Kean University Gala Raises $315K for Scholarships


Signaling Kean University’s commitment to educating New Jersey’s next generation of healthcare practitioners and computer scientists, the Kean University Foundation held its 19th annual fundraising gala in the new North Avenue Academic Building on June 9. The state-of-the-art building will house the University’s physical therapy, nursing and computer science programs starting in September 2016. The Kean University Gala, with the theme A Picture of Health, raised $315,000 for scholarships and other programs in support of Kean’s mission to provide all students with an accessible and affordable world-class education.

CNBC Vice President Steve Fastook H’06 and his wife Patty Fastook, a musician, artist and co-chair of the Kean Arts Council, were honored with the William Livingston Award in recognition of their outstanding professional and philanthropic achievements. Carla S. Willis, vice president of institutional advancement and president of the Kean University Foundation, spoke about the Fastook’s generosity in funding an annual scholarship for undergraduates majoring in communication, meteorology or interior design. 

“Steve and Patty are stellar examples of what it means to be ambassadors and supporters of Kean University. For many students, scholarships break down financial barriers that might stand between them and the attainment of their educational goals,” she said. “We thank Steve and Patty for everything they do for our students and for the entire University.”

Kean President Dr. Dawood Farahi noted the University’s expanding role in meeting the demand for physical therapists and computer scientists in New Jersey, professions that are expected to have significant growth in the next decade.

“We are taking the lead in allied health programs, and we are proud to do so,” Farahi told the hundreds of benefactors in attendance. “The reason we can do that is the generosity of time, talent and treasure that you contribute to this university.” 

The Today show’s Al Roker, CNBC’s Mad Money host Jim Cramer and others offered video congratulations to the Fastooks, who also sat down to be interviewed by Asa Dugger, a recipient of the Patty and Steve Fastook Annual Scholarship for Communication and the Arts. Dugger, a first generation college student, is a double major in communication and marketing who just returned from studying abroad at Wenzhou-Kean University in China.

“Kean University is a powerhouse, and with continued support from donors like Mr. and Mrs. Fastook, students like myself are able to break barriers, pave the way and show that success is achievable,” said Dugger.

Patty Fastook called Kean a special place, with a top-notch administration, dedicated professors, and a student body that is the heart and soul of the University. “They are so excited to be here at Kean and we are too,” she said. “You have our friendship and allegiance and passion and commitment forever,” added Steve Fastook.

For more information or to donate, contact the Kean University Foundation at (908) 737-3340 or


Steve H’06 and Patty Fastook of Nutley received the William Livingston Award at the 19th Annual Kean University Gala on June 9 in recognition of their outstanding professional and philanthropic achievements.  The Gala raised $315,000 for scholarships and other programs.

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