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TCNJ establishes Helen T. Neidlein Class of 1968 Fund

Dean McCotter and Gary Whitman hold a ceremonial check, flanked by Dr. Foster, Provost Osborn, and Jim Spencer
President Foster, Dean McCotter, Gary Whitman, Provost Osborn, and Jim Spencer hold a ceremonial check for $3 million to support activities in the School of Education.

TCNJ recently received the third-largest gift in the history of the college – a
$3 million donation from the estate of H. Karl Neidlein, who died in 2019. It will be used to establish the Helen T. Neidlein Class of 1968 Fund, which will provide student scholarships, faculty support and enrichment, and additional programming for the School of Education.

Helen Neidlein, Karl’s wife, attended Trenton State College and earned a BA in 1968 and an MA in business education in 1972. She was a lifelong educator who taught at Bridgewater-Raritan High School, worked in its Office of Cooperative Education, and became chair of its business education department prior to her death in 2004. She also taught at Middlesex Community College and became an English as a second language instructor and gave her time to Literacy Volunteers of America.

“My aunt and uncle never had children so they wanted this money to help those who want to be teachers but can’t afford it,” said Gary Whitman ’82, nephew of Helen Neidlein and executor of Karl’s estate. “They were very much dedicated to the education of young people and wanted this money to be used to help the next generation of educators at TCNJ.”

“The priorities of the School of Education include working with first generation students, diversifying the teacher pipeline, working closely with partners in schools and districts in our area, and making sure that every teacher is prepared to work with all P-12 students in the state,” said Suzanne McCotter, Dean of TCNJ’s School of Education. “Meeting those goals will be greatly enhanced by this gift and the generosity of the Neidlein family.”

The gift is the second made by the family to the college. In 2018, Helen’s sister Elizabeth Pyckowski presented the college with an estate gift of $2.2 million which is also used to support student scholarships and other programmatic needs in the School of Education.

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