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Founders’ Day – October 10, 2018

Join us in the Pollak Theatre at 3 p.m.

Read the Founders Day Program

Founders’ Day is a campus-wide event that celebrates Monmouth University’s founding in 1933. The first Founders’ Day was held in 1983 as a part of the University’s 50th anniversary celebration and has since become a University tradition.

On Wednesday, October 10, 2018, the Monmouth community will celebrate the University’s 85th anniversary with two events: the inaugural lecture in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Speaker in Social Justice series and Founders’ Day Convocation. Both events are open to the public.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Distinguished Speaker in Social Justice

Lecture by Ruha Benjamin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, African American Studies, Princeton University

Pollak Theatre
10:05 a.m.

Ruha Benjamin specializes in the interdisciplinary study of science, medicine, and technology; race-ethnicity and gender; knowledge and power. She is author of People’s Science: Bodies and Rights on the Stem Cell Frontier, Race After Technology, and editor of Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination, as well as numerous articles and book chapters.

Professor Benjamin received her B.A. in sociology and anthropology from Spelman College, M.A and Ph.D. in sociology from UC Berkeley, and completed postdoctoral fellowships at UCLA’s Institute for Society and Genetics and Harvard University’s Science, Technology, and Society Program. She has been awarded fellowships and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and Institute for Advanced Study. In 2017, she received the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton.

Founders’ Day Convocation

Pollak Theatre
3 p.m.

At the ceremony, Zakiya Smith Ellis, secretary of higher education in New Jersey, will be awarded an honorary doctorate of public service and will deliver the convocation address. The ceremony will also recognize H. William Mullaney (Class of 1960) with an honorary doctorate of humane letters to recognize his dedication to Monmouth University. Mullaney is a member of the Society of Trustees and former member of the Board of Trustees, and, along with his wife, Sandy, the namesake of Mullaney Hall. Additionally, Barry H. Ostrowski, president and CEO of RWJBarnabas Health, will receive the Maurice Pollak Award for Distinguished Community Service for enriching the quality and scope of health care throughout our region during his career.

About the Honorees

A photo of Barry H. Ostrowsky

Barry H. Ostrowsky is the president and CEO of RWJBarnabas Health, which, along with Rutgers University, has formed New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive academic health system. The public-private partnership is dedicated to providing high-quality patient care, leading-edge research, and world-class health and medical education that transforms and advances health care in New Jersey.

Ostrowsky is spearheading a system-wide endeavor to promote healthier living and develop an effective strategy to address the true social needs of our diverse communities.

Ostrowsky joined Saint Barnabas Medical Center in 1991 as executive vice president and general counsel and served in the same role when Barnabas Health was created in 1996. At Barnabas Health, he became president and chief operating officer in 2010 and president and CEO in 2012. After the merge of Barnabas Health and Robert Wood Johnson Health System in April 2016, he assumed his current position.

Ostrowsky earned his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and his Juris Doctor from the University of Tennessee School of Law.


Zakiya Smith Ellis serves as New Jersey’s Secretary of Higher Education, where she is responsible for policy development and coordination of higher education activities for the state.

Secretary Smith Ellis previously led work at Lumina Foundation, the nation’s largest foundation focused solely on higher education, to advance federal policy to increase attainment and to develop new postsecondary finance models, focusing on issues of affordability.

Prior to her work in philanthropy, Secretary Smith Ellis served as a senior advisor for education at the White House Domestic Policy Council, where she was tasked with developing, informing, and promoting President Obama’s higher education policy. She also served in the Obama administration as a senior advisor at the U.S. Department of Education, where she developed programmatic, policy, and budget solutions to respond to pressing challenges in college access, affordability, and completion.

Secretary Smith Ellis holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and secondary education from Vanderbilt University, a master’s degree in education policy and management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.

H. William Mullaney founded Mullaney Insurance Associates as an independent organization in 1961, which later became a division of Commerce Bancorp, Inc. in July 1999. Mullaney served as a vice president of the Monmouth County insurance operation for Commerce until his retirement in 2001.

Mullaney attended Monmouth University as a member of the Class of 1960, where he was a founding member of Phi Delta Sigma. He was elected to the Monmouth University Board of Trustees in 2006. He and his wife, Sandy, who has been an active member of the Library Association for more than 25 years, were honored at the University’s 2005 Scholarship Ball for their volunteer service. More recently, one of the University’s newest residence halls for first-year students was named Mullaney Hall in recognition of their philanthropy.

Mullaney is involved in many charitable organizations. In an effort to increase fundraising for Family and Children’s Services, he founded the Corporate Executive Board, organized the Society of $1,000, and started the organization’s annual golf tournament. He also organized the Leadership Giving Program for United Way of Monmouth.

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