Monmouth University honors four on Founders’ Day

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Four individuals connected to Monmouth University have been honored at the school’s annual Founders’ Day. The ceremony was held on Oct. 11 and honored Monmouth University President Grey Dimmena

Matthew Sockol, Staff Writer
Four individuals connected to Monmouth University have been honored at the school’s annual Founders’ Day.
The ceremony was held on Oct. 11 and honored Monmouth University President Grey Dimmena, Board of Trustees member and former board chair Henry Mercer III, alumnus William Elliott and Hackensack Meridian Health co-CEO John Lloyd.
Started in 1983, Founders’ Day celebrates Monmouth University’s founding as Monmouth Junior College in 1933. The first Founders’ Day was in recognition of the school’s 50th anniversary.
At the ceremony, presidential authority was given to Dimmena. Dimmena was appointed as president by the Board of Trustees in February following the departure of former president Paul Brown. Dimmena previously served as the school’s vice president and general counsel from 1995 to 2015 and came out of retirement to succeed Brown as president.
“Mr. Dimenna [is] a passionate and engaged member of the Monmouth University family [who] is well regarded and much respected by members of the Board of Trustees, administration faculty and the donor community,” said Mercer, then board chairman, after Dimenna’s appointment. “His deep familiarity with the institution and our community will enable him to make the transition seamless as we continue to pursue the University’s aggressive strategic plan for moving Monmouth University forward to the next level.”
According to a press release from the university, Dimenna’s tenure has included the establishment of the Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music, the introduction of new graduate and undergraduate academic programs, and renovation and construction projects, including the recently completed Henni Kantor Kessler & John H. Kessler Stadium and academic facilities at the School of Science.
Mercer, an alumnus of the school, received an honorary doctorate in Public Service for his work with Monmouth. Outside of his time on the Board of Trustees, he is the president and chief investment strategist of Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. and writes the company’s quarterly investment strategy, according to the press release. He resides in Middletown.
Elliott received the Distinguished Alumni Award for his work as chairman and CEO of the John R. Elliott HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers. The organization promotes the use of sober designated drivers and is named after Elliott’s son, who was killed by an intoxicated driver in 2000 at the age of 22.
The acronym “HERO” stands for Human Education Resource Officer, which John Elliott distinguished himself as during his time at the United States Naval Academy, according to the organization. Shortly after graduating, he was struck head-on by a driver who was arrested that evening on DUI charges, but was allowed to drive by a friend he was released to.
William Elliott, who previously served as vice president of Shore Medical Center in Somers Point, holds an MBA from Monmouth University. He earned his undergraduate degree at the College of William & Mary in Virginia and resides in Egg Harbor Township, according to the press release.
Lloyd received the Maurice Pollack Award for Distinguished Community Service. Promoting health care for 45 years, according to the press release, he previously served as president and CEO of Meridian Health.
Meridian Health, an integrated health system, consists of Bayshore Community Hospital in Holmdel Township, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune City, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital in Neptune City, Ocean Medical Center in Brick Township, Raritan Bay Medical Center in Old Bridge and Perth Amboy, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank and Southern Ocean Medical Center in Stafford Township.
The Maurice Pollak Award is named after the former university life trustee and benefactor of the same name, according to the press release. He was also an honorary trustee of Monmouth Medical Center, located near the university in Long Branch, where he founded the Pollak Mental Health Center, according to a 1990 obituary.