On Tuesday, February 14, 2017, there was a Kean Sweetheart tribute event honoring Kean University alumna and long-time contributor Maxine Lane, who passed away in May of 2016 at the age of 90.
The event was held in the North Avenue Academic Building (NAAB) where attendees were able to hear President Dawood Farahi and Steve Fastook, the president of the Kean University Foundation.
Before passing the floor to President Farahi, Fastook acknowledged Lane as a generous benefactor. President Farahi mentioned that "generosity enabled, so far, 50 students [to] realize their American dream."
Lane, before coming to New Jersey to attend Kean University, was originally from Arkansas and spent most of her life in Texas. She graduated from Kean University in 1978, at the age of 51, with a bachelor's degree in social work. She also received an honorary degree in 2014.
Once on stage, President Farahi shared a memory of Lane. He spoke of how one day she took him to a Mexican restaurant and he wondered why Lane took him there, so he asked her.
Her response was "because the portions are so big that I can eat some now and save the rest for later."
President Farahi then spoke of her generosity to the university, allowing students to continue their education with a scholarship under her name. President Farahi continued to say the reason behind the Maxine Lane scholarship is because Lane started her career with nothing and she wanted to help out those who were just like her.
One of the many students who received the Maxine Lane Scholarship was Adele Tenore, a senior majoring in education with a focus on biology elementary-middle education (kindergarten through grade five and grade six through grade eight).
"Just like Maxine, I am a non-traditional full-time student," said Tenore in her acceptance speech. She is also a full-time mom to her son who is in high school. But because of the Maxine Lane scholarship, she is able to complete her bachelor's degree in education.
"I can set an example for my son and my family...and I am grateful for Maxine Lane," Tenore concluded, "I cried when I got the scholarship." Tenore will graduate this May.
Tenore explained that she may get a master's degree in the future at Kean University.
"The faculty is great here and the education program here as well," she continued. Upon graduation, Tenore plans on teaching somewhere in Central New Jersey.
After the tribute, attendees were able to grab some cookies and hot chocolate. Attendees were able to add a variety of toppings to their hot chocolate, which included the favorite hot chocolate topping marshmallows, chocolate shavings and chocolate syrup.
Kean University thanks Lane for her generous contributions. The Center for Academic of Success (CAS) was named after Lane and her husband, Jack, in 2009 for their generosity to the campus.
Because of Lane's generosity, many students have been able to continue their education.