Corporate Partners Step Up

Corporations have found new ways to partner with Saint Peter’s University. The reasons are simple, yet profound: A diverse student body, shaped by a pandemic that has cultivated determination and resilience—qualities that translate well to a marketplace experiencing seismic shifts in the way we do business. In this issue, we highlight four of our hundreds of incredible corporate partnerships.

A Level Playing Field

NJM Insurance Group has deep roots in New Jersey and through its philanthropic initiatives found many compelling reasons to support the students of Saint Peter’s University. “Since its founding almost 150 years ago, Saint Peter’s has been providing students with the knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary for a life of purpose,” said Michael J. Van Wagner, vice president of public affairs at NJM Insurance Group. “The rich diversity of cultures and backgrounds represented by Saint Peter’s students— many of whom are first-generation college attendees—is inspiring, and the University’s track record on student outcomes is

The company has committed to contributing $40,000 over two years to establish the NJM Insurance Group Annual Scholarship. The corporate scholarship will support the University’s new Gateway Tuition Program, established earlier this year to provide free tuition to underserved students. “NJM is proud to support the Gateway Tuition Program which provides transformational scholarships to highly motivated students, regardless of their financial circumstances,” Van Wagner added.

“Saint Peter’s has one of the most diverse undergraduate populations in the nation,” noted Mary Kate Naatus, Ph.D., KPMG dean of the Frank J. Guarini School of Business. “Our students are amazing, talented
and full of determination—all qualities valued by corporations such as NJM.”

Dynamic Duo

Bank of America Managing Director Doug Houser and Saint Peter’s University share a dedication to cura personalis—the personal care of every student. The Jesuit-educated executive lives that ideal through
his personal mentoring of students. In fact, it’s not uncommon for Houser to call a student first thing in the morning to discuss career objectives or next semester’s course schedule.

“Doug has taken a very proactive approach to working with our students,” said Crescenzo Fonzo, interim executive director of Saint Peter’s Center for Career Engagement and Experiential Learning (CEEL). “He takes the time to talk to them, providing clarity and guidance on career paths in the financial industry and the possibilities at Bank of America.”

As a member of the CEEL Advisory Board and the Frank J. Guarini School of Business Board of Advisors Workstream on Corporate Outreach, Houser works closely with Fonzo to help match individual Saint Peter’s students and graduates with Bank of America career opportunities. In addition, Patrick J. Haugh III ’98, Bank of America treasury sales officer, has been instrumental in providing networking opportunities for Saint Peter’s alumni.

Last year, three members of the Saint Peter’s Class of 2020 landed full-time jobs at Bank of America—a remarkable accomplishment during a pandemic. Fonzo and Dr. Naatus credit Houser and Haugh with opening the door for Saint Peter’s students. Dr. Naatus said, “Together, they have created a real Saint Peter’s community at Bank of America. It’s been an invaluable relationship for our students and for the University.”

Expanding Horizons

The longtime partnership between Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Saint Peter’s University is growing, thanks to a shared vision centered on educational and career excellence. Today, Horizon has stepped up its efforts to provide unique experiences that build the career skills of the current—and future—workforce. The key components: Enhanced opportunities for internships, jobs and educational attainment.

“This is a very symbiotic relationship that has grown organically through the years,” explained Emory Edwards, the University’s director of corporate, foundation and government relations. “Recently, we have strengthened the partnership, which has proven to be very beneficial to Saint Peter’s students and Horizon employees.”

An advocate of the partnership’s growth is Doug Falduto ’86, vice president of administration and chief security officer at Horizon. A noted cybersecurity expert, he also generously shares his professional expertise with the Saint Peter’s community, most recently through a cybersecurity webinar. Through Falduto and others, Horizon has deepened its commitment to expanding internship and career opportunities for Saint Peter’s students.

Working with Horizon’s human resources department, Saint Peter’s has also developed targeted undergraduate and master’s courses, including the M.B.A. and Master of Education (Ed.D.), for Horizon employees. Edwards said, “Horizon’s human resources department is committed to employee success. Through the encouragement of Doug and others at Horizon, many employees are now proud Saint Peter’s alumni.”

Impact of Mentors

A worldwide pandemic was no match for the Goldman Sachs Local College Collaborative (LCC). Pivoting quickly last year, the firm transitioned to a virtual format to continue presenting its four college partners—including Saint Peter’s University—with invaluable professional development opportunities. Currently in its fifth year, the LCC is a competitive leadership program that brings together college students and Goldman Sachs professionals to develop advanced career skills through real-world case challenges. This year through the LCC, 10 Saint Peter’s students worked with Overground Cloud Services, a Goldman Sachs client and certified Salesforce consulting firm, to develop recommendations on expanding business relationships in a virtual environment. After five months of intense study, the Saint Peter’s students presented their findings virtually to a mock board of directors from Goldman Sachs.

“The case challenges presented through the LCC are always non-hypothetical, real world challenges,” explained Taina Cutler, senior career coach with CEEL, who guided the team with faculty mentor Raymond T. Butkus, M.B.A., founding director of the Center for Leadership Studies. “There is a high level of mentorship and coaching that enhance the career paths of Saint Peter’s students.”

Recently, Goldman Sachs held a speaker series to give the Saint Peter’s students insight into potential careers across their business, in addition to sharing details about their summer analyst program. The company has also advanced its partnership with Saint Peter’s through the appointment of Oluwaseun OlapadeOlaopa, vice president, global markets division at Goldman Sachs, to the CEEL Board of Advisors. Fonzo said, “I think our partnership with Goldman Sachs elevates the level of professionalism of Saint Peter’s students. It’s a very sought-after program and the selection process is rigorous. Students know that being mentored by Goldman Sachs professionals will enhance their level of career preparedness.”

The University is always seeking new and expanded corporate partnerships to enhance opportunities for our students. If you would like to get your company involved, please contact Director of Corporate, Foundation and Government Relations Emory Edwards at or (201) 761-6108.