Honorees for Hearts & Minds: The Saint Peter’s University Scholarship Celebration Announced

Jersey City, N.J. – March 10, 2023 – Saint Peter’s University today announced plans to honor members of the University community at Hearts & Minds: The Saint Peter’s University Scholarship Celebration on Thursday, May 11 at The Grove in Cedar Grove. Bigyan R. Bista, Ph.D. ’07 will receive the Rising Star Award. Robert C. Garrett will receive the Magis Award. Sandra R. and Charles M. Lizza, Esq. ’77 will receive the Service to Community Award. Hearts & Minds: The Saint Peter’s University Scholarship Celebration provides financial support to the General Scholarship Fund, a critical source of funding for the University’s undergraduate student population, 100% of which requires scholarship and other aid to access a Saint Peter’s education.

Hearts & Minds is an event we always look forward to hosting; not only does it give us a chance to connect with new or old friends, it gives us the opportunity to help raise critical funds to ensure deserving students have access to a quality, Jesuit education,” said Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., president of Saint Peter’s University. “The University recently launched the public phase of the most ambitious fundraising campaign in University history — Peacocks Rise: The Campaign for Saint Peter’s University. Transformational scholarships is a key campaign priority and solidifies our commitment to ensure that financial barriers will not prevent any qualified student from attending the University. I look forward to celebrating this year’s honorees as well as hopefully setting some fundraising records!”

Bigyan R. Bista, Ph.D. ’07 is a scientist turned biotech investor. He enrolled at Saint Peter’s as one of the first two international students from Nepal on a Presidential Scholarship and graduated summa cum laude with a double major in biology and mathematics. Bigyan then spent two years conducting research at New York University (NYU) before heading to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a Presidential Fellow where he earned a doctoral degree in cancer biology. Having witnessed the evolution of the biotech ecosystem around Cambridge while at MIT, Bigyan became interested in the life sciences investment space. After brief stints at Clarion Healthcare and AstraZeneca, tackling tough business challenges and investment decisions in biopharma, he joined Rock Springs Capital, a $4.5 billion healthcare-only fund located in Baltimore, as a biotech investor.

Robert C. Garrett is the CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, New Jersey’s largest health network. Under his visionary leadership, the network has made major strides in medical education, behavioral healthcare, cancer care, innovation and research. Bob serves as chair of the American Hospital Association Systems Council Committee, co-chair of the CEO Coalition, is a member of the Seton Hall University Board of Regents, and serves on the executive committee of the New Jersey Symphony Board of Trustees and the Bank of America Trust Advisory Board. Bob is a national healthcare thought leader who has participated in the International Vatican Healthcare Conference, the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland and the Harvard Business School. Additionally, Bob is frequently ranked both nationally and regionally as a top CEO and influencer by such entities as CEO Forum, Modern Healthcare, ROI-NJ and NJBIZ.

Charles M. Lizza, Esq. ’77 is a partner at Saul Ewing LLP where he is vice chair of the litigation department and chair of its intellectual property/life sciences practice, representing brand pharmaceutical companies in protecting their patents. He has been consistently named among the 50 most influential lawyers by NJBIZ. Charlie serves on Saint Peter’s University Board of Trustees and previously was chairman of the Board of Directors of Covenant House New York and the Board of Trustees at Saint Peter’s Prep. He served as general counsel to the Heart Gallery of NJ, facilitating adoptions of 100+ children, and was inducted into the Patriot’s Path Council Eagle Scout Hall of Fame. Charlie earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Saint Peter’s and graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center.

Sandra R. Lizza spent 24 years in finance leadership positions with Altria Group. She proudly served her community as councilwoman for the City of Summit, trustee of Summit Downtown Inc. and vice chair of the Summit Historic Preservation Commission.  Sandy was a trustee and officer of The Summit Foundation, which provides grants to area non-profits. She earned a Bachelor of Science with distinction in commerce from the University of Virginia and a M.B.A. from the College of William and Mary. Sandy and Charlie believe strongly in scholarship support and have endowed scholarships at Saint Peter’s Prep and Saint Peter’s University.

Guests of the event will enjoy a dinner reception, awards presentation and live fund-a-scholar auction to raise money for the General Scholarship Fund in real-time. To purchase tickets or learn more about sponsorship opportunities or digital advertisements, please visit saintpeters.edu/2023hm or email heartsandminds@saintpeters.edu.

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For more than 150 years, Saint Peter’s University, inspired by its Jesuit, Catholic identity, commitment to individual attention and grounding in the liberal arts, educates a diverse community of learners in undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and professional programs to excel intellectually, lead ethically, serve compassionately and promote justice in our ever-changing urban and global environment. To learn more, please visit saintpeters.edu.

Media Contact:

Sarah Malinowski Ferrary

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