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Class of 2021 Induction Ceremony

The New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) is thrilled to present its 2021 class of inductees, highlighting some of the state’s best and brightest.


We’d Like to Thank Our Sponsors for this Induction Ceremony

NEW JERSEY HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES LINEUP FOR INDUCTION CEREMONY

Ceremony Will Also Honor September 11 First Responders Who Have Sickened and Passed Away as 2021 Unsung Heroes

NEWARK, N.J. – The virtual red carpet is ready to welcome some of New Jersey’s best and brightest!Danny DeVito is set to host the 13th annual New Jersey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, with special appearances by President George W. Bush, Governor Phil Murphy and First Lady Tammy Snyder-Murphy, Chelsea Handler, Patti LaBelle, Quincy Jones, Keith Richards, Robin Roberts, Judith Light, Al Leiter, Nona Hendryx, and many more guest surprises!

The one-hour ceremony will premiere at 7 p.m.Saturday, October 16 on My9NJ and on the Hall of Fame’s YouTube channel and Facebook page, with re-airings on Sunday, October 17Saturday, October 23 and Sunday, October 24. It will also air on NJ PBS at 8 p.m. October 20, as well as on October 22 and October 23. This year’s class showcases the depth and variety of talent of the Garden State, ranging from founding father Alexander Hamilton to Baseball Hall of Famer Monte Irvin. Other inductees include singer Mary Chapin Carpenter, dynamic businesswoman Louise Scott, famed photographer Dorothea Lange, and the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

The ceremony will also pay tribute to the late Sarah Dash, who passed away on September 20, 2021 before she was to be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year.

And as the nation marked 20 years since the devastating September 11 attacks, the Hall of Fame is proud to announce that this year’s Unsung Heroes are the thousands of first responders who have suffered complications and passed away due to their service. 

The New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2021 is:

Arts & Letters

Dorothea Lange*, Hoboken, documentary photographer 

Anne Morrow Lindbergh*, Englewood, author and aviator

Performing Arts

George Benson, Englewood, jazz guitarist, singer, and songwriter

Sarah Dash*, Trenton, co-founder of Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles

Mary Chapin Carpenter**, Princeton, country music singer

Enterprise

Madeline McWhinney Dale*, Middletown, first female officer/vice-president of the Federal Reserve Bank 

Madame Louise Scott*, Newark, founder of Scott School of Beauty Culture & chain of beauty salons

Paul Volcker*, Cape May, 12th Chair of the Federal Reserve 

Sara Spencer Washington*, Atlantic City, founder of Apex News and Hair Company 

Sports

Val Ackerman, Pennington, first president of the Women’s National Basketball Association

Monte Irvin*, Orange, left and right fielder in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball who played with the Newark Eagles, New York Giants and Chicago Cubs

Public Service

Margaret Bancroft*, Haddonfield, founder of Bancroft, nonprofit serving individuals with disabilities

Alexander Hamilton*, Elizabeth, founding father and first secretary of the treasury

David Mixner, Elmer, political activist and author

William Paterson*, South Branch, signer of the U.S. Constitution, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and 2nd Governor of New Jersey

Gustave F. Perna, Rockaway, U.S. Army four-star general/COO of the federal COVID-19 response 

Antonin Scalia*, Trenton, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1986 until his death in 2016


*Being honored posthumously.

**Previous inductee, but being formally inducted this year.

The 17 inductees in the five categories were chosen out of 50 nominees after a public vote during the month of May.

NEW JERSEY HALL OF FAME NAMES 2021 ARÊTE SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

Rumson’s Charlotte Stant and Camden’s Lawrence Custis to Receive $5,000 College Scholarships

“The Arête scholarship award is a vital component of the NJHOF mission, and on behalf of our board of trustees and many supporters throughout New Jersey, we applaud Charlotte Stant and Lawrence Custis for epitomizing the ideals of the Arête concept,” said Steve Edwards, president of the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

Charlotte Stant and Lawrence Custis have been named winners of the New Jersey Hall of Fame’s 2021 Arête Scholarship Fund, a $5,000 award granted to two graduating high school seniors each year.

