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Rutgers Loyal Sons & Daughters: it’s more than a passing phrase

You can say you’re a Loyal Son or Daughter, but only a few truly are.

The stained glass window in Kirkpatrick Chapel illustrating the signing of the charter creating Queens College in 1766

As the Eddie Jordan coaching era was unraveling, a lot of people were feeling bad about how this was playing out. And many, in their sadness, noted how Eddie was a "loyal son". Little did they realize that while Eddie’s a good guy, he isn’t officially a Loyal Son.

Eddie Jordan is a loyal son. Lower case on both words. But officially, he’s just another alum. Because the Rutgers Alumni Association (RAA) hasn’t named him a Loyal Son. Capitalize both words.

The RAA created the Loyal Sons Award in 1958 to recognize those graduates of Rutgers College who had given extraordinary and outstanding service to Alma Mater. As the University grew and changed, the RAA changed with it and, since 1986, the award has been known as the Loyal Sons and Daughters Award, recognizing those alums - and in rare cases others - who have given back with their time and effort.

The list of recipients is fairly small. The criteria is pretty stringent. It isn’t a matter of honoring those who simply wrote a check. It isn’t to honor those who have achieved greatness in their post-graduate lives; that's the Hall of Distinguished Alumni. No, this is to recognize those who love their school and have spent hours on end doing, giving back, and serving Rutgers.

So, who are we talking about? In many cases - perhaps most - you may not know the names, because these aren’t always famous alums. They are, however, those who serve because they believe in Rutgers and want to give back

That’s not to say there aren’t names that you would know. How about:

  • Martin Agronsky RC 1936: TV journalist
  • Richard Hale RC 1944, GSED: local businessman and long-time contributor to Rutgers...and, yes, for the Hale Center
  • Charles H. Brower RC 1925: member of the Board of Trustees and Governors of Rutgers...and, yes, in 1974 Brower Commons was renamed for him
  • F. Austin Walter RC 1932: Director of the Rutgers Glee Club for 52 years. And he never changed the words to the Alma Mater.
  • Milton Friedman RC 1932: received the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize for Economic Sciences for his research on consumption analysis, monetary history and theory, and the complexity of stabilization policy.

But not Eddie Jordan. There are others, though, from the world of sports who are Loyal Sons and Daughters and whom you may recognize: Jeff Torborg ‘63, David “Sonny” Werblin ‘31, Bob Mulcahy. There have been other primarily sports-related recipients of the award, some who were not even Rutgers grads but who were still considered “Loyal Sons” or “Loyal Daughters”. Here’s a short list, which, though mostly sports-related, includes my favorite University president:

For what they did to earn recognition, see table at bottom of post

Loyal Sons & Daughters, Class of 2017

In two weeks, on April 8 at Nielson Dining Hall, the 59th Annual Loyal Sons & Daughters Gala will be held. On that night, seven new members will be inducted. It is a recognition of service and dedication to Alma Mater. It is a recognition that is truly humbling. I know; I was there in 2015.

This year’s honorees even includes a sports-related alum. Here’s the full list:

Eric Clark LC ’98

Eric Clark, an Illinois native, has been the President of the Rutgers Club of Chicago for more than twelve years. A member of the Rutgers Men’s Basketball team during his years on the banks, he was inspired to take on the task of revitalizing the Rutgers Club of Chicago upon his return to his home state. The position included the challenge of reaching out to the 2,500 plus alumni living in and around the windy city. Eric became and continues to be the Rutgers “go to” guy for any Big Ten event in Chicago, and was named the B1G10K Rutgers Representative in 2014. In 2006, Eric received the William of Orange Award for Dedicated Volunteerism.

