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Mike Esmail pictured with Piggy Read More

Mike Esmail was raised in Jersey City by a single mother and, in some sense, an entire community. Because his mother never had much money, she often relied on the kindness of those around her, all the while stressing the importance of giving back.

Mike Esmail and fellow graduates

Cook College/School of Environmental and Biological Sciences graduates Jacqueline H. Deitz, Mike Esmail, and Daniel Kosinski (left to right) smiled as they gathered for the commencement procession.

And so Mike came to care deeply for all beings, whether the farm animals to which he has tended in the animal science program at Rutgers, the many undergraduates he has affected through leadership roles in residence life, or the local children for whom he volunteers.

With a long-held dream of becoming a veterinarian, Mike—the first in his family to attend college—was able to afford Rutgers only with scholarship assistance. The weight of this gift was not lost on him, and he strove to support his new community in ways that were equally profound. He became deeply involved in both the campus and surrounding neighborhood as a resident assistant for first-year students, participant in a major restructuring of the residence life program, and head of a university club that provides mentoring and tutoring to New Brunswick children.

While Mike worked on campus during his first few years at Rutgers, scholarships gave him the freedom to study full-time as his academic schedule became more challenging. The extra efforts paid off; he has been accepted to three veterinary schools and plans to attend the prestigious University of Pennsylvania next fall. And because he will leave Rutgers free of debt, he won't have to worry about repayments while in graduate school.

Mike is profoundly appreciative of his time at Rutgers, and in the spirit of giving back, he wants to share that with others. "My floor is my community, and what matters most is that my residents are happy," says Mike. "I want them to have the best college experience possible—like I did."

FIRST PHOTO BY JOHN EMERSON. SECOND PHOTO BY NICK ROMANENKO.

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Henry Bartels' Million-Dollar Challenge

Bartels is urging fellow scull supporters on to secure the future of men's crew.

Bartels is urging fellow scull supporters on to secure the future of men's crew.

Henry Bartels, who rowed for both Rutgers and Cornell in the 1940s, has issued a stirring challenge to secure the future of men's crew at Rutgers: he will match up to $1 million in contributions to an endowment drive to fund the position of the men's crew coach. When the goal of $2 million is reached, men's crew will be the first sport at Rutgers with an endowment that permanently provides the coach's salary. Read More ››


Known by his friends as Hank, Bartels traces his Rutgers roots to 1941, when he enrolled to study mechanical engineering. Two years later, he left to enlist in the military. After his discharge in 1945, Bartels decided to study industrial engineering. Since Rutgers did not offer the program, he enrolled at Cornell. Once again, he joined a crew team, and he met his wife, Nancy, in a music appreciation class. They graduated together in 1948 and married two months later. Putting his degree to good use in metalwork manufacturing, Bartels rose to become president of MMRM Industries in Meriden, Connecticut.

Since his retirement in 1984, Bartels has had more time to focus on philanthropy and his dedication to community and education. At Rutgers, Bartels has given generously to scholarship funds; he has also worked with his classmates to establish the Class of 1945 Crew Shell Endowment Fund. This fund provides monies, in perpetuity, for the purchase of a new eight-oared shell every five years.

Bartels proposed the concept of the coach's endowment after a similar approach at Cornell had great success. With the $1 million challenge he has issued, he hopes to galvanize support for endowing the coach's position at Rutgers, ensuring that men's crew will be a permanent and respected part of the Rutgers community. Close | Printer Friendly

Students to Donors: Thanks a Million!

Duncan and Nancy MacMillan and the happy recipients of their scholarships.

Duncan and Nancy MacMillan (front row left) and the happy recipients of their scholarships. Many students expressed thanks to their scholarship donors at a series of appreciation events this spring.

Rutgers scholarship recipients warmly thanked their donors in person this spring during five luncheons marked by a spirit of generosity and appreciation. The luncheons honored endowed scholarships established over the years by Samuel Geltman, Duncan and Nancy MacMillan, James Cullen, the late Janice Levin, and the late Jay Chiat.

A number of donors and students remarked that the scholarship awards produced a family feeling among benefactors and recipients. That feeling was underlined by the presence of Nancy Geltman Resnick, representing her father, Samuel Geltman; Arielle Madover, the granddaughter of Janice Levin; and Edwina von Gal, the widow of Jay Chiat. Read More ››

"Connection with recipients is very important to Dad (Samuel Geltman) and me," Resnick told the students. "You are not just a name to us. We care about you."

Keona Welch, a senior at the Mason Gross School of the Arts and a recipient of the Jay Chiat Scholarship, expressed a similar sentiment. "I feel like I have a great-uncle who has been standing by in the wings with support both financial and spiritual," she said. "I feel wealthy with love."

More than 100 individuals attended the five gatherings, including donors and past and present recipients. Since they were established, the endowment funds have provided well over $5 million in scholarships for more than 500 students.

Carol P. Herring, president of the Rutgers University Foundation, emphasized that all five donors created endowed funds. "An endowment is the most visionary way to give," she said. "The monies are carefully invested, and the yearly income from the investment generates scholarship assistance in perpetuity. In this way, the impact of an endowment lasts forever."

Students expressed profound gratitude for the financial support they received. "Law school—even Rutgers, exceptional value that it is—can get expensive," said Jordan Rand, a third-year student at the School of Law-Newark and a recipient of the Philip J. Levin Scholarship. "Luckily, there are generous people out there like the Levin family, who make it possible for people like me to attend tremendous institutions like Rutgers."

Jeffrey Moon, a senior at Rutgers College and a recipient of the Duncan and Nancy MacMillan Scholarship, said that for him, "the scholarship facilitates the freedom to take risks—not with money but with time and commitment. Financial support has imbued me with greater ambition."

The awardees expressed hope that they will be able to help others in a similar way some day. "I have a great job lined up for next year," said Rand, who graduates in May. "While I don't know what is going to come after that, I do hope that I will be able to do for even one student what the Levin family has done for so many."

PHOTO BY STEVE GOODMAN
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IN BRIEF

Professor Shares Vision
With Schering-Plough

Kathryn Uhrich Shares Vision  With Schering-PloughIn April, Professor Kathryn Uhrich was invited to present her work, "Polymer Drugs and Polmeric Micelles," to a group of about 50 scientists at the Schering-Plough Research Institute in Kenilworth, New Jersey. Following the lecture, Uhrich discussed a proposal for a fellowship in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology with Ismail Kola, senior vice president and chief scientific officer at the institute. Schering-Plough has a 31-year relationship with Rutgers and has given the university over $3 million, including an appreciable contribution in support of the Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowship program at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy.

HIGHLIGHTED GIFTS

  • Prudential gave $5 million to help establish a new home for Rutgers Business School–Newark and New Brunswick, including an endowed chair and a center dedicated to business ethics and leadership in the business, nonprofit, and philanthropic arenas.
  • Charles A. DeMarzo RBS'49 bequeathed $2.5 million to endow a chair and a fellowship at the Graduate School of Education.
  • Rutgers Business School alumna Beverly Johnson RBS'51 established a scholarship in her name to provide $10,000, starting this year, to a graduating Roselle Park High School student who enrolls at Rutgers. By 2011, she will be funding four students per year at $10,000 each. Johnson wishes to show her appreciation for the wonderful opportunities she experienced at Roselle Park High School and Rutgers University.