Ms. Stant recently graduated from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School in Rumson, New Jersey. She is attending Boston University and plans to major in International Business and minor in Spanish.

Mr. Custis graduated as the valedictorian from Creative Arts Morgan Village High School in Camden, New Jersey. He is attending Howard University with plans to major in Mechanical Engineering.

The scholarship is named after the ancient Greek concept of “Arête” of actualizing one’s highest sense of self with a moral excellence of character regardless of the circumstances or the adversities one is likely to face on the path to greatness. The recipients of the Arête scholarship must demonstrate qualities such as academic engagement, moral character, a commitment to their community, a sense of Jersey pride and a plan on how they intend to realize their highest sense of self: their Arête.

The New Jersey Hall of Fame partners with the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) in the program, with both organizations jointly reviewing all the inspiring applications

While the committee heralded all the applications, it selected Ms. Stant for her remarkable efforts to create her own non-profit to address food insecurity during the pandemic in the Spanish-speaking immigrant community. Companeros has served more than 145,000 meals in the past 10 months alone.

Mr. Custis, who in his application said “I don’t know life without hardships” was selected for his tremendous hard work and perseverance despite immense personal challenges to graduate at the top of his class and serve as a role model to the youth in his community.

“We are so proud of Charlotte and Lawrence. On behalf of every educator who worked with them along the way and all our 200,000 NJEA members, I wish them nothing but the best as they pursue their higher education and their dreams,” said NJEA President Sean M. Spiller. “I know they will continue to make all of us proud and to show the world the best of New Jersey wherever their journeys take them.”

Ms. Stant and Mr. Custis will be honored at the NJHOF’s induction ceremony later this year.

Charlotte Stant
Lawrence Custis

For more information on the Arête Scholarship Fund, visit: https://njhalloffame.org/arete/.

ABOUT THE NJHOF: Because everyone needs a hero, the New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) honors citizens who have made invaluable contributions to society, the State of New Jersey and the world beyond. Since 2008, the NJHOF has hosted 12 ceremonies for more than 180 notable individuals and groups in recognition of their induction into the Hall of Fame. The NJHOF endeavors to present school children with significant and impactful role models to show that they can, and should, strive for excellence. The NJHOF is thankful for the support of its many sponsors, without which none of our endeavors would be possible. For more information, go to www.njhalloffame.org.

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CONTACT:

Natasha Alagarasan, natasha@princetonsc.com, (609) 789-7818

Norris Clark, norris@princetonsc.com, (609) 425-1325

Governor Murphy Announces New Jersey Turnpike Authority to Rename Nine Garden State Parkway Service Areas after New Jersey Icons and Hall of Fame Inductees

To showcase the outstanding talent of the people of New Jersey and their contributions to the world, Governor Phil Murphy announced today that the New Jersey Turnpike Authority is renaming nine service areas on the Garden State Parkway after iconic New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) inductees in the arts, entertainment and sports. Nine service areas will be renamed as follows:

  • Montvale: James Gandolfini Service Area
  • Brookdale North: Larry Doby Service Area
  • Brookdale South: Connie Chung Service Area
  • Vauxhall: Whitney Houston Service Area
  • Cheesequake: Jon Bon Jovi Service Area
  • Monmouth: Judy Blume Service Area
  • Forked River: Celia Cruz Service Area
  • Atlantic: Frank Sinatra Service Area
  • Ocean View: Toni Morrison Service Area

“This is about putting New Jersey greatness on full display,” said Governor Phil Murphy. “This is the first part of an extended statewide exhibition of New Jersey heroes throughout our state. From military heroes on the Battleship New Jersey to historical figures on the New Jersey Turnpike to science and technology trailblazers at Newark Penn Station, New Jerseyans will find pride in our contributions to society and the world.”

