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Rutgers’ Hall of Distinguished Alumni inducts 11

Archived article from Apr 26, 2004

By Sandra Lanman  

Eleven new members will be inducted into Rutgers’ Hall of Distinguished Alumni at a gala dinner Saturday, May 1, at the East Brunswick Hilton.

The Rutgers University Alumni Federation established The Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 1987 to recognize those whose superior achievements in professional and civic life have brought honor to themselves and the university. The induction of new members brings this elite group to 156.

The 2004 inductees are:

Mario Batali, Rutgers College 1982, studied Spanish theater at Rutgers, but later became enamored with cooking and trained in both London and Italy. Blending his passions for cooking and performing, Batali now hosts three popular programs on the Food Network and owns acclaimed restaurants and a wine shop in Manhattan. Batali has been named “Man of the Year” in the chef category by GQ magazine; he won the James Beard’s Foundation’s “Best Chef: New York City Award” in 2002.

Leonie M. Brinkema, Douglass College 1966, School of Communication, Information and Library Studies 1970, began her career at the Department of Justice in 1976. She was appointed to the U.S. District Court by President Bill Clinton in 1993, where she still serves as judge for the Eastern District of Virginia. Among her major rulings are two Internet-related Freedom of Speech cases, a landmark road rage proceeding and the upholding of the federal law barring protestors from blocking entrances to abortion clinics. Most recently, she has been hearing the government’s case against Zacarias Moussaoui, the first person charged in connection with the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Patricia Smith Campbell, Douglass College 1963, began her career as a laboratory technician and rose to the position of research scientist with ALZA Corp., a California-based research pharmaceutical company. During her career, she pioneered the development of the adhesive transdermal patch, which allows controlled doses of medication to be delivered through the skin. Her research has resulted in more than 20 patents, and the development of such products as Nicoderm CQ and patches for hypertension, motion sickness and hormone replacement therapy.

Barbara Bell Coleman, Newark College of Arts and Sciences 1974, served as chief of prevention services for the N.J. Division of Narcotic and Drug Abuse Control until 1982. She spent the next decade as president of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Newark, coordinating programs for 5,000 children. As president of the Amelior Foundation from 1992 to 1995, she helped spearhead every inner-city initiative in the state. In addition to being a minority recruitment and retention consultant for Pricewaterhouse Coopers, she is a dedicated volunteer with numerous arts and community organizations.

James Gandolfini, Rutgers College 1983, majored in communication, but turned to performing after taking an acting class taught by another Rutgers alumnus a few years after graduating. Since then, he has acted in 20 films, including “12 Angry Men” and “Get Shorty.” He also has performed on Broadway (“A Streetcar Named Desire”). But the Westwood native’s greatest fame has been achieved on television as the notorious Tony Soprano of HBO’s “The Sopranos.”

Eddie Jordan, Livingston College 1977, electrified Rutgers fans as the record-setting point guard of the celebrated 1975-76 undefeated Final Four team. He went on to a seven-season career with the New Jersey Nets and Los Angeles Lakers, playing on the latter’s 1982 championship squad. Jordan began his coaching career at Rutgers and later spent four years as lead assistant coach of the Nets, helping to guide them to consecutive conference championships. Last year, he was named head coach of the NBA’s Washington Wizards.

Clifton R. Lacy, Livingston College 1975, earned his medical degree at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He went on to a career in public service following 18 years of experience in health care, epidemiology and research, in which he established himself as an expert in lipid-lowering therapy. After Gov. James E. McGreevey appointed him commissioner of the N.J. Department of Health and Senior Services, Lacy set out to establish New Jersey as a national leader in cancer research and care, extending access to clinical cancer trials through a new Web site known as Cancer Trial Connect.

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