The directors and staff of the Plangere Writing Center at Rutgers University would like to express our condolences to the family of the late Jules L. Plangere, Jr., who passed away on September 18, 2016. Through his many acts of personal and professional kindess, Mr. Plangere's actions demonstrated his commitment to providing ongoing support to students who are working to become stronger, more critical writers, capable of responding to the shifting needs of their professional and cultural lives. We are thankful for the opportunity to participate in this mission by working with students at the Plangere Writing Center.
Jules Plangere knew that reading and writing are essential skills not just for students but for everyone. That is what attracted him to the newspaper business. "I was aware that a literate public would help ensure the future of the printed word," he has said, "and I was mindful that an educated populace would help perpetuate our democratic society."
Mr. Plangere's life story sets a good example. After graduating from Asbury Park High School in New Jersey, he borrowed $400 to attend Rutgers College. He remembers being placed in a remedial writing class when he first arrived (like many of the students who attend our writing center). His academic career was interrupted by World War Two, in which he served as a First Lieutenant in charge of defending airstrips in the Pacific. When he returned to New Jersey, Mr. Plangere became a management trainee at the Asbury Park Press and found excellent guidance from mentors there. He eventually rose through the ranks to become the newspaper's publisher and Chairman of the New Jersey Press, Inc., the parent company of the Asbury Park Press and the Home News Tribune.
Mr. Plangere has become an important supporter of writing and communications training in the schools. Jules and Jane Plangere have endowed the Plangere Writing Center at Rutgers University to help it further its mission: teaching students to discuss complex ideas through clear and powerful prose.
This year, the Plangere Writing Center will provide more than 1,200 students with supplemental instruction in basic composition as well as in advanced research, business writing, and scientific writing courses. The Plangere endowment has allowed the Center to remodel its facilities, and continues to provide necessary support for retaining experienced tutors, expanding tutoring hours, and developing innovative online tutoring services.
Mr. and Mrs. Plangere have also endowed scholarships for deserving Rutgers students from Monmouth and Ocean County. For their generosity, Jules and Jane Plangere received the Rutgers Medal for Philanthropic Excellence, along with the knowledge that they have helped create a more literate public for generations to come.