Rutgers Honors Livingston Alumni

The Rutgers University Alumni Association and other organizations at Rutgers have presented numerous awards to Livingston College alumni for their service to alumni, to Rutgers and to the greater community. See the subpages in this section for details on the awards and honorees:

  • Rutgers African American Alumni Alliance (RAAA), Inc. Hall of Fame
  • Rutgers Athletics Hall of Fame
  • Edward J. Bloustein Award for Community Service
  • Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni
  • Loyal Sons and Loyal Daughters
  • Scarlet Oak Meritorious Service Award
  • Recognizing LAA
  • Special Awards to Alumni

Rutgers African American Alumni Alliance (RAAA), Inc. Hall of Fame

The following Livingston College alumni have been inducted into the Rutgers African-American Alumni Alliance (RAAA), Inc. Hall of Fame:

  • 2007: Aliya S. King, LC’94
  • 2019: Vaughn L. McKoy, LC’90, NLAW’93
  • 2019: Victoria Pratt, LC’94, NLAW’98 (Rutgers magazine profile)
  • 2020: Vesta Godwin Clark, LC’81
  • 2020: Dr. Beverly Lynn,  LC’75
  • 2020: Julius W. Robinson Jr., LC’95
  • 2020: Dr. Claudia V. Schrader, LC’90
  • 2021: Dr. Yetunde A. Odugbesan-Omede, LC’09

Aliya S. King,
Vaughn L. McKoy,
LC’90, NLAW’93
Victoria Pratt,
LC’94, NLAW’98
Vesta Godwin Clark,
Aliya S. King Vaughn L. McKoy Victoria Pratt Vesta Godwin Clark
Beverly Lynn,
Julius W. Robinson Jr.,
Claudia V. Schrader,
Yetunde A. Odugbesan-Omede, LC’09
Beverly Lynn Julius W. Robinson Jr. Claudia V. Schrader Yetunde A. Odugbesan-Omede

Jeffrey Armus Honored as Loyal Son for His Service to Rutgers and Its Alumni

Jeffrey M. Armus, 1977 graduate of Livingston College at Rutgers UniversityThe Rutgers Alumni Association (RAA) honored Jeffrey M. Armus, a 1977 graduate of Livingston College, as one of eight Loyal Sons and Loyal Daughters of Rutgers for 2018.

As of 2021, Armus is the President for the Livingston Alumni Association (LAA), and previously served as the LAA’s Vice President, Secretary, and Secretary.

Giving back to his school and to the university at large has been a labor of love for Armus.

As a student he discovered his passion and commitment to volunteerism and turned that into almost two decades of service to Livingston College. He has served on the Livingston College Dean’s Advisory Council and the LAA’s executive board, including serving as Community Service and Nominations Awards chair.

He extended his alumni work to the Rutgers Alumni Association, as a Community Service Committee chair. Armus also stepped up to serve as Class of 1977 Gift Campaign Chair for his class using his enthusiasm and drive to convince alumni to support their alma mater.

Jeffrey M. Armus, 1977 graduate of Livingston College at Rutgers University A lover of history, Jeff was instrumental in the historical preservation of Livingston College through the Livingston Legacy Archive Project.

Armus, who also graduated from Rutgers’ School of Business in 1982, was  honored on April 14, 2018, during the 60th Annual Loyal Sons and Daughters Dinner, a “scarlet” tie event held at Neilson Dining Hall on Rutgers’ Douglass Campus.

The Loyal Sons and Loyal Daughters of Rutgers are individuals who have made a meaningful and longstanding commitment to the betterment of Rutgers, the State University by exemplifying extraordinary alumni service or by making a significant impact on University life and culture. Nominations are made by existing Loyal Sons and Daughters, and the finalists named by a special selection committee of the RAA. The RAA is the nation’s fourth-oldest alumni association, serving alumni in multiple colleges and schools on Rutgers’ New Brunswick/Piscataway campus. 

