As a celebration of the end of the semester, the campus community came together for Montclair State University’s annual World’s Fair Day to honor the university’s rich diversity through food, dance performances and music from around the world.
This year’s event featured a special collaboration with One Day for Montclair – the university’s annual benefit event to celebrate the contributions that help give students more opportunities to achieve their dreams through the creation of scholarships and programs.
Thanks to matching gifts and fundraising challenges, including a challenge to donate what you would spend on your latte on Thursday, One Day for Montclair raised more than $215,000 through 1,424 gifts.
“We asked our campus community to come together on One Day for Montclair to create something special, and we’re just amazed at how well the call to join us was answered,” says Kara Baldwin Brennan ’92, Director of Annual Giving. “We were so inspired by the tremendous energy felt throughout the day because we knew how impactful these gifts will be.”
Combining the event with World’s Fair Day made it even more fun, she says.
Everyone who strolled past the amphitheater on Thursday, April 28 was invited to watch the performances and enjoy other entertainment, including a DJ, photo booth, and food trucks. As part of One Day for Montclair, the Class of 2022 was on hand to raise funds for their class gift and scholarships. Rocky also turned up and gave out lollipops with #1Day4Montclair and a QR code for the fundraising website and to spread the word.
Not only were the students invited to taste and experience different cultures, but they were also introduced to many department offices and campus organizations that set up information desks at the event to give students the opportunity to become more familiar with the diversity of organizations serving them on the Campus are available to become more aware.
“The World’s Fair Day event is one of the best events we have and I expect it will touch almost everyone on campus,” said Dawn Soufleris, vice president of student development and campus life. “It’s an opportunity for students to appreciate the diversity and culture on our campus and to have a moment of deep breath and fun before final exams and just celebrate who we are and the fact that we’re quite an amazing institution.”
Jo Ann Perez, a senior English major, volunteered for her Chinese culture class at the event and encouraged students to pay more attention to the Chinese courses offered at the university.
“I highly encourage students to check out the Chinese table or even take Chinese courses in Montclair because they are so much fun. With so many courses to choose from, you learn so much about the culture and you can even take a course in Chinese cinema,” said Perez.
Richard Steiner-Otoo, a sophomore in Environmental Studies, was drawn to the energy of the event and the effort to spread awareness of the diverse cultures of students on campus.
“I came to this event today mainly for the vibrancy and the energy,” Steiner-Otoo said, adding that he also enjoyed the free food and the performances. “I think sometimes we can get very … comfortable with what we know, and we don’t realize that there are so many cultures practiced on our campus, so it helps open our eyes to that.”
Sophia Parra, a sophomore communications major, is a member of the Hawk Squad student organization and volunteered at the event to promote school spirit on social media.
“It’s really nice to be here and experience all the different cultures because there are so many beautiful cultures in this world,” said Parra.
Story by communications intern Rosaria Lo Presti. Photos by college photographer Mike Peters.