Giving back to Montclair State is a natural progression for Peter Balsamo, who says “I would not be where I am today without the quality education I received at Montclair State University. In fact, when I first applied to Montclair State, I was rejected. Montclair was my first choice, but I did not get in until I was accepted as a transfer student; it was the best decision I ever made.” Peter feels strongly that Montclair State University alumni should give back to the University.
Peter wanted to know how he could help, and three years ago he established the Peter Balsamo Study Abroad Scholarship fund with an annual gift in support of deserving students. His love for the study abroad program started in summer 1971 when he was an undergraduate student at Montclair State and he was given the opportunity to travel to Spain. Peter reflected that without the scholarship from the University, “I would have never visited another country because my parents could not afford to provide the enriching experience that I received from studying in Spain.” He believes every student, if possible, should spend a summer or semester abroad. Peter says the experience will broaden their knowledge and provide future opportunities.
Peter’s way of paying it forward is by supporting this program annually, but he wanted more. This scholarship was so important to him that he wanted to make it his legacy to help future generations of students. He wanted his gift to live on. Peter was advised that this could happen by including the University as a beneficiary of his IRA, which would endow his scholarship in perpetuity.
Peter currently lives in Athens, Georgia, with his wife and daughter.