Bios for all of the 2018 honorees are online. In addition to Armus, they are:

  • Harold P. Baird, RC’59
  • Robert L. Barchi, Rutgers University President
  • Anthony J. DePetris, CCAS’84
  • Ladislas F. (Laddie) Feher, RC’56, NLAW’59
  • Lora L. Fong, DC ’79, NLAW ’91
  • Christopher J. Paladino, RC’82, CLAW’85
  • Helen F. Pirrello, UCNB’00, SSW’05

Photos: Jeffrey Armus in 2016 (top), and in the 1977 Livingston College yearbook, The Rock, Volume II. 

Rutgers Athletics Hall of Fame

The following Livingston College alumni have been inducted into the Rutgers Athletics Hall of Fame:

  • 1993: James Bailey, LC’80 (Men’s Basketball)
  • 1994: Eddie Jordan, SMLR’15; attended Livingston College from 1973-1977 (Men’s Basketball)
  • 1995: Roy Hinson, LC’83 (Men’s Basketball)
  • 1999: Eric Young, LC’89, School of Business-New Brunswick’89 (Baseball, Football)
  • 2003: Harry V. Swayne, III, LC’90 (Football)
  • 2014: Shaun O’Hara, LC’05; originally scheduled to graduate in 1999 (Football)

James Bailey,
Eddie Jordan,
Roy Hinson,
James Bailey Eddie Jordan Roy Hinson

Eric Young,
LC’89, School of Business’89
Harry V. Swayne, III
Shaun O’Hara,
Eric Young Harry V. Swayne, III Shaun O'Hara

O’Hara photo from Flickr user Alexa, used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Eric Clark, LC’98, Named as Loyal Son of Rutgers; Revitalized Chicago Alumni Club

Eric Clark, 1998 graduate of Livingston College at Rutgers University
Eric Clark (2014)

Eric O. Clark, a 1998 graduate of Livingston College at Rutgers University, was honored on April 8, 2017, as one of seven Loyal Sons and Loyal Daughters of Rutgers for 2017.

Clark, an Illinois native, has been the President of the Rutgers Club of Chicago for more than 12 years. A member of the Rutgers men’s basketball team during his years on the Banks, he was inspired to take on the task of revitalizing the Rutgers Club of Chicago upon his return to his home state. The position included the challenge of reaching out to the 2,500-plus alumni living in and around the Windy City.

Clark became and continues to be the Rutgers “go-to” guy for any BIG Ten event in Chicago, and was named the B1G10K Rutgers Representative in 2014. In 2006 Clark received the William of Orange Award for Dedicated Volunteerism from the Rutgers University Alumni Federation.

The Loyal Sons and Loyal Daughters of Rutgers are individuals who have made a meaningful and long-standing commitment to the betterment of Rutgers, the State University by exemplifying extraordinary alumni service or by making a significant impact on University life and culture. Nominations are made by existing Loyal Sons and Daughters, and the finalists named by a special selection committee of the RAA. The RAA is the nation’s fourth-oldest alumni association, serving alumni in multiple colleges and schools on Rutgers’ New Brunswick/Piscataway campus. 

Eric Clark, 1998 graduate of Livingston College at Rutgers University
Eric Clark (1998)

The awardees were formally recognized during the 59th Annual Loyal Sons and Daughters Dinner, a “scarlet” tie event held at Neilson Dining Hall on the Douglass Campus. Bios for all of the 2017 honorees are online. In addition to Clark, they are:

  • Joan A. DeBoer, CC’84
  • Luis Largo, GSE’07
  • Melissa Lieberman-Elimanco, DC’05, GSE’06,’14
  • Alyssa Gentile Salvesen, RC’09, GSE’10
  • Dorothy M. Stanaitis, UCC’82
  • Roy H. Tanzman, RC’73, CLAW’76

Photos: Eric Clark in 2014 (top), and in the 1998 Livingston College yearbook, Diversity: Memorable Reflections, Volume VIII.