“Our State’s rich cultural history has fostered an incredible number of talented individuals who have brought great pride to New Jersey through their contributions in entertainment, sports, arts and more,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “By highlighting the past achievements of New Jersey residents, we aim to encourage hope for the future success stories of our great state, and maybe even inspire the next Toni Morrison or Jon Bon Jovi  to achieve all that they can through the opportunities afforded in New Jersey.”

“Millions of New Jersey drivers travel on the Garden State Parkway every day,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner Diane Scaccetti-Gutierrez. “The service areas they visit during those travels are a fitting place to call attention to the accomplishments of their fellow New Jerseyans in the arts, entertainment, and sports. And there is no organization better suited to identify the New Jerseyans worthy of this recognition than the New Jersey Hall of Fame.”

“New Jersey’s leaders have joined with New Jersey Hall of Fame to inspire people to become leaders in their own fields as they travel along the Garden State Parkway,” said NJHOF Chairman Jon F. Hanson. “We’re grateful to the Governor, the First Lady, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, and Senator Patrick Diegnan for their leadership. We heartily thank Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, as our Lead Sponsor and Premier Healthcare Partner.”

“We encourage patrons in each service area to identify with one of our inductees and take to heart the advice our inductees provide on how to reach the pinnacle of their respective professions,” said Steve Edwards, President of the New Jersey Hall of Fame. “ The rest is up to you!”

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority Board of Commissioners voted unanimously today to rename the nine service areas in honor of these notable New Jerseyans.

In keeping with the New Jersey Hall of Fame’s mission, the Garden State Parkway service area exhibits will encourage people to purposely choose their own heroes and learn about their paths to success.

Garden State Parkway service area parking lots will now welcome visitors with banners of NJHOF inductees, and each service area will contain Hard Rock Cafe-style exhibits including inspirational posters designed by renowned New Jersey architect Michael Graves, compelling artifacts, and an interactive Wall of Fame featuring a life-sized video monitor showcasing over 200 biographical vignettes of all inductees and their acceptance speeches. Service area patrons will be invited to pose with various Jersey legends and share the photos on their social media platforms.

While all New Jersey Hall of Fame inductees will be showcased, each service area will be themed in the categories of arts, entertainment and sports.

The planned Parkway service area exhibitions further extend the Hall of Fame’s statewide network of museums, exhibits and poster installations in partnership with Newark Liberty International Airport, NJ TRANSIT, Battleship New Jersey, Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce, and the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. Later this year the Hall of Fame will announce updated plans for its permanent home at American Dream while the mobile museum continues to serve local communities.

NEW JERSEY HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES ITS INCOMING 2021 CLASS OF INDUCTEES

The New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) is thrilled to announce its 2021 class of inductees, highlighting some of the state’s best and brightest.

The list showcases the depth and variety of talent of the Garden State, ranging from founding father Alexander Hamilton to dynamic businesswoman Louise Scott, famed photographer Dorothea Lange, Baseball Hall of Famer Monte Irvin and the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Join us for a one-hour, virtual televised ceremony to honor some of New Jersey’s most distinguished citizens as they are officially inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, the highest civilian honor bestowed by our state.

The 13th annual induction ceremony will once again be a virtual event as it was last year, in an abundance of caution amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. It will be broadcast on My9NJ on Saturday, October 16, Sunday, October 17, Saturday, October 23 and Sunday, October 24,  as well as on NJ PBS, radio and prominent social media platforms, bringing the event closer than ever to the public. The Class of 2021’s Unsung Hero will be announced in early October.

 “We asked New Jerseyans to help choose the next class of heroes and they delivered,” says Jon F. Hanson, chairman of the NJHOF. “We are honored to celebrate the lives and contributions of these notable New Jersey luminaries and greats.”

