first students

Members of the Stockton State College Charter class visited the campus and are shown examining a model of the college facilities. Shown are Elizabeth Alton of the Board of Trustees, Deborah Anne Catalano, Jennifer Grebenschikoff Dougherty, Robert E. McGarey and college President Dr. Richard Bjork. December 2, 1970

Mike Blizzard

ATLANTIC CITY — Stockton’s founding mother, Elizabeth B. Alton, will be honored Saturday during two naming events at the college.

At 11:15 a.m., a boat from Stockton’s rowing team will be named in Alton’s honor at the Atlantic City boathouse during the Atlantic City Stakes boat races. At 2 p.m., Alton will become the namesake of the student lounge at the Atlantic City academic building, located on the second floor.

Alton was a founding member of Stockton’s Board of Trustees and an advocate for locating a state college in South Jersey.

The Alton boats — a second boat will be named for her husband, R. John Alton — were made possible through a donation by Elizabeth Endicott and the Alton family. Several family members are expected at Saturday’s dedication, including her granddaughter, Karen Alton, an Atlantic City High School graduate.

According to the college, Elizabeth Alton’s journey to help create what is now Stockton University began with a presentation at the Atlantic City Kiwanis Club when she mentioned that the southern part of the state lacked a state college.

After much lobbying, Alton garnered the support of state Sen. Frank S. Farley and, in 1969, legislation was passed establishing the new college.

Richard Stockton State College opened in 1971.

In addition to the latest honors, the college’s Galloway Township campus bears Alton’s name on its A-wing auditorium. The auditorium was dedicated in 2004.

Alton died in 2006 at age 100.

Contact: 609-272-7251

Twitter @clairelowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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