Martinson awards record $3M prize in honor of college at NJIT | Biden News


Pioneering venture capitalist John Martinson is donating $3 million to the New Jersey Institute of Technology to broaden and deepen curriculum and real-world experiences for top scholars at Albert Dorman Honors College and throughout the university.

The prize, the largest donation in Dorman Honors College’s 27-year history, will be transformational, enabling the college to:

  • Add two new educational paths;
  • Triple the number of scholars at the Honors Summer Research Institute;
  • More than double the number of scholars studying abroad;
  • Add internships and cooperative education experiences;
  • Restructure its course offerings;
  • Creating new opportunities for faculty affiliation in colleges.

This donation will benefit approximately 650 Honorary Scholars Albert Dorman as well as nearly 300 Dean Scholars at five other colleges at the university — exceptional students who excel academically, volunteer locally and are poised to become America’s future leaders.

In recognition of Martinson’s generosity, NJIT will name the hall of its honorary residence the John Martinson Hall of Honor. A dedication will take place in the spring semester of 2023.

NJIT President Teik Lim is delighted to make the announcement.

“New or enhanced activities and initiatives made possible by this extraordinarily generous commitment will expand Albert Dorman Honors College’s capacity to develop scientific knowledge, technical skills, and personal skills and traits that will make them thoughtful, conscientious and sociable. . like-minded STEM leaders for the 21st century,” he said.

Martinson is chairman of Martinson Ventures, which has financed and mentored more than 50 private companies, primarily in the software and technology sector, with total investments of $2 million to $5 million.

Early in his career, he founded Edison Partners, which invested more than $2 billion in 230 companies and realized 180 exits. Martinson is also a co-founder of the New Jersey Technology Council and the New Jersey Venture Fair.

NJIT recognized Martinson’s achievements in 2000 with the Entrepreneurial Leadership Award.

Subsequently, he became a major donor, investing a total of $835,000 in three NJIT initiatives:

  • Computer Education Program;
  • Institute of Teaching Excellence;
  • VITAL@NJIT, short for Virtual, Immersive, Technologically Augmented Learning.

The prizes came under the leadership of previous Presidents Joel S. Bloom (founding dean of ADHC) and Saul K. Fenster and with the guidance of former Chancellor Fadi P. Deek.

Martinson said his latest donation reflects his belief in the value of honor colleges, the quality of education at NJIT and the success of the programs he supports.

“What impressed me was that NJIT grew in size and grew on a national level,” he said. “I am enthusiastic about the progress, transformation and vision of the university.”

Martinson, who holds a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering from the US Air Force Academy, a master’s in astronautics from Purdue University and an MBA from Southern Illinois University, says he knows quality when he sees it.

“I’ve been to more than 20 honor colleges, and Dorman is one of the best I’ve seen,” he said. “This is a way to attract the best students to local institutions. And this Top 10% becomes a leader on campus and after graduation.”

Faculty from across NJIT teach and mentor Dorman Scholars and will continue to do so, even as the college establishes new levels of faculty affiliates from across campus and offers new resources to support faculty. As the college adds new tracks in Global Studies and Interdisciplinary Digital Studies, it will seek faculty with experience in data visualization and digital studies, global studies and service learning.

NJIT officials feel Martinson’s contribution will help the honors college realize a top priority in its strategic plan.

For that, Dean Hamilton Louis expresses his deepest gratitude.

“NJIT offers an incredibly powerful transformative education to its students,” he said. “This prize allows Dorman College to take transformational NJIT education to another level: The honors curriculum is meant to accelerate our scholars along the path to becoming leaders in their professions and communities who understand and are committed to improving society. These prizes are invested in scholars and faculty to bring high-impact educational practice and experiential learning into honors pathways and courses.

“This honors curriculum will certainly increase the number and strength of NJIT applications for prestigious scholarships and graduate schools and will make our alumni more valuable in the world of work. Most importantly, they will empower our scholars to use their technical training to become positive change leaders in the world.”


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