Special Awards to Alumni

Rutgers University-related organizations have presented multiple special awards honoring Livingston College alumni for their service to alumni and the greater Rutgers community. These include:

  • 2006 Rutgers University Alumni Federation, William of Orange Award for Dedicated Volunteerism: Eric Clark, LC’98, The Rutgers Club of Chicago
  • 2012 Rutgers Committee to Advance Our Common Purposes, Human Dignity Award: Leroy C. Haines, LC’71
  • 2013 Center for Latino Arts and Culture Honoree: Iris Martinez-Campbell, LC’75, SSW’81
  • 2013 Rutgers Alumni Association, Class of 1931 Award: Jason Goldstein, LC’02, RBS’05
  • 2013 Rutgers University Alumni Association, Block R Award: Eric Schwarz, LC’92, SCILS’92, ’07
  • 2016 Rutgers University Alumni Association, Young Alumni Service Award: Matthew Aquino, LC’08, RBS’08
  • 2017 Edward J. Bloustein School, Career Achievement Award: Staci Berger, LC’94, EJB/GSNB’04

Eric Clark
Leroy C. Haines
Iris Martinez-Campbell
LC’75, SSW’81 
Jason Goldstein
LC’02, RBS’05
Eric Clark Leroy C. Haines Iris Martinez-Campbell  Jason Goldstein
Eric Schwarz
LC’92, SCILS’92,’07
Matthew Aquino
LC’08, RBS’08
Staci Berger
LC’94, EJB/GSNB’04
Eric Schwarz Matthew Aquino Staci Berger

Edward J. Bloustein Award for Community Service

The Rutgers University Alumni Federation has presented the Edward J. Bloustein Award to two Livingston College graduates, who are also Livingston College Distinguished Alumni:

(LC’07, RWJMS’14)
Kevin Apuzzio Jessie J. Hanna
 Heroic Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician
(Posthumous; died in 2006)
Researcher on Pediatric Cancer
Founder, Sean Hanna Foundation

The Bloustein Award was established in 1992 in memory of the 17th president of Rutgers University. It recognizes community service outside of the university by a Rutgers alumnus or group of alumni. 

In 2009, this award was integrated into the Rutgers Excellence in Alumni Leadership Awards, and is now presented at this annual awards reception.

Matthew Aquino (LC’08,RBS’08) Honored by Rutgers for Business Mentorship and Reunion Campaign Efforts; Receives 2016 Young Alumni Service Award

Donna Thornton, Matthew Aquino, Timothy Farrow - 2016 Rutgers REAL AwardsMatthew Aquino, a volunteer mentor for students at Rutgers Business School, was honored in 2016 with the Young Alumni Service Award, presented by the Rutgers University Alumni Association (RUAA).

Aquino, a 2008 graduate of both Rutgers’ Livingston College and Rutgers Business School (RBS), has volunteered with RBS’ TeamUP mentoring program since 2013. He has mentored five Rutgers students, and contributed to both their personal and professional development. Aquino spends numerous hours on the phone with his mentees, arranges in-person meetings, and invites them to visit his office. All his mentees have successfully completed their internship programs and earned full-time offers upon graduation. In addition to being involved in the Rutgers University TeamUP, Aquino has also volunteered for his five-year class reunion campaign. Aquino and three other classmates helped raised more than $20,000 for Rutgers through fundraising efforts.

Aquino has been a director of change management at Apollo Global Management LLC in New York City since March 2014. He previously was an assistant vice president at Barclays Investment Bank.

Photo: Matthew Aquino, center, accepts the RUAA’s Young Alumni Service Award from Donna K. Thornton, Rutgers’ Vice President for Alumni Relations, and Timothy S. Farrow, Chairman of the RUAA Board. The award was presented as part of the Rutgers Excellence in Alumni Leadership (REAL) Conference and Awards on October 14, 2016.

Firefighter Kevin Apuzzio, LC’06, Gave His Life in the Line of Duty; Posthumously Honored as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2009

Kevin ApuzzioKevin Anthony Bernardo Apuzzio, a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT), died on April 11, 2006, in the line of duty while attempting to rescue a woman in a house fire. He was 21, and the woman, Betty Scott, was 75.

A month later, Rutgers University’s Livingston College posthumously awarded him a bachelor’s degree. Also in 2006, Apuzzio was presented posthumously with the Rutgers University Alumni Federation’s Edward J. Bloustein Award for Community Service.

In 2009 the Livingston Alumni Association honored Apuzzio as a Seth Dvorin Distinguished Young Alumnus.

Kevin Apuzzio, Firefighter with East Franklin Township Fire Department, Station 27At age 16, Apuzzio, a lifelong resident of Union, New Jersey, had trained to become an EMT. In 2002 he graduated from Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains, New Jersey.

