GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP – Stockton University unveiled a portrait of President Harvey Kesselman at a meeting of the Board of Trustees on Wednesday.
Kesselman announced in July his intent to retire as president at the end of the academic year in June 2023.
“For more than 50 years, Stockton has been a second home to me, so I guess it’s only fitting that I have a picture hanging on the wall,” Kesselman said.
The portrait will join those of past presidents Richard E. Bjork, Peter M. Mitchell, Vera King Farris and Herman J. Saatkamp Jr., which hang outside the Michael Jacobson Board of Trustees Room.
Those portraits were commissioned in 2016 by Kesselman, who wanted to honor the contributions of each of his predecessors.
“I’ve heard it said, ‘It is up to us to live up to the legacy that was left for us, and to leave a legacy that is worthy of our children and of future generations,’” he said after his portrait was unveiled. “My hope is that the legacy I have built at the university has accomplished both.”
Chairman of the Board Ray Ciccone said the presidential portraits “serve as a reminder to us all just how far we have come as an institution and the indelible mark that each of our presidents has left.”
Stockton alumnus James Raczkowski, a New York-based artist, painted the portraits of all five presidents.
Raczkowski grew up in Brigantine and attended Atlantic City High School before joining the military. He graduated from Stockton in 2011 with a bachelor of fine arts degree and went on to earn a master of fine arts at the New York Academy of Art in 2015.
In other business, the board approved officers for 2022-23: Chair Raymond Ciccone, Vice Chair Andrew Dolce, Vice Chair Nelida Valentin, Secretary Meg Worthington and Ex-Officio Leo B. Schoffer.
Bob Heinrich, vice president for Enrollment Management, shared preliminary enrollment figures for fall 2022. The university welcomed 1,571 first-time students, the second highest in Stockton’s history and a 16% increase over 2021. Overall, there are 2,774 new students, including transfer and graduate students, at Stockton this fall, a 5% increase over 2021. Total enrollment at the university is 9,125.