Ramapo College Foundation Raises $38.8 Million
Lawrence and Theresa Salameno of Allendale Announce $3 Million Donation
(MAHWAH, NJ) – As supporters and friends of Ramapo College of New Jersey gathered Friday evening to celebrate a $40 million capital campaign, a surprise announcement of a $3 million gift came from Allendale residents Lawrence C. and Theresa Salameno.
The gift will support renovation of the A and B Wings of the Academic Complex, endow a Center of Excellence in British Studies and a Dean’s Scholarship Fund in the School of American and International Studies. In recognition of the gift, the school will be renamed the Salameno School of American and International Studies.
“This is a tremendous moment for the College,” President Peter P. Mercer told the crowd. “This generous gift from longtime supporters of the College builds on a series of major gifts over the past few years that will enable Ramapo students to fulfill their promise. It is with great humility and gratitude that I thank all of you who have brought us to this point. As the campaign continues, I know we will prevail with your help.”
The Salamenos have a 10-year affiliation with Ramapo College and are known throughout the region as generous philanthropists for education. Their daughter, Francesca, is a 2006 graduate.
“Theresa and I are so pleased to be able to help the College move forward in its Capital Campaign, specifically the School of American and International Studies, whose graduates will help shape and inform our increasingly complex world in the years to come,” said Mr. Salameno. “The benefit of a stellar education is one of the best advantages we can bestow upon the leaders of tomorrow.”
Mr. Salameno, semi-retired, is Senior Executive Vice President and Vice Chairman of Permal Group Inc., (The Permal Group), part of Legg Mason, which offers investors access to hedge funds of funds. He joined Worms and Company Inc. (Permal) in 2000 as a director and executive vice president-new business development and has been responsible for product, marketing and distribution strategy .A 1966 graduate of Cornell University, he received his J.D. degree from the Cornell University School of Law in 1969.
Mrs. Salameno, a professional chef, is a member of the Ramapo College Board of Governors and serves on the Executive Committee. She is a member of the Board of Trustees at Stonehill College, volunteers with the Bringing History Alive program at Colonial Williamsburg, is on the board of the John Fell House and serves on the Executive Committee of the Valley Hospital Auxiliary. Mrs. Salameno is active in her parish, where she is developing a new educational program for the first through sixth grade and is in the process of launching an International Youth and Business Etiquette program for non-profits and educational institutions throughout the region. The couple also volunteers with Peace First, a schools program that promotes non-violence.
They share their philanthropy with the Valley Hospital Foundation in Ridgewood, the Saddle River Day School, Oak Knoll School, Colonial Williamsburg, Cornell University and Stonehill College, as well as other organizations.
In 2006, the Salamenos made a $500,000 challenge grant to name the Salameno Spiritual Center. The non-denominational sanctuary for reflection, meditation and dialogue opened in Fall 2010. The $1.5 million Center is on the banks of Kameron Pond in the center of campus. The Salameno’s initial gift led to a succession of others that ultimately funded the 1,525-square-foot facility.
In 2007, the Salamenos were honored at the College’s Distinguished Citizen’s Dinner for their support of higher education.
The Ramapo College Foundation’s Capital Campaign had raised $35.8 million, prior to the Friday announcement by the Salamenos. Gifts were made by alumni, members of the Ramapo College Board of Governors and area corporations to fund capital projects, endowments for students and programs, and support faculty development and research.
Cathleen Davey, vice president of Institutional Advancement and executive director of the Foundation, told the gathering that the campaign, the largest in the College’s history, will conclude by June 2013. However, Davey told the crowd that the Foundation will strive to far surpass the initial goal.
“This is our moment to push boundaries; to further the promise of today’s student as well as that of each student who will someday walk beneath the College’s historic arch,” she said. “There is unmistakable momentum. There is no denying that this is Ramapo’s moment.”
Guests at the North Jersey Country Club Friday included donors, members of the College’s Board of Trustees and Board of Governors.
Other major gifts included:
More than $6 million was donated in recent years by the late Richard Anisfield and his wife, Millicent, a longtime member of the Ramapo College Board of Governors. The couple’s support made possible the new Anisfield School of Business and the Global Financial Markets Trading Lab.
“I fell in love with Ramapo,” said Mrs. Anisfield recently. “It’s wonderful and rewarding to be part of Ramapo and to watch the College’s growth in size and stature. Our higher admissions standards, diverse student body, and the quality and vigor of the faculty continue to impress me.”
In 2010, after 25 years of supporting the College, Myron “Mike” and Elaine Adler gave $2 million to build the Adler Center for Nursing Excellence, to provide space, lab and equipment for the College’s rapidly expanding and highly acclaimed nursing program.
“The labs that will be built will have state-of-the-art equipment so the students can better understand what’s going on in the world of medicine and how they can take it a step above,” said Mrs. Adler. “In these classes, they also learned that if they listen to the patient, they learn a lot. Maybe they can do something to forge on and do something that is even greater. I look forward to Ramapo being a leader in the nursing field in New Jersey and beyond.”
For more information about the campaign, and opportunities for giving, please contact Cathleen Davey at 201-684-7612.