Community Service

The Livingston Alumni Association participates regularly in community service activities, organized by the LAA and other alumni organizations at Rutgers University. These events have included:

  • Coat drive (2011).
  • Coat drive and marker raising (2012).
  • Coat drive (2013). The article also covers the 2013 Alumni-Student Speed Networking event. (See separate Speed Networking section of this website for more information.)
  • Food bank events in 2014 and 2015.

Paul Robeson Plaza

Paul Robeson PlazaCelebrating the 100th anniversary of the graduation of its most acclaimed alumnus, Rutgers University dedicated a plaza named for Paul Robeson on April 12, 2019, to honor his legacy as a distinguished scholar, athlete, actor, and global activist for civil rights and social justice.

The open-air plaza, which features eight black granite panels detailing the story of Robeson’s life, stands in a prominent location next to the Voorhees Mall on the College Avenue campus at Rutgers–New Brunswick.

The Livingston Alumni Association (LAA) is honored to support this plaza in dedication to Robeson. The LAA purchased a brick paver installed in a circle at the plaza, which reads: Livingston College / Alumni Association / Preserve The History / Advance The Legacy / .

More information on Robeson Plaza and Paul Robeson:

  • Rutgers Dedicates Plaza to Paul Robeson, Renaissance Man for the Ages
  • Paul Robeson Plaza Dedication (with video and more photos)
  • Paul Robeson Centennial Celebration (2019)

Photo of Paul Robeson Plaza (top) by Jeffrey Armus

Livingston College Alumni Participate in Coat Drive, Speed Networking Events (2013)

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Board members of the Livingston Alumni Association (LAA) and other graduates of Rutgers’ Livingston College participated in two annual community service events in fall 2013: a coat drive held before a home football game, and a career networking event for students.

Partnering with the organization Jersey Cares, alumni and other football fans donated more than 100 coats during a coat drive, held before the Nov. 16 home game against the University of Cincinnati Bearcats.

The coat drive, part of the Rutgers University Alumni Association’s annual Day of Service in honor of the anniversary of the university’s  founding, was organized by the Rutgers Alumni Association (RAA), via its tri-chairs, Gene Armstead, Luis Largo and Bruce Marich, kicking off with 320 coats collected at High Point Solutions Stadium and the Louis Brown Athletic Center (the RAC) before the game. RAA and Jersey Cares partnered with Rutgers Athletics, Livingston Alumni Association, University College Alumni Association, Rutgers University Alumni Association, Rutgers Mock Trial Association, Rutgers Chapter of Circle K International and the Friends of Frank Tailgate.

Among the many volunteers at the coat drive were LAA board members: Rosemary Agrista, Jeffrey Armus, Joe Capo, Jason Goldstein, Iris Martinez-Campbell, Eric Schwarz and Marty Siederer, as well as Livingston College graduate Langston Campbell.

Back on campus Dec. 4, about 200 alumni filled the multipurpose room of the Rutgers Student Center on College Avenue in New Brunswick, to offer career advice to students (also numbering about 200, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels) at the eighth annual Alumni-Student Career Speed Networking Night. The event is dedicated to providing support and networking opportunities to current Rutgers students before they graduate, with alumni from various career fields interacting with students during short “speed dating”-type intervals to provide career advice and networking tips and to help students become confident job-seekers, with an opportunity for students and alumni to continue their conversations afterward.

The program was sponsored by the Rutgers Alumni Association’s (RAA) Undergraduate Committee, RAA Young Alumni Committee, Cook Community Alumni Association, Livingston Alumni Association, Graduate School of Education Alumni Association, Graduate School New Brunswick Alumni Association and Rutgers University Career Services.

The following Livingston College alumni participated in the Speed Networking event: Rosalie Adox, Rosemary Agrista, Farhan Ali, Ali Ali, Ndidi Amutah, Jeffrey Armus, Yao-Ming Chen, Marc Gerrone, Jason Goldstein, Mindy Hoffman, Arjay Ignacio, Michelle N. Jackson, Michael Kim, Charles Maderal, Jorge Mercado, Debra O’Neal, Niket Parikh, John Reyes, Eric Schwarz and Marty Siederer.

Pictured: Livingston Alumni Association board members help collect coats at the Nov. 16, 2013, coat drive at the Louis Brown Athletic Center (the RAC): Eric Schwarz, Rosemary Agrista, Jason Goldstein, Jeffrey Armus and Joseph Capo. See additional photos from the two events.

