R. Barbara Gitenstein, a former president of The College of New Jersey in Ewing, believes that a “library is the heart and soul of a campus.”

She and her husband, retired philosophy professor Donald Hart, are backing that belief with a $1 million gift to TCNJ to create two endowments to benefit the university’s library, faculty and students.

“What makes TCNJ exceptional is the interaction between faculty and students and the commitment to meaningful mentored research across all disciplines,” Gitenstein said in the Feb. 2 announcement. “With this gift, we aim to further enhance the institution’s commitment to the work of our students and faculty.” 

On campus, the R. Barbara Gitenstein Library was renamed in 2018 in recognition of the leader’s 19 years as president. The first woman to serve as president of TCNJ, Gitenstein led the university from January 1999 through June 2018 — the third-longest tenure in the college’s history. 

The donation will be broken down as follows: 

  • The library will receive $750,000 through the establishment of the R. Barbara Gitenstein-Donald Hart Library Endowment
  • The remaining $250,000 will endow the R. Barbara Gitenstein-Donald Hart Faculty Early Career Prize, which will support the scholarship of junior faculty

“The on-going financial commitment to the college from its former leaders is a testament to this extraordinary community,” TCNJ President Kathryn Foster said. “This generous gift from Barbara Gitenstein and Don Hart will pay dividends for our faculty and students for generations to come.”  

A previous gift from Gitenstein and Hart established the Gitenstein-Hart Sabbatical Prize in 2014 to provide financial resources to the faculty member or librarian taking a full-year sabbatical. 

“The library was the first new facility constructed during my tenure,” Gitenstein said. “A library is the heart and soul of a campus, so it was important to us to create this fund to give the students and faculty every opportunity and resource in that space.” 

The endowments will be managed by The College of New Jersey Foundation Inc. 

Source: NJBIZ