government Association, shared her appreciation for not just the faculty and administrators, but for the student students as well. “Thank you to the student leaders who greatly contribute to Monmouth’s diverse, and inclusive, and immersive atmosphere,” said Snyder.
On Founders Day, Laura Moriarty, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs felt that it would be fitting to showcase the achievements of the university’s full-time faculty. “Collectively in one academic year faculty have produced 27 books, and more than 50 book chapters in some of the most prestigious university presses. Scores of peer reviewed articles, and top tier journals in their disciplines and fields. Hundreds of conference presentations at national and international meetings, and 22 jury expeditions.”
According to Brown, “Pozycki hall is a very, very generous gift. It is a first rate facility, and perhaps most significantly it is a monument to preparing our students for their lives and careers while enhancing their experience at Monmouth University,” he said.
“Not use to wearing these outfits,” said Steven Pozycki as he took his turn at the podium. In a few concise sentences he humbly thanked the individuals involved in the precession, as well as commended the university community. “The board, the faculty, and the students, you make Monmouth what it is today, and we are pleased to be a little part of it,” he said.
“Todays building dedication is something that is very important for the life of Monmouth University. Pozycki hall is transforming the grounds of Torcivia Common, and transforming the way our students will live, and learn. It is appropriate that we celebrate this transformation on Founders Day. The sense of opportunity, and newness for our campus and our university someway mirror the feelings that our predecessors had when they established this very fledgling college 82 years ago,” said Brown.
At the reception over a hundred faculty, administrators, and students mingled on the second floor, and the balcony of Pozycki Hall. Standing tables were spread out throughout the space, and food and beverages were provided.
Brianna Golden, a junior political science major confessed that it was her third time attending Founders Day. “I think that this year’s Founders Day was unique in the fact that time was taken to honor the veterans, as well as show gratitude to the benefactors of Pozycki Hall. And I think Pozycki Hall is extremely beautiful, I’ve already spent multiple days up until four in the morning studying in here,” she said.
PHOTO COURTESY of Mike Landis