Originally posted January 17, 2014
Revised March 19, 2016

LAA Participates in Coat Drive, Marker Raising as Part of Rutgers Day of Service (2012)

RAA/LAA 2012 coat driveLivingston College alumni collected coats and helped rehabilitate a Delaware cemetery as part of the second annual Rutgers Day of Service on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012.

The Day of Service, organized by the Rutgers University Alumni Association, called on alumni (individuals and organizations) to give back to the community on or around the university’s annual Charter Day of Nov. 10.


The Livingston Alumni Association (LAA) and the Rutgers Alumni Association (RAA) collected 1,170 new and gently used coats at the November 10 Rutgers-Army football game, outside both High Point Solutions Stadium and the Louis Brown Athletic Center (RAC). The coats were donated for distribution by Jersey Cares, a nonprofit community organization that supports those in need.

Jersey Cares collected additional coats at the Dec. 11 and 12 basketball games at the RAC.  Among volunteers in the coat drive were LAA board members Rosemary Agrista, Jeffrey Armus, Martin Dickerson, Jason Goldstein, Eric Schwarz, and Marty Siederer.


In Wilmington, Delaware, Debra O’Neal, LAA’s first vice president, honored both the Day of Service and Veterans Day at the Historic Riverview Cemetery.

The Friends of Historic  Riverview Cemetery (FHRC) organized a “marker raising” on Nov. 10. Volunteers with FRHC visited the east side of the cemetery in Sections 18, 18-U and 18-S (along Eastlawn Avenue). Many veterans have been interred in these sections and the flat markers have sunken over time.   

“We formed teams to raise markers, add crushed stone, and re-set them,” O’Neal said. “We raised 23 markers this morning! It was an honor to hear the stories of volunteers who have served in the military as we worked to restore and preserve the honor of those vets who were interred.  

“The FHRC were glad that I chose this project as my Rutgers Alumni Day of Service Project. I had a chance to explain the purpose of the Rutgers Day of Service and the number of projects going on in New Jersey and around the country. Two volunteers have family in the New Brunswick area and were familiar with Rutgers. They welcomed me back again.”


In the aftermath of the storm, Rutgers temporarily housed more than 800 evacuees from Atlantic County on the Busch and Livingston campuses. Rutgers Focus covered the university’s efforts to provide emergency shelter.

Pictured: (Top) Livingston College alumni at the coat collection at the RAC. (Bottom) Debra O’Neal, LC’87 (left) assists in the marker raising in Delaware. Check out additional photos from the two events.

LAA Members Volunteer at Community FoodBank as Part of 2014 Rutgers Alumni Day of Service

Members and friends of the Livingston Alumni Association of Rutgers University (LAA) volunteered at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey on Saturday, November 8, 2014, as part of the fourth annual Rutgers Alumni Day of Service.

The Community FoodBank of New Jersey began operations in 1975, where President and CEO Kathleen DiChiara began distributing groceries out of the trunk of her car. Within months she created a food bank as part of the Archdiocese of Newark.

Today, the Community FoodBank distributes 40 million pounds of food a year to more than 1,000 non-profit programs, as well as more than 400 programs served by its Partner Distribution Organizations (PDOs). Through their combined efforts, they feed 900,000 hungry people in 18 New Jersey counties.

The LAA volunteers, along with volunteers from other community groups, helped package bags of various pastas, which were boxed and loaded onto pallets for distribution to food pantries throughout the state.

The Day of Service, organized by the Rutgers University Alumni Association, brings together hundreds of alumni volunteers to make an impact in their own local communities, all in the name of Rutgers, all on one day. Rutgers University’s commitment to service dates back to its founding fathers on Rutgers’ Charter Day, November 10, 1766. Thus, this program is inspired by the actions of Rutgers alumni and their long tradition of service.

Shown in photo at top of page: LAA volunteers hold the bags of pasta that they helped to package at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey on November 8, 2014. From left: Derek Young, Bernie Parkhurst, Jeff Isaacs, Brenda Isaacs, Jeff Armus, Eric Schwarz, Debra O’Neal and Olivia O’Neal.

LAA, RAA Collect More Than 200 Coats at November 2011 Football Game

The Livingston Alumni Association (LAA) teamed up with the Rutgers Alumni Association (RAA) to help collect more than 200 new or gently used coats at the November 19, 2011, Rutgers-Cincinnati football game. The coats were donated for distribution by Jersey Cares, a nonprofit community organization. This event was a part of the Rutgers University Alumni Association’s Alumni Day of Service.