MORRISTOWN, NJ – Dr. Antoinette M. Anastasia, an Elizabeth resident and an alumna of the College of Saint Elizabeth, has bequeathed $5 million to the college.

Dr. Anastasia, who passed away on December 2, 2016, was an active alumna and supporter of the college. In 2012, Dr. Anastasia anonymously gave the College the largest outright gift in the college’s history, to renovate its biology labs in Henderson Hall.  The biology wing has now been named in her honor. She was honored by her alma mater as its 2015 Mother Xavier Award recipient, the highest honor bestowed upon an alumna of the school each year on Founders Day for recalling the vision, courage and faith of the founder of the College of Saint Elizabeth, Mother Mary Xavier Mehegan.

“Dr. Anne was a wonderful friend to the College,” said President Helen J. Streubert. “Early in my tenure she worked closely with me to envision what could be the future for the College, specifically in the sciences.  Anne was always generous in spirit.  Her gift is transformational at this time in the College’s history as we continue to serve those who have not traditionally had access to higher education”

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Dr. Anastasia graduated from the College of Saint Elizabeth in 1951 with a B.S. in Biology. She went on to earn her M.A. and Ed.D. from Columbia University.  Dr. Anastasia started her career as a research assistant, first at Schering Plough Corporation and then Merck & Co. Inc. She taught human anatomy & physiology at a local hospital’s school of nursing and then became a professor of biology at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, N.J., where she taught throughout her long career. 

Dr. Anastasia described herself as an educator. As an administrator, it was important for her to remain a teacher in the classroom to give students personal attention. She attributed the College of Saint Elizabeth with giving her a firm foundation and preparing her well for her life as an educator.