The New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) announces the 16 newest inductees it will honor at this year’s Induction Ceremony on May 6th, 2018, at the historic Convention Hall in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The distinguished Class of 2017 currently includes:
- ARTS & LETTERS: Author Harlan Coben and author and journalist Anna Quindlen.
- ENTERPRISE: Real Estate executive Jon Hanson, publishing executive Steve Forbes, businessman Joe Buckelew, and celebrity chef Cake Boss, Buddy Valastro.
- PERFORMING ARTS: Actress Meryl Streep, musician and actor Steven Van Zandt, the band The Four Seasons including members Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi and Joe Long, singer Gloria Gaynor, and singer-songwriter Debbie Harry of the band BLONDIE.
- PUBLIC SERVICE: Astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly, nurse Clara Maass and politician Millicent Fenwick.
- SPORTS: Major League Baseball player Al Leiter and runner Mary Decker.
- UNSUNG HERO: To be announced in April.
“Induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame is the highest civilian honor that our State can bestow on someone. It’s a celebration of New Jersey that inspires the next generation of New Jersey leaders. Our inductees remind us how so many of our citizens have transformed the world, and how proud we should be of that fact as New Jerseyans,” said Governor Phil Murphy.
All living inductees are expected to attend the 2017 Induction Ceremony; a friend or family member will represent inductees who are no longer with us. The New Jersey Hall of Fame may select additional inductees based on their availability for the ceremony.
“Our May 6th induction ceremony is the NJHOF’s 10th-anniversary celebration, and former inductees will help us to induct this year’s class. It will be an inspiring ceremony, with lots of surprises,” said Steve Edwards, NJHOF Foundation Board President.
The official 2017 Public Vote Ballot contained 50 nominees – 10 in each of five categories: Arts & Letters, Enterprise, Performance Arts, Public Service and Sports. The public voting, along with input from the Hall of Fame’s Board of Trustees, determined this year’s class. More information about the selection process and the “Recommend a Nominee” is on the NJHOF website.
NJHOF will also recognize the recipients of the third annual Arête Scholarship on stage at the Induction Ceremony. Named for the Greek concept of “Arête” meaning the realization of one’s highest potential, these $5,000 scholarships are awarded to New Jersey high school seniors to help them achieve their potential. Students can apply for these generous scholarships online at www.NJHallofFame.org/arete before the deadline on March 17, 2018. The NJHOF presents The Arête Scholarship in partnership with the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA).