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University News

Amelia McTamaney ’67: Giving Back in a Big Way to The Court

Three people wearing a suit, smiling at the camera

President Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D. (left), and Brian D. Agnew, Ph.D., vice president for institutional advancement (right), thanked Amelia Alonso McTamaney ’67 for her gift at the Annual Scholarship Brunch in October. The brunch connects donors with students benefiting from their gifts to GCU.

Amelia Alonso McTamaney has a challenge for fellow alumni in Georgian Court University’s Class of 1967: let’s give back to a place that has given so much to us. Ms. McTamaney, a university trustee, recently pledged $50,000 for the establishment of a lecture series at GCU.

Ms. McTamaney’s reason for giving is simple. Her fondest memories are of her days spent on campus, and she recognizes the impact the Mercy core values had on her live. As she celebrates her 50th reunion, the opportunity to ensure the next generation of leaders is as prepared to take on the world as she was sits at the forefront of her mind.

“When I was at GCU, it was a small liberal arts school that educated young women mainly in education, with a few of us majoring in the other subjects like sociology, home economics, and English. The young ladies came from various states and mostly from all-girl Catholic academies. We truly bonded and became good friends,” Ms. McTamaney recalls.

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Ms. McTamaney signs her $50,000 pledge with her husband, Bob (left), and Dr. Agnew (right).

The Court gave young women like her confidence they needed just as the women’s liberation movement was beginning. Their experiences at GCU taught them they could pursue nontraditional careers. Ms. McTamaney earned a degree in sociology and operates Christopher Academy, a Montessori school in Scotch Plains.

Ms. McTamaney also has GCU to thank for her husband, Bob, whom she met on campus. “Bob and I spent a lot of time at mixers in the basement of St. Joe’s. We used to take long walks through the Japanese Garden. It was life changing,” she says.

“The student experience of today is dramatically different than and yet so similar to what it was 50 years ago when Amelia attended the university,” says Brian D. Agnew, Ph.D., GCU vice president for institutional advancement. “Amelia recognizes that today’s students need greater preparation and experience for what the world has in store for them in 2017 and beyond.”

Two women smiling
Ms. McTamaney poses for a picture with GCU student Brionna M. Cusack, recipient of the Michele Pruyn Memorial Scholarship to which Ms. McTamaney has donated.

One of Ms. McTamaney’s passions is creating ways for Georgian Court students to experience the world at large—from their campus. “I feel like they need more social experiences,” she says.

The lecture series will bring high-profile experiences to the university, says Dr. Agnew. Officials are looking at topics such as financial literacy, history, and entertainment.

An October 2014 article by Dan Allenby in Currents, the magazine of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, notes that alumni participation rates can have a major impact on institutional reputation.

U.S. News & World Report considers undergraduate alumni participation rates a barometer of alumni satisfaction and factors them into its rankings,” wrote Mr. Allenby, who is the assistant vice president for annual giving at Boston University and the founder of the Annual Giving Network. “No matter how you feel about rankings, they are a big deal. Rankings create reputation, reputation affects enrollment, and enrollment affects tuition revenue.”

When alumni show support for their school, they are leading the way for others to do so, says Dr. Agnew. “Amelia sets a shining example for other alumni to really make a difference for the phenomenal young men and women who walk the halls of GCU today.”

Please visit georgian.edu/giving to make a difference in the lives of current and future GCU students.

Story contributed by Angela Tuck.

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 2,200 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 14 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by Money.com and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates also make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at HazletGCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.

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