Stocking ribbon cutting
Higher Ed

Stockton Opens Residential Complex in AC, Dedicates Kesselman Hall

Stockton University officially opened a new student residence hall in the city’s University District Atlantic City yesterday.

The 135,000-square-foot, six-story building is located at the corner of Atlantic and South Providence avenues in the Chelsea Heights section of the city, just a short walk from the rest of the Stockton Atlantic City campus, which opened in 2018.

In a ceremony shortly before the ribbon-cutting of the new residential complex, Stockton’s residence hall on the Boardwalk was renamed Kesselman Hall, after retiring President Harvey Kesselman who will step down from his post on June 30.

The new Phase II complex features apartment- and suite-style living with a total of 416 beds. Most of the suites include four single bedrooms, a common area, two bathrooms and a full kitchen. There’s also a lounge on each floor, meeting room, business center and laundry facilities. Students have views of the beach, Boardwalk and O’Donnell Park and access to a courtyard with outside seating.

“Today marks a significant milestone for our institution as we celebrate the opening of yet another state-of-the-art facility that will provide our students a safe, comfortable and welcoming home away from home,” said Raymond Ciccone, the chair of the Stockton Board of Trustees.

Kesselman noted the new residence hall continues the “incredible partnership” between Stockton, the city of Atlantic City, Atlantic County, regional and state leaders and the Atlantic City Development Corporation, known as AC Devco.

The president also mentioned the support of New Jersey State Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, who Kesselman said has “been one of Stockton’s staunchest allies in fighting for equity in higher education funding.”

Kesselman was “humbled by the extraordinary gesture” on the part of Stockton’s Board of Trustees to officially unveil the new name of the first Atlantic City residence complex as Kesselman Hall.

“Today’s unveiling is not only a personal honor, but also a reflection of the strong partnership between Stockton and Atlantic City,” Kesselman said. “To have my name associated with both is the most beautiful tribute I could ever imagine.”

Ciccone said the decision to name the residence hall is not one to take lightly, but one made after careful consideration and consultation.

“It is an honor traditionally afforded to those who have made significant contributions to the betterment of an organization,” he said. “And I can’t think of anyone who has contributed more to Stockton that President Kesselman.”

“We have been graced by his leadership and the growth and innovation of our university. This beloved community will be Dr. Kesselman’s greatest legacy,” said Mary Lou Galantino, distinguished professor of Physical Therapy, who suggested the naming of Kesselman Hall.

Kesselman talked about how Atlantic City is very special to him. He spoke about how his parents, who were not highly educated, worked blue-collar jobs and long hours to make ends meet. They would save up just enough money for the family to visit Atlantic City for a few days as a summer vacation.

“We didn’t stay in the extravagant hotels on the Boardwalk, or even near the Boardwalk, but that didn’t matter,” he said. “We came here for the Steel Pier, all of the hucksters and arcades on the Boardwalk, salt-water taffy and, of course, the Atlantic Ocean.”

Kesselman also said he would play the board game Monopoly because his parents wanted to make sure he was familiar with the names of the streets of Atlantic City in case he got lost.

“I can’t help but think how proud my parents would be that in just one generation we went from there to here,” he said. “And the reason that happened is one word — Stockton.”

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