Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni Class of 2011 Announced

Feb 23, 2011, 10:00 ET from Rutgers University Alumni Association

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Feb. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Rutgers University Alumni Association announced the five outstanding alumni who will be inducted into the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni on May 7, 2011.  The 2011 inductees are:

  • Jules Plangere RC'44

A New Jersey journalism legend, Plangere is the former publisher and board chair of New Jersey's Asbury Park Press newspaper. His 50-year tenure with the newspaper began in 1947 and also included posts as president and general manager, secretary, and production manager. Plangere spearheaded the expansion of the Press's operations and influenced its philosophy of maintaining the highest standards of journalistic integrity.

  • Joan Snyder DC'62, MGSA'66

An accomplished artist of many styles, Snyder is renowned for her work in abstract expressionism, neo-expressionism, and feminist art. She is considered one of the founders of the Feminist Art Movement of the 1970's and her work is featured across the nation in museums including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Among numerous accolades she was granted the MacArthur Fellowship in 2007.

  • James Cusumano RC'64, GSNB'68

A doo-wop musician turned research-and-development executive at Exxon and later founder of the multifaceted Catalytica Inc., Cusumano has pursued a career that continues to expand in new directions. He founded Chateau Wally Films to produce What Matters Most, a film he developed with his wife as she struggled with a terminal illness. He is currently the chairman of Chateau Mcely, a renovated castle near Prague, Czech Republic, that functions as a holistic executive retreat and five-star hotel and spa.

  • Terry Stewart ENG'69, ED'69

A creative and inventive business leader, Stewart has been the president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum for more than a decade. Since opening in 1995, the museum has welcomed more than 8 million people, with annual visitors coming from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Stewart previously spent nine years at Marvel Entertainment Group, serving as president and chief operating officer and later as vice chairman.

  • Mark Fields RC'83

A respected visionary in the auto industry, Fields is the executive vice president of Ford Motor Company and president of its Americas division, a position to which he was named in October 2005. In this role, Fields is responsible for all operations involved in the development, manufacturing, marketing, and sales of Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln vehicles in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and South America.

Just over 200 Rutgers alumni have ever been inducted into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni. Notable members include U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema, chef and restaurateur Mario Batali, actor James Gandolfini, author Janet Evanovich, the late actor and humanitarian Paul Robeson, and Nobel Prize winners Selman Waksman and Milton Friedman.

The Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni Awards Gala will be held on May 7, 2011, at The Heldrich Hotel in downtown New Brunswick. Alfred A. Edmond Jr. RC'83, will serve as this year's master of ceremonies. Edmond is the senior vice president and editor-in-chief of interactive at Black Enterprise and a 2010 inductee to the Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

Tickets to the gala dinner and awards ceremony are $115 per person.  More information on the event and the awardees can be found at

SOURCE Rutgers University Alumni Association