On February 21, the Libraries welcomed Senator Lautenberg’s family, friends, and colleagues to a special exhibit opening for New Jersey First: The Life and Legacy of Frank R. Lautenberg. The event was held in the reference room of Alexander Library and attendees could tour the exhibit in the downstairs gallery. Hosted in partnership with the Rutgers Foundation and Rutgers University Federal Relations, the event was appropriately celebratory and sentimental with Ellen Lautenberg remarking that her father “was very proud of Rutgers as a university. It was important to him that his papers were here at this university because it is the university of New Jersey and he really was a kid from New Jersey. I am glad that we were really able to see the project through.”
While the focus of this event was the launch of the exhibit, Lautenberg also expressed gratitude for the work that has gone into the papers project, thanking archivist Sheridan Sayles among others and noting, “He would really be very gratified that the collection is here. It looks amazing. So much hard work has gone into this. It will allow people to not just see some of the items that were associated with his service but also to do their research to get ahold of all the papers. It is really quite amazing what is now available to people for his almost thirty years in the Senate.”
Rita Mitjans, Chief Diversity & Corporate Social Responsibility Officer for ADP, spoke about the role of giving at ADP and the importance of supporting projects like the Lautenberg Papers. She also acknowledged the many Lautenberg scholarship recipients in the room, noting that the senator believed in the power of education to change lives.