The New Jersey Hall of Fame Class of 2021 is:

Arts & Letters

Dorothea Lange*, Hoboken, documentary photographer

Anne Morrow Lindbergh*, Englewood, author and aviator

Enterprise

Madeline McWhinney Dale*, Middletown, first female officer/vice-president of the Federal Reserve Bank

Madam Louise Scott*, Newark, founder of Scott School of Beauty Culture & chain of beauty salons

Paul Volcker*,Teaneck, 12th Chair of the Federal Reserve

Sara Spencer Washington*, Atlantic City, founder of Apex News and Hair Company


Performing Arts

George Benson, Englewood, jazz guitarist, singer, and songwriter

Sarah Dash, Trenton, award-winning vocalist who co-founded Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles

Mary Chapin Carpenter**, Princeton, country music singer

Public Service

Margaret Bancroft*, Haddonfield, founder of Bancroft, nonprofit serving individuals with disabilities

Alexander Hamilton*, Elizabeth, founding father and first secretary of the treasury

David Mixner, Elmer, political activist and author

William Paterson*, South Branch, signer of the U.S. Constitution, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and 2nd Governor of New Jersey

Gustave F. Perna, Rockaway, U.S. Army four-star general/COO of the federal COVID-19 response

Antonin Scalia*, Trenton, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1986 until his death in 2016


Sports

Val Ackerman, Pennington, first president of the Women’s National Basketball Association

Monte Irvin*, Orange, left and right fielder in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball who played with the Newark Eagles, New York Giants and Chicago Cubs


*Being honored posthumously.

**Previous inductee, but being formally inducted this year.

In the case of someone who has been selected for the Hall in a previous year, but not inducted due to not being able to attend that year’s ceremony, the NJHOF may add to the current list of inductees for this year. If so, an announcement will be made in September.

The 23 inductees in the five categories were chosen out of 50 nominees after a public vote during the month of May.

ABOUT THE NJHOF: Because everyone needs a hero, the New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) honors citizens who have made invaluable contributions to society, the State of New Jersey and the world beyond. Since 2008, the NJHOF has hosted 12 ceremonies for more than 180 notable individuals and groups in recognition of their induction into the Hall of Fame. The NJHOF endeavors to present school children with significant and impactful role models to show that they can, and should, strive for excellence. The NJHOF is thankful for the support of its many sponsors, like Hackensack Meridian Health, without which none of our endeavors would be possible. For more information, go to www.njhalloffame.org.

CONTACT: Natasha Alagarasan, natasha@princetonsc.com, (609) 789-7818

NEW JERSEY HALL OF FAME AND NEW JERSEY EDUCATION ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCE WINNERS OF 2021 ESSAY CONTEST

June 25, 2021

Newark, N.J. – The New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) and New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) are excited to announce the winners of the 2021 essay contest titled Who Belongs in the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

In the middle school category, the committee chose Hanna Juma, an eighth grader at Glassboro Intermediate School in Glassboro for her essay on Mark Chitkwesit Mexhaniat “Quiet Hawk” Gould, the elected chief of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation. Naima Bari, a ninth grader at Diana C. Lobosco STEM Academy in Passaic, was selected in the high school category for her essay on Nobel Prize-winning biochemist and microbiologist Selman Abraham Waksman.

The essay contest is open to all New Jersey students from fourth to 12th grades and divided into two age categories: Intermediate (grades four through eight) and High School (grades nine through 12). Applicants need to write an essay of no more than 500 words describing who should be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame. The Academy will then consider the nominees for induction into the 2022 class.

“As educators, we are proud of every student who participated in this essay contest,” said NJEA President Marie Blistan. “We learn a lot from reading their essays. The quality of their work and the creativity of their submissions demonstrate the great things happening in our public schools.”

“We are thrilled to see the next generation of leaders voice their opinions on who should be in the New Jersey Hall of Fame,” said Chairman of the NJHOF Jon F. Hanson. “This year’s nominations are a wonderful example of the amazing talent and heroes that can be found within our great state.”