Apuzzio had worked as a part-time EMT in Rutgers Department of Emergency Services for more than three years, and for about two years as a volunteer firefighter with the East Franklin Fire Department, Station 27, in Somerset, New Jersey, where he obtained his Firefighter 1 certification and was promoted to foreman.

Apuzzio, who had studied criminal justice at Rutgers, wanted to become a police officer in New York City. On the day of his death, his family received his police exam test results in the mail. Apuzzio achieved an almost perfect score of 99.6.

Kevin Apuzzio, Rutgers University Emergency Medical TechnicianA 2009 tribute video to Apuzzio (embedded on this page) interweaves recollections from his parents and from Dan Krushinski, East Franklin Fire Chief.

Joseph Apuzzio called his son a role model. “If he even knew you just a little bit, he’d do anything he could. … He volunteered for just about anything.”

At the fatal fire, Chief Krushinski said, Apuzzio answered the call and entered the burning house “without hesitation, without doubt in his mind.”

His father also remembers taking Kevin fishing: “The first time I took him fishing, I guess he was 6, maybe 7 years old. And he caught a trout, a good size trout, OK? So he drags the trout onto the shore, and I got to pick it up and he saw where the hook was and he got very upset. He said he didn’t want to hurt the trout.”

Krushinski remembered Apuzzio as “a gentleman and easy-going, but he wanted to help people.”

“I think if you drove down (Interstate) 287 and passed five people with flat tires, he probably would have stopped and helped all five people change their tires.”

In 2007, one year to the day after Apuzzio’s passing, members of the Rutgers community and the Apuzzio family gathered in the university’s Public Safety Building to honor him by renaming the training facility the Kevin Apuzzio Training Center.

“Kevin personified the best of Rutgers students: hard work, community involvement and a desire to help others,” said Richard L. McCormick, then president of Rutgers. “We use this training center to prepare public safety personnel to serve and protect our community. It is only fitting that it bear Kevin’s name.”

In December 2013, the voting members of the East Franklin Fire Company established the Kevin A. Apuzzio Memorial Foundation to provide funds and support to student firefighters following in Apuzzio’s footsteps of community service. In June 2014, the foundation officially incorporated as a New Jersey nonprofit corporation. Funds raised support the foundation’s mission to carry on Apuzzio’s legacy through scholarships and outreach programs.

On the 10th anniversary of his death in 2016, friends and family remembered Apuzzio, with the Union Township Committee and the Union County Sheriff presenting commemorative resolutions to his family.

Apuzzio was survived by his parents, Joseph and Marili, and a sister, Leila. He is buried at Mount Olive Cemetery in Newark, New Jersey.

Read more about Apuzzio:

  • An EMT and selfless hero who was devoted to others (The Star-Ledger, April 12, 2006)

  • A hero, a role model (Coverage of his funeral, April 19, 2006)

Watch the LAA’s interview and video tribute to Apuzzio (2 minutes, 32 seconds), embedded on this page, or open in a new window.

Photos courtesy of the Apuzzio family and the East Franklin Fire Department.

Distinguished Alumnus Avery Brooks, LC’73, ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Spenser’ Actor, Is Dedicated to African-American Issues

Avery Brooks, 2006Actor, director and singer Avery Brooks, a tenured professor of Theater Arts at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts (MGSA), is best known to TV audiences for his roles as Commodore/Captain Benjamin Lafayette Sisko on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Hawk on Spenser: For Hire and its spinoff, A Man Called Hawk.

In 2006, the Livingston Alumni Association of Rutgers University honored Brooks as a Livingston College Distinguished Alumnus. Brooks graduated from Livingston College in 1973, and in 1976 earned a master of fine arts (MFA) degree from MGSA, the first African-American to earn a Rutgers MFA in acting and directing. Brooks appeared in plays presented at Livingston College, including Short Eyes and Streamers. He also served as the script coordinator for Livingston Theatre’s Dark Symphony.

In 1993, Rutgers University named Brooks to its Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

Avery Brooks at Livingston College 1992 CommencementKnown for his dedication to African-American issues, Brooks has served as artistic director for the National Black Arts Festival.

