Honorary Degree Recipients

In accordance with College regulation 2.0012R, Official Recognition of Members of Community and Guests of the College, the Honorary Degree Committee accepts nominations for honorary degree recipients, after which the Committee votes on proposed candidates. The public and the college community (employees, students, Trustees, and alumni) are notified and encouraged to nominate a candidate worthy of this honor.

To be eligible for consideration, a nominee will have achieved excellence in one or more of the following:

  • Professional Accomplishments
  • Community/Public Service
  • Personal Accomplishments
  • Inspirational Life Achievements (with which the candidate might inspire Brookdale students)

Honorary Degree Committee Members are Co-Chairs Tim Zeiss (Foundation & Alumni Affairs) and Eric Goll (Faculty); Dinneen Jackson, Administration; and Lauren Concar, Alumna.

The individuals selected to receive 2018 Honorary Degrees this year at our May 10 Commencement ceremonies are:

Carol Stillwell

Carol Stillwell is President of Stillwell Hansen, Inc. a New Jersey-based distributor of quality HVAC, network and equipment protection, and fire detection and suppression systems. The company was founded by her late husband Gordon in April 1969. Carol joined the company in August 1969. Carol Stillwell came of age at this time. A young woman with dreams of entering the field of construction – a profession that was strongly male dominated – Carol remained undaunted and focused.

Carol has subsequently been recognized as one of the top women business leaders in New Jersey in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. She is accomplished business woman, equestrian, and philanthropist who supports a wide variety of local non-profit organizations including The Juvenile Diabetes Association, Meridian, Monmouth Medical Center, The Food Bank, The Community YMCA, The Girl Scouts, the Ashley Lauren Foundation, the Brookdale Community College Foundation and so many more. She was Honored at the Brookdale Foundation Scholarship in 2014 and has served as Co-Chair of the Brookdale Foundation Scholarship Ball since 2015.

Bob & Joan Rechnitz

Bob and Joan Rechnitz are the founders of the nonprofit Two River Theater Company in Red Bank. The TRT was founded in 1994 and since that time has served audiences of all ages and has cultivated a new generation of theatergoers. Through innovative arts education programs, they have introduced young people to the theater and created opportunities for them to engage with renowned theater artists. Widely admired for contributing their time and resources to philanthropic endeavors, they gave an unprecedented $1 million donation to the Brookdale Community College Foundation in 2014.

Their generous support provides funding for the POSEIDON Early College High School (ECHS), a Brookdale Community College program that provides a cost-free head start for Neptune High School students who are the first in their family to go to college. The ECHS allows students the opportunity to earn an associate degree by the time they finish high school. Nearly 90 students are currently enrolled in the ECHS and seventeen of the students in their senior year will earn their associates degree at Commencement on May 10th.

Marilyn Schlossbach

Marilyn Schlossbach is an executive chef, restaurateur and entrepreneur who founded and manages the Marilyn Schlossbach Group, a hospitality company that currently manages restaurant and retail environments along with a catering business in some of New Jersey’s most beloved shore towns. She is an environmentalist, community activist, traveler, and surfer who is on a continual quest for culture and knowledge and shares her passion for the road less traveled with her patrons and community.

After years spent honing her craft, Marilyn is now the proprietor of food and beverage establishments along the New Jersey coast and is a tireless community advocate, endeavoring to support and cultivate her community through the culinary arts. Her community work includes a collaboration with Interfaith Neighbors on Asbury Kula Park’s Café, community gardening and surf lessons with the Boys and Girls Club of Asbury Park, and unwavering support of environmental organizations like Clean Ocean Action that work to protect coastlines and marine environments. She has also presented for Leadership Brookdale and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Women Entrepreneurs Rock event.

Questions? Contact Tim Zeiss, Foundation & Alumni Affairs at or Eric Goll, Chemistry, at

Past Honorary Degree Recipients

2005—2006 Dr. Margaret Parker
2006—2007 George Waple, Kevin Smith
2007—2008 Rev. Dr. Henry Davis, Tim McLoone
2008-2009 Denny Walling, Greg Mortenson
2009-2010 Gwendolyn Love, Barbara McMorrow
2012 Rev. Robert F. Kaeding
2013 Risa Clay
2014 Marshawn Love, Cindy Zipf
2015 David Prown and David Goldman
2016 Bernard Weinstein and Norma Hardy
2017 Carol Stilwell and Carlos Rodriguez