“We created the Hall of Fame to inspire the younger generation on the many heroes and role models within our state,” said Steve Edwards, president of the NJHOF. “We hope to be able to continue to provide that inspiration to our future leaders and all residents.”

Mark “Quiet Hawk” Gould, of Bridgeton, has served in leadership in the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation for more than four decades, including playing a major role in the public reorganization of the tribe in the 1970s. He has been an active voice for the rights of indigenous people. The tribe has been in New Jersey, in Cumberland and Salem Counties, and Delaware for more than 10,000 years.

Known as “The Father of Antibiotics”, Selman Abraham Waksman was born in the Ukrainian town of Nova Priluka before immigrating to a small farm on the outskirts of Metuchen at the age of 22. He enrolled in Rutgers College, now Rutgers University, on a state scholarship in 1911 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture. He is credited with discovering and isolating more than two dozen new antibiotics, including streptomycin, actinomycin and neomycin.

The essay winners will be recognized at the 13th annual New Jersey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in October, which will be televised on My9NJ.

The contest is part of a series of initiatives by the NJHOF to inspire and encourage students in New Jersey. The organization also runs the Arête Scholarship Fund, which awards two annual $5,000 scholarships to one female and one male high school senior for use towards college and trade school education.

ABOUT THE NJHOF: Because everyone needs a hero, the New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) honors citizens who have made invaluable contributions to society, the State of New Jersey and the world beyond. Since 2008, the NJHOF has hosted 12 ceremonies for more than 180 notable individuals and groups in recognition of their induction into the Hall of Fame. The NJHOF endeavors to present school children with significant and impactful role models to show that they can, and should, strive for excellence. The NJHOF is thankful for the support of its many sponsors, without which none of our endeavors would be possible. For more information, go to www.njhalloffame.org.

CONTACT: Natasha Alagarasan, natasha@princetonsc.com, (609) 789-7818

NEW JERSEY HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES 50 NOMINEES FOR 2021 PUBLIC VOTE

Newark NJ, May 5, 2021 New Jerseyans have another chance to choose their heroes as the New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) announces its 50 nominees for the 2021 public vote in five categories: Arts & Letters, Enterprise, Performing Arts, Public Service, and Sports.

The public is invited to vote at ChooseHeroes.com from May 5th through Memorial Day. Those nominees receiving the most votes in each category are automatically inducted.

The final inductees will be announced in June, with the induction ceremony taking place in October. The 13th annual New Jersey Hall of Fame induction ceremony will once again be a virtual event as it was last year, in an abundance of caution amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. It will be broadcast on television, radio and social media platforms, bringing the event closer to the public.

“We are excited to once again highlight the depth and variety of the Garden State,” said Jon F. Hanson, chairman of the NJHOF. “New Jerseyans will truly have their work cut out for them in choosing among these incredible nominees.”

“The 50 nominees included in this year’s public vote reflect the best that New Jersey has to offer,” said Steve Edwards, president of the NJHOF. “We’re honored to carry on our longstanding tradition of promoting the many deserving role models in our great state and bring recognition to their amazing talent and work.”

Full biographies of the nominees, as well as the ballot, can be found at ChooseHeroes.com.

ARTS & LETTERS

  • George Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, pianist and organist
  • Gay Talese, writer and journalist
  • Alfred Stieglitz, photographer and modern art promoter
  • Dorothy Porter Wesley, librarian, bibliographer and curator
  • Anne Lindbergh, author and aviator
  • John F. Nash Jr., mathematician who made fundamental contributions to game theory, differential geometry, and the study of partial differential equations
  • Dorothea Lange, documentary photographer and photojournalist
  • Thomas Fleming, historian and author of over forty nonfiction and fiction titles
  • Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who focuses on the immigrant experience in America
  • Margaret Bourke-White, the first American female war photojournalist

