Stockton University in New Jersey has received an $8 million gift — the largest in its history — from the foundation of telecommunications and broadcast entrepreneur John F. Scarpa, the school announced Thursday.
Two campus buildings will be named for Scarpa, a move approved by the board of trustees this week in recognition of the gift he pledged. The academic center on the Atlantic City campus and the health sciences center on the Galloway campus will bear Scarpa’s name.
The gift will be used for the expansion of the Atlantic City campus and the health sciences program on the main campus, and for the creation of an unrestricted fund for other needs, the school said.
“This is a monumental day for Stockton,” said president Harvey Kesselman. “As a public university, we strive to provide both quality and affordability, and it is through the generous support of donors like John F. Scarpa that we are able to achieve those goals.”
A native of Vineland, N.J., Scarpa, 77, helped develop and operate cellular telephone systems throughout the United States. He was cofounder, president, and COO of American Cellular Network Corp. He also cofounded Unitel Wireless Communications Systems and was an original member of the nationwide Cellular One Network.
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Scarpa, of both Avalon, N.J., and Palm Beach, Fla., also helped to establish the New Jersey and Northeast Cable TV Associations, as well as assisting with the launch of the internet service provider EarthLink.
Scarpa has supported other education efforts, including the John F. Scarpa Center for Law and Entrepreneurship at Villanova University.
The gift to Stockton is courtesy of Scarpa and his wife, Jana. It will go to Stockton’s foundation, the university said.
Scarpa said he has watched Stockton grow over the years, going from a college to a university.
“I hope to light the way to enable students to realize their dreams,” he said.