After 23 years of service to the University, Dr. Cole has announced her retirement at the end of this academic year. Join us in honoring Dr. Cole and creating an enduring impact for students by supporting the President Susan A. Cole Scholarship.
The purposes of the scholarship are twofold. First, to assure that students who have strived to achieve educational success shall have the opportunity for an education at Montclair State University without respect to the economic and social challenges they may face and without respect to the life circumstances into which they were born. Second, to assure that the University does its part to identify, nurture and retain in-state New Jersey students who have demonstrated the potential to turn a higher educational opportunity into a life and career capable of making important contributions to the state and the nation.
This scholarship will make possible the opportunity for a rigorous higher education to talented and ambitious students without respect to the circumstances of the family into which they were born. Dr. Cole initiated the University’s Presidential Scholars, with the first cohort of students awarded in fall 2018. As Presidential Scholars, students receive challenging academic and career preparation opportunities along with the support of a $5,000 scholarship for each of their four years of study, for a potential total award of $20,000.
For students like sophomore Ana Mendonca, a Biology major, receiving the scholarship was life changing.
“I worked very hard in high school…I knew I needed to get a scholarship. I am very grateful to be awarded as a Presidential Scholar; without this scholarship, I would not be in college right now.”
By supporting the President Susan A. Cole Scholarship, you increase the University’s ability to award these scholarships to New Jersey’s promising students.
Recognizing Dr. Cole’s Leadership
Known as an energetic and engaged leader with an unflagging work ethic, Cole said she is leaving not because she accomplished everything she set out to do, but because “at some point, I just have to stop.” The work of developing the University, she said, is never done. “The University is organic and ever changing and meant for the ages, not just the decades. And, as for me, if I stayed here for another 20 or so years, I would still never accomplish what I came to do, because my dreams and goals for the University keep growing with the University.”
Cole became Montclair State’s eighth and first woman, president in 1998. During her tenure, the University’s enrollment grew from 12,000 to 21,000 students, and Montclair State took its place as one of New Jersey’s most successfully diverse institutions, while expanding its degree offerings and earning national and state recognition as a research university. Throughout it all, the University has kept its focus on its students, providing them with an excellent yet affordable education to equip them to lead lives of purpose and meaning.
Under Cole’s leadership the University created four new schools and colleges: the School of Communication and Media, home to one of the nation’s best media production facilities and over 1,000 students; the John J. Cali School of Music, which together with the Department of Theatre and Dance has gained a national and international reputation for educating performing artists; University College, which serves close to 2,000 pre-major students; and a new, highly innovative School of Nursing.
Read the full announcement regarding Dr. Cole’s retirement and view her address to faculty and staff, which was live streamed on the University’s YouTube channel.