ENTERPRISE

  • Paul A. Volcker Jr., 12th Chair of the Federal Reserve under Presidents Carter and Reagan
  • Sara Spencer Washington, founder of Apex News and Hair Company named one of the “Most Distinguished Businesswomen” at the 1939 New York World’s Fair 
  • Louise Scott-Roundtree, established successful chain of beauty salons in Newark and city’s first African-American female millionaire
  • Henry Rowan, engineer and philanthropist
  • Denise M. Morrison, former president and CEO of Campbell Soup Company 
  • The Mars family, owners of confectionery company Mars, Inc.
  • Madeline McWhinney Dale, first female officer and vice-president of the Federal Reserve Bank
  • Clive Cummis, founder of one of NJ’s largest law firms and influential Democratic fundraiser
  • Elizabeth Coleman White, agricultural specialist who developed the first cultivated blueberry
  • James E. Burke, former CEO of Johnson & Johnson 

PERFORMING ARTS

  • Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye: Smith is a singer-songwriter, musician, author and poet who was part of the New York City punk rock movement in the 1970s; Kaye is a musician, writer, record producer and guitarist for Smith from her band’s inception in 1974
  • Bebe Neuwirth, Emmy winning-actress, singer and dancer
  • Marilyn McCoo, lead female vocalist of The 5th Dimension
  • Buddy Hackett, actor and comedian
  • Lesley Gore, singer, songwriter, actress, and activist
  • Brian De Palma, film director and screenwriter
  • Sarah Dash, award-winning vocalist who co-founded Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles
  • David Copperfield, magician
  • The Jonas Brothers, popular pop band made up of brothers Kevin, Joe and Nick Jonas
  • George Benson, jazz guitarist, singer, and songwriter

PUBLIC SERVICE

  • Loretta Weinberg, New Jersey State Senate Majority Leader
  • Richard Stockton, lawyer, jurist, legislator and a signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • George P. Shultz, economist, diplomat, and businessman serving under three GOP presidents
  • Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1986 until his death in 2016
  • Gustave F. Perna, U.S. Army four-star general & CEO of the federal COVID-19 response for vaccine and therapeutics
  • William Paterson, signer of the U.S. Constitution, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and 2nd Governor of New Jersey
  • David Mixner, political activist and author
  • Richard J. Hughes, 45th Governor of New Jersey, Chief Justice of the NJ Supreme Court
  • Margaret Bancroft, founder of the Haddonfield Bancroft Training School for the multiply disabled
  • Alexander Hamilton, founding father and first secretary of the treasury

SPORTS

  • Lawrence Taylor “L.T.”, former linebacker for the New York Giants
  • Phil Simms, two-time Super Bowl champion and quarterback for the New York Giants
  • Bill Parcells, two-time Super Bowl head coach for the New York Giants
  • Heather Ann O’Reilly, three-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup winner for the U.S. women’s national soccer team
  • John J. McMullen, naval architect, businessman, marine engineer and former owner of the New Jersey Devils and Houston Astros
  • Ron Jaworski, former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback and NFL analyst
  • Monte Irvin, left and right fielder in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball who played with the Newark Eagles, New York Giants and Chicago Cubs
  • Craig Biggio, seven-time National League (NL) All-Star second baseman, outfielder and catcher for the Houston Astros
  • Al Attles, longtime basketball player and coach for the Golden State Warriors
  • Valerie B. Ackerman, first president of the Women’s National Basketball Association

ABOUT THE NJHOF: Because everyone needs a hero, the New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) honors citizens who have made invaluable contributions to society, the State of New Jersey and the world beyond. Since 2008, the NJHOF has hosted 12 ceremonies for over 180 notable individuals and groups in recognition of their induction into the Hall of Fame. The NJHOF endeavors to present school children with significant and impactful role models to show that they can, and should, strive for excellence. The NJHOF is thankful for the support of its many sponsors, without which none of our endeavors would be possible. For more information, go to www.njhalloffame.org.

