The View from Here

Founders’ Day, movie madness,
and more news from campus.

History and Service Take Center Stage at Founders’ Day Convocation

The campus community celebrated Monmouth’s 90th anniversary and honored two local elected officials for their service to the University and the region at Founders’ Day Convocation on Oct. 11, 2023. 

President Patrick F. Leahy bestowed the Maurice Pollak Award for Distinguished Community Service on Monmouth County Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone and New Jersey State Senator Vin Gopal.

Arnone, now in his fifth term on the Monmouth County Board of Commissioners, was honored for his dedication to Monmouth County, particularly for championing shared services, boosting business, and securing scholarship funds that enable local students to attend Monmouth University.

Gopal, who co-chairs the University’s program on Leadership, Civility, and Common Ground in Politics and Public Service and occasionally serves as an adjunct, was recognized for advancing legislation that has bolstered education, businesses, and community well-being; supporting property tax relief; and securing funding for essential county services.

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. was also scheduled to be honored but couldn’t attend because of commitments in Washington, D.C. He will receive his award at a future University event, Leahy said.

Reflecting on Monmouth’s evolution since its founding as a junior college during the Great Depression, Leahy said, “Our first 90 years … were remarkable, even audacious. If we stopped right now, it would be an incredible success story. … But we aren’t stopping. … Our story is not complete.” 

Outlining plans for further developing the Bruce Springsteen Archives & Center for American Music, enhancing the University’s beachfront property to foster economic and cultural growth in the region, forging a potential partnership with Netflix, and undertaking a comprehensive capital campaign, Leahy declared, “The best days of this institution lay ahead of us.”

A Banner Day

Prior to the women’s basketball team’s home opener on Nov. 10, the Hawks unveiled a banner celebrating the program’s historic 2023 Coastal Athletic Association Championship and NCAA appearance—then capped the day off with a thrilling, come-from-behind win over St. John’s. 

Dual Dedications

Two campus locations—the underpass that links the residential and academic sides of campus and the baseball field’s home dugout—were renamed in honor of Patricia L. Swannack ’02 and the late John Kessler ’69, respectively, in acknowledgement of those individuals’ decades of service and commitment to the University.

Movie Madness Hits Monmouth

The University rolled out the red carpet last October for a star-studded advance screening and panel discussion of “Miranda’s Victim.” The film, which details the story behind the establishment of the Miranda rule, was shot partially on campus in 2022 and is now available on various streaming services. Hawks viewers might notice more than just familiar locations in the movie: President Leahy has a nonspeaking role portraying former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court William O. Douglas. Leahy’s cinematic connections haven’t reached six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon level yet, but his cameo forged an interesting legal link with another Patrick Leahy.

Graphic shows relation of 'Patrick F. Leahy', Patrick J. Leahy, and others. More info in the Infographic Description section

Snag Some Swag: The two Leahys share another thing in common. Know what it is? Send us your answer by April 1, 2024. Correct entries will be entered in a drawing to win some Monmouth swag.

The Monmouth Brag Board

Spin It to Win It

Monmouth’s Tuesday Night Record Club snagged the Association for Continuing Higher Education’s Distinguished Program Award (noncredit) for its “originality, innovation, and ongoing success.” Now in its eighth season, Tuesday Night Record Club brings music lovers and scholars together each month to discuss and dissect classic albums from across the musical genres.

Rocking the Rankings 

Billboard Magazine again named Monmouth one of the world’s Top Music Business Schools, noting that the University’s “hybrid” academic approach and hands-on learning opportunities equip students for diverse opportunities in the industry.

Entrepreneurial Excellence

Monmouth’s Center for Entrepreneurship received the Catalyst of Ventures Award from TechUnited:NJ for its success at “fostering entrepreneurship and innovation” and “providing invaluable resources to aspiring entrepreneurs.”

Infographic Description

Titled “Courtroom Coincidental,” this image includes photos of four individuals, along with arrows that convey a circular relation between these people:

  1. Patrick F. Leahy, president of Monmouth, portrayed William O. Douglas, former associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, in the movie “Miranda’s Victim.”
  2. Douglas was replaced on the Supreme Court by former Associate Justice John Paul Stevens.
  3. Stevens’s nomination was the first such vote for Patrick J. Leahy, former U.S. senator from Vermont.
  4. Patrick J. Leahy shares the same first and last name as Monmouth University’s president.