Joan A. DeBoer CC ’84

Joan A. DeBoer acquired an encyclopedic knowledge of Cook College’s alumni, faculty, and staff during her 39-year career as an administrator, which culminated as assistant dean for Academic Affairs. As an alumna, she served as vice president, secretary, and Alumni Federation representative for the Cook/CAES Alumni Association. She founded the Silver Knights, a club for retired Rutgers staff. Cook honored Joan with the George Hammell Cook Alumni Award. In addition, she chaired the Cook Recognition and Awards Committee and initiated a biographical booklet of recipients. Joan says her dedication springs from “love of the college, of Rutgers, and an appreciation of what it has done for me.”

Luis Largo GSE ’07

Luis Largo is the ubiquitous guy with the camera at almost every RAA event and Board of Directors meeting. Since coming from Colombia to the Graduate School of Education (to ultimately teach advanced placement physics at Madison High School for the past ten years) Luis has been an ultra-active member of the RAA. His efforts include the annual coat drive for the Community Service Committee; photography and technology services for the Communications Committee; participation in Alumni Family Day, Scarlet Harvest, and “Rutgers in Your Backyard” programs, all while serving as co-chair of one committee and tri-chair of another.

Melissa Lieberman-Elimanco DC ’05, GSE ’06, ’14

Melissa became involved with the RAA through the Young Alumni committee and soon after become co-chair of the committee. She served for 5 years as chair playing a key role in numerous events including happy hours, game watches, wine tastings, Bishop Beach Blast, and the Bar A Beach Party as well as developing new activities including a cooking class and trip to Boston. Melissa currently co-chairs the Alumni Family Day committee overseeing events including Scarlet Harvest and Family Day at the Rutgers Zone. A faculty member in the Rutgers Mathematics Department, Melissa educates and inspires future alumni and for many years has served as a math tutor for Rutgers Athletics.

Alyssa Gentile Salvesen RC ’09, GSE ’10

Alyssa Gentile Salvesen has been active with the RAA since her arrival as an undergraduate at Rutgers. Upon graduation, Alyssa quickly became a co-chair of the RAA Young Alumni Committee in 2010, where she was instrumental in the inception and success of the annual RAA Monmouth Racetrack outing. She also led a well-received discussion at an RAA board meeting titled, “Motivating the Middle,” which was directed at developing skills and understanding in committee chairs. In 2013, she became, and remains, a co-chair of the RAA Undergraduate Committee; where she helps to bring about the complex and demanding “RAA Speed Networking” event in cooperation with Rutgers Career Services and several alumni associations. In addition, Alyssa is an advisor to the sisterhood chair of the Zeta Phi Chapter of her Sigma Kappa Sorority.

Dorothy M. Stanaitis UCC ’82

Dorothy Stanitis has been a dedicated volunteer on behalf of Rutgers University, serving as president of the Alumni Federation from 1992 to 1995 and of Camden’s alumni program before that. Dorothy is currently a university trustee emerita – the first from Rutgers Camden, after serving two six-year terms as a charter trustee.In 2000, she was named one of Rutgers-Camden’s “Fifty Finest” graduates during the campus’s 50th anniversary. Dorothy also serves on the Dean’s Leadership Council of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on the Camden Campus.

Roy H. Tanzman RC ’73, CLAW ’76

Roy H. Tanzman has been president of Rutgers Hillel for the past six years. Through Roy’s efforts, a parcel of land on the corner of George Street and Bishop Place that was purchased for a new Hillel building was swapped for another parcel across College Avenue so that the University’s College Avenue Redevelopment Project would have the long uninterrupted piece of property needed for the Honors College. Rutgers has one of the highest Jewish student populations in the United States, and now through Roy’s efforts has a place for Jewish and non-Jewish students alike to enrich their spiritual, social and intellectual lives. In addition, Roy played a role in securing a gift from the Marion and Norman Tanzman Charitable Foundation for the establishment of the Marion and Norman Tanzman Hall of Jewish Learning, which is in Miller Hall adjacent to the Alan and Joan Bilder Center for the Study of Jewish Life – a part of the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences.

The list of notables from above