NJIT Day Unites the Campus in Joy

These students competed in the Highlander games during NJIT Day.

It was a day for togetherness; a day for school spirit; and a day to relax and have fun.

It was NJIT Day -- Saturday, Oct. 10 -- when hundreds of students gathered on the campus quad to play games, paint their faces, listen to music, eat food and above all, to be together. It was the 13th annual NJIT Day, a tradition that brings the campus together joyously and gives students a break from their studies. They play silly games and laugh and, for a day at least, forget their equations.   

“It’s so easy to get lost in your studies,” said Ina Tubilleja, a senior who majors in biology. “So it’s great to have a day where students can be together and relax.”

Her friend, Eric Allas, agreed. “I love having nothing to do for a whole day,” added Eric, an information technology major. “NJIT Day is when we express Highlander pride and show how much we love our school.”

Many students said they were proud of NJIT for being a top-ranked university that is recognized nationally for academic excellence and the success of its graduates. And the students weren’t the only ones who said they were proud NJIT. So did many of their parents.

On this NJIT Day, many parents came to campus to enjoy the festivities. Most said they hadn’t seen their children in a month, since the start of the semester. They missed them and wanted to see them and wanted also to see the burgeoning campus.

Muriel King, for instance, drove from West Deptford to see her daughter Jaelynne, a senior who majors in chemical engineering in the Albert Dorman Honors College. Jaelynne was performing with the NJIT Highlanders Dance Team; her mother didn’t want to miss that. She loves Jaelynne, she said, and is proud of how well she’s doing in her studies at NJIT.

“I came to NJIT Day to see my daughter and to support NJIT,” said Muriel. “NJIT ranks in the top 10 percent in the nation for the university with the best value and best education. NJIT doesn’t have football so this is really its homecoming weekend. I wanted to be with my daughter.”

Jaelynne, a top student at NJIT who is also a leader on campus, said her days are usually filled with studies and her nights with sleep. NJIT Day offered her a rare moment of repose and togetherness with fellow students and family. And for that she was grateful.

“Today’s a day to forget school and to focus on school spirit,” said Jaelynne. “It’s great to have a day when the whole campus comes together with friends and parents. And we got to watch some really crazy Highlander games too."

Roger and Rosemarie Scoccimarro-Greiner came from Hoboken to spend the day with their son, Joseph, a fifth-year architecture student. They couldn’t stop talking about how nice the campus looked and how happy they are that Joseph is at NJIT. He is due to graduate in May and already has four job offers, they said. This summer, he also worked an internship at N.J. Transit, which made him more marketable.

“We wanted to come to campus today because we are so impressed with NJIT and how well Joseph has done here,” said Roger. “NJIT is one of the top schools in the country and seeing the campus today, I can understand why. It’s a beautiful campus. I’m impressed.”

Darlene and Mark Henshaw drove from Longmeadow, Mass., to be with their daughter Mary, a chemical engineering major in the Honors College. The first time they visited NJIT they weren't sure it was a good fit for Mary, they said. That was two summers ago. 

Now they love NJIT. Mary is excelling in her studies and running track and pole vaulting and singing in the jazz band, all of which makes them very proud.

“She is doing so much and doing so well here,” said Darlene. “After my husband and I visited campus for a recruiting visit, though, we fell in love with NJIT. It’s a rigorous and terrific academic school with a great sports program. We miss Mary terribly and wanted to be with her on this beautiful day.”

By Robert Florida (robert.florida@njit.edu)