Published June 12, 2019

By David Major

Financial Giant Gifts Honors Living-Learning Community with $10 million

Rutgers University–Newark received welcome news in May when Prudential, a corporate stalwart in Newark, committed $10 million to the university’s Honors Living-Learning Community (HLLC), which represents a novel approach to honors education and student development. The gift, the largest ever for Rutgers–Newark, will underwrite the Prudential Scholars Program, providing scholarships to Newark residents enrolling in the HLLC to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Throughout their undergraduate experience, Prudential Scholars will learn from myriad leaders in Newark, including those at Prudential, who will help students develop the entrepreneurial skills and build the social networks necessary to thrive as change agents in Newark upon graduation. As a culminating experience, Prudential Scholars will take a capstone course that addresses entrepreneurship as a means to solving urban challenges such as environmental sustainability, affordable housing, and local business development.

“The Honors Living-Learning Community has emerged as a national model for identifying and cultivating local talent to be the changemakers we need in Newark as well as in cities like it across the country,” said Nancy Cantor, the chancellor of Rutgers–Newark, addressing a standing-room-only crowd assembled in the iconic 15 Washington Street Great Hall, including Rutgers president Robert Barchi, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, and Prudential vice chair Robert M. Falzon. “We could not be more grateful for this gift,” she said, “and for the opportunity to partner with Prudential in this new way.”

The HLLC, a community of 220 students that will occupy a new facility on Washington Street in the fall, emphasizes cross-cultural, intergenerational living to facilitate its innovative, community-engaged curriculum, augmented by a network of academic, financial, and emotional support. The first cohort of Prudential Scholars is expected to enroll in fall 2020, following an initial year of awareness building and recruitment for the program.


Story originally appeared in Rutgers Magazine