CONTACT: Natasha Alagarasan, natasha@princetonsc.com, 609-789-7818

Mourning the Passing of NJ Hall of Fame Member Steve Kalafer

Known equally for his business prowess and philanthropic endeavors, Steve Kalafer spent his life to help his fellow New Jerseyans and people in need.

Kalafer built one of the most respected and successful auto franchises in the country and was chairman of the Flemington Car and Truck Country Family of Brands.

He was also owner of the beloved Somerset Patriots baseball team of Bridgewater, which was recently named a Class AA affiliate of the New York Yankees. He was known for his incredible philanthropy, serving as co-chair of the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation, which helps victims of domestic violence, as well as treasurer of The Actor’s Fund, a non-profit group that provides emergency assistance and social services to those in the entertainment industry.

During his induction speech at the 2020 New Jersey Hall of Fame ceremony, he stressed the importance of giving back and making our community a better place to live and work.

“Our roles as entrepreneurs, as capital formation builders, as job builders is to make certain that every day, we go out to work so that the dreams of others can be met; to be entrepreneurial in the giving back business.”

Mourning the Passing of Jerry Barry: The First Head of the NJHOF Liaison Team

The New Jersey Hall of Fame and its family of supporters mourn the passing of one of our earliest supporters and the First Head of the NJHOF Liaison Team, Jerry Barry.

Jerry was one of a kind and universally loved by all that came into contact with him.

His contributions to the New Jersey Hall of Fame will never be forgotten.

Pictured: Board of Trustees President Steve Edwards alongside Jerry Barry at the 1st NJHOF Induction Ceremony.

New Jersey Hall of Fame Essay Contest Announced

Who belongs in the New Jersey Hall of Fame?

The New Jersey Hall of Fame, along with its lead sponsor, Hackensack Meridian Health, and the New Jersey Education Association, want your students to participate in the decision-making process. New Jersey public school students are invited to participate in the N.J. Hall of Fame Essay Contest. Students are asked to nominate potential inductees – living or dead – to the New Jersey Hall of Fame. Nominations can include famous people as well as ordinary citizens who do extraordinary things. Students should research or interview, if possible, the person they wish to nominate and write an essay no longer than 500 words.

Essays must be typed and double-spaced. The student must include his/her name, age, grade level as of April 1, 2021, address, phone number, parent/guardian’s name, school name, and school district. If the essay is a school project, the student should also include the name of the teacher who assigned the activity. Nominations must be postmarked by April 1, 2021, to be eligible. Send entries to NJ Hall of Fame Contest, Dawn Hiltner, 1411 S. 5th St., Philadelphia, PA 19147, or email dhiltner@njea.org with NJHOF Essay Contest in the subject line.

Entries will be divided into two age categories: Intermediate (grades 4 through 8) and High School (grades 9-12). Entries will be judged by a panel comprised of NJEA and New Jersey Hall of Fame representatives. Winners will be notified by June 1, 2021. The winning students will be invited to participate in the Annual New Jersey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony scheduled for October 2021, which will be televised on My9NJ.

The winning students’ nominations will be forwarded to the New Jersey Hall of Fame Academy for consideration in 2022. The Academy, comprised of 100 of New Jersey’s most prominent organizations, ethnic groups and media outlets, will review nominees and ultimately select Hall of Fame nominees to be put forth for the public vote in the fall. NJEA serves on the Voting Academy.

Legislation to create The New Jersey Hall of Fame passed unanimously in the in the Legislature and was signed into law by the governor in 2005. The New Jersey Hall of Fame has been created to honor our sons and daughters who have made invaluable contributions to society and the world beyond. The Hall of Fame seeks to send a message to children that they can and should strive for excellence in any endeavor of their choosing. By presenting significant and powerful role models, the Hall of Fame Museum, when built, will be a source of learning, inspiration and hope for all New Jersey children.

For more information about the New Jersey Hall of Fame, visit www.njhalloffame.org.