At various times since 1988 he has portrayed Paul Robeson (Rutgers College, 1919), the famous singer, actor and civil rights activist, in the plays Paul Robeson and Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?, both on and off-Broadway.

In a 1997 interview at Oberlin College, Brooks, paraphrasing Frederick Douglass, said: “I will keep telling this story as long as I have breath. … [Robeson was] a man who had a great heart, great courage, enormous intellect, and deep caring for humankind.”

Brooks has worked extensively with the Smithsonian Institution’s program in African-American culture. He was nominated for an American Cable Entertainment Award for his performance in Showtime’s TV production of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. He has performed with the Shakespeare Theatre Company, and he sang the title role in the American Musical Theater Festival production of the Anthony Davis opera X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X.

His movies include the 1998 Academy Award-nominated American History X, and the 2001 action film 15 Minutes, which co-starred Robert De Niro.

Brooks has hosted several documentaries and served as narrator in such features as the IMAX film Africa’s Elephant Kingdom.

In 2009 Brooks released the album Here, featuring jazz and blues covers, as well as spoken word tracks.

Brooks was born October 2, 1948, in Evansville, Indiana.

He is married to Vicki Lenora Brooks, who has served as an assistant dean at Rutgers. They live in Princeton, New Jersey, and have three adult children.

Watch the LAA’s video tribute to Avery Brooks (1 minute, 28 seconds), embedded on this page, or open in a new window.

Photos: (Top) Avery Brooks at the 2006 Livingston College Distinguished Alumni Awards; (Bottom) Speaking at the 1992 Livingston College commencement, from the yearbook, A Style of Our Own.

Distinguished Alumnus Harry V. Swayne III, LC’90, Oversees Player Engagement for Baltimore Ravens; Played Pro Football for 15 Years

Harry V. Swayne III, Baltimore Ravens Director of Player EngagementHarry V. Swayne III (LC’90) enjoyed a brilliant career as a defensive tackle for Rutgers’ Scarlet Knights football team from 1983 to 1986.

In 1990, four years after the end of his Rutgers football career, Swayne earned a bachelor of science degree in sports management from Livingston College at Rutgers University.

In 2004, the Livingston Alumni Association honored Swayne as a Distinguished Alumnus.

Swayne’s best football season at Rutgers came as a senior in 1986, when he registered 51 tackles, five sacks, nine tackles for loss and three fumble recoveries. He distinguished himself as a defensive lineman and received the Bender Award in 1986, and was named to the ECAC All-East first team as a defensive lineman.

In his 15-year career as a player in the National Football League (NFL), Swayne captured three Super Bowl rings (two with the Denver Broncos, one with the Baltimore Ravens) and also won an AFC Championship with the San Diego Chargers. 

Harry V. Swayne III, Rutgers Scarlet Knights Defensive Tackle Swayne began his professional career when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked him in the seventh round of the NFL draft in 1987.

In 1991, Swayne signed with the San Diego Chargers, with whom he started as left tackle in Super Bowl XXIX. Swayne then signed with the Denver Broncos in 1997, where he won two Super Bowls.

Swayne played for the Baltimore Ravens in 1999 to 2000 and won another Super Bowl. He retired from the playing field after one year with the Miami Dolphins (2001). 

Swayne later served as the Team Chaplain for the Chicago Bears.

Harry V. Swayne III, Denver Broncos player number 74Since 2008, Swayne has overseen the day-to-day responsibilities of the player engagement department for the Ravens, including assisting players with career transition into, during and after their time in the NFL.

He rejoined the Ravens in 2008 as the Assistant Director of Player Programs, then was promoted to Director of Player Engagement in 2009. He is also a missionary for Athletics in Action, which is affiliated with Campus Crusades for Christ.

In 2003 Swayne was inducted into the Rutgers Football Hall of Fame.

The LAA also presented a special Alumni Achievement Award to Swayne on November 2, 2002, at Rutgers Stadium, during halftime of the Rutgers vs. Miami football game.

Swayne and his wife, Dawn, have three daughters and two sons.

Photos: (Top right) Courtesy of the Baltimore Ravens; (Center right) An official photo from Swayne’s Rutgers career; (Left) Swayne (#74) with the Denver Broncos.