Local Residents Earn Degrees From Centenary College

HACKETTSTOWN — Centenary College held its 138th January Commencement on Jan. 12 at the John M. Reeves Student Recreation Center. The keynote speaker, Wolfgang Gstattenbauer ’84, Centenary College Trustee, addressed Centenary’s graduating class of students, including:

  • Silvia Gonzalez from Cranford who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree
  • Barbara Hudack from Cranford who graduated with a Associate in Arts degree
  • Colin Krzyzanowski from So. Amboy who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree
  • Travis Tuytjens from Woodbridge who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree
  • Patricia Hickey from Sayreville who graduated with a Associate in Arts degree
  • Tracy Spurlin from Edison who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree
  • Susan Taylor from Fords who graduated with a Associate in Arts degree
  • Rita Vicidomini from Sayreville who graduated with a Associate in Arts degree
  •  Jessica Reilley from Clark who earned a Master of Business Administration degree

In 1979, Wolfgang Gstattenbauer came to Centenary College as a nontraditional student, and by 1984 had earned his A.S. in Business Administration. Following his graduation, Gstattenbauer, a United States Navy veteran, continued his involvement with Centenary College, serving two terms on the Board of Trustees, from 1990 to 2005 and 2008 to the present. Over the years, he has generously donated his time and resources to Centenary causes, including representing the College at formal events and conducting workshops in his professional field.

The longtime executive at M&M/Mars International began his 29 years with the company in an entry-level position. He worked his way up to become the Operations Director and retired in 1997 as the Personnel Director responsible for the eight manufacturing plants in the USA.

Gstattenbauer has embarked on many leadership roles during his 20-year tenure as a Centenary College Trustee. His dedication to the institution has been exceptional. In fact, he is the only person among any group of stakeholders that was involved in the original construction of Centenary’s Constitution and has been a leading force in many of the revisions thereafter. In addition, he serves as Chair of the Academic Affairs Committee and has spearheaded initiatives such as curriculum revision, tenure structure and the maintenance of high academic quality at the institution. Gstattenbauer has also supported the development of the Faculty Senate.

In addition to his work with Centenary, Gstattenbauer’s history of community service includes: member of the Hackettstown Chamber of Commerce; member of the Warren County Economic Development Committee; and former Chairman of the Sussex County American Cancer Society. He is currently a member of the Sussex County Open Space Committee and serves as Vice Chairman of the Frankford Township Land Use Board. He and his wife, Phyllis, reside in Frankford Township.

In addition to Gstattenbauer, John Franklin received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Centenary College. He is Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Northern New Jersey, a nonprofit organization working to improve people’s lives and strengthen communities. Since Franklin joined United Way 15 years ago, he has positioned United Way as a community leader, challenging the status quo and igniting a community dialogue around the need for long-term systemic change in how government, nonprofit, business and academia approach solutions to poverty and related issues.

Under Franklin’s leadership, United Way has coined the term ALICE in order to shine a spotlight on a large population of New Jersey residents who are typically overlooked by traditional poverty data – those working hard, but still struggling daily to make ends meet. Franklin is on a mission to make ALICE – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed – a household name.

“I am pleased that we could acknowledge these individuals in this manner as we have had a longstanding relationship with Mr. Gstattenbauer and the United Way,” says Dr. Barbara-Jayne Lewthwaite, Centenary College President. “I would also like to congratulate the graduates of 2013 whose hard work and dedication have paid off and who are now alumni of this institution. I wish them the best as they continue their professional or academic journey.”

The graduating class ncluded undergraduate and graduate students from the main campus in Hackettstown and the Centenary College School of Professional Studies learning centers in Parsippany and Edison.

Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary College is an independent, coeducational liberal arts and career studies college in northwest New Jersey.

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