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New Jersey Future Celebrates George Pruitt

November 3rd, 2015 by

Former Governor Kean, Trenton Mayor Jackson praise pioneering educator

L to R: New Jersey Future Executive Director Peter Kasabach; former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean; George Pruitt; and New Jersey Future founding trustee Ingrid Reed.

L to R: New Jersey Future Executive Director Peter Kasabach; former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean; George Pruitt; and New Jersey Future founding trustee Ingrid Reed.

At a reception on the evening of Oct. 29, 2015, New Jersey Future honored Dr. George Pruitt, president of Thomas Edison State College, for his dedication to higher education and to the revitalization of Trenton’s downtown area. Scores of officials and supporters attended the event, which took place in the majestic and scenic setting of the Ellarslie mansion in the Frederick Law Olmstead-designed Cadwalader Park.

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In his welcoming remarks, Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson cited Dr. Pruitt’s longstanding commitment to downtown revitalization and his role as mentor to other leaders. He specifically noted the feeling of “being called down to the principal’s office” early in his tenure when Dr. Pruitt requested a meeting.

New Jersey Future Executive Director Peter Kasabach made the connection between the organization’s smart-growth and redevelopment agenda and the work of Dr. Pruitt and Thomas Edison State College. He highlighted the foundation created by Dr. Pruitt’s work in the downtown that helped catalyze the development of Greater Trenton, a new economic development organization focused on downtown, and helped catalyze his organization’s recent decision to purchase and renovate a building in the heart of downtown.

Providing context for Dr. Pruitt’s impact in Trenton, New Jersey Future founding trustee Ingrid Reed took the audience on a verbal tour of downtown Trenton, citing each building that Dr. Pruitt and Thomas Edison State College either renovated or built, with the sum of the parts creating an institutional hub that supports revitalization. In her introduction of Gov. Tom Kean, she praised the former governor for his commitment to hiring good people that helped support Thomas Edison State College’s growth and its contribution to downtown.

Governor Kean spoke of his deep and longstanding friendship with Dr. Pruitt, saying that Dr. Pruitt was one of the few people who could get him to drive to an evening event. Gov. Kean went on to describe Dr. Pruitt’s tenacity and accomplishments in both his work in advancing higher education and in Trenton’s renewal.

While many fans and supporters were able to attend, many others were not. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman provided a congratulatory letter, and Sen. Turner, Asm. Gusciora and Asw. Muio delivered a joint State Senate and Assembly resolution praising Dr. Pruitt’s accomplishments.

Dr. Pruitt was particularly touched by the large number of people who congratulated him in the weeks leading up to the event, but were not able to attend. In his remarks, he described the importance of understanding and respecting our physical history and history of place as we undertake the restoration and revitalization historic areas, emphasizing our role as conservators for the future.


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