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Benefactors Maxine ’78 and Jack Lane Make $6 Million Gift to Kean University

Union, N.J. - Maxine Lane ’78 is a self-described "people person," who, along with her husband Oscar "Jack" Lane, has spent the better part of her life putting others ahead of herself through charity, volunteer work and philanthropy. The Lanes’ recent $6 million gift to Kean University is only the latest example of their generous nature, and it was recognized on Monday, May 18, when the Maxine and Jack Lane Center for Academic Success (CAS) building was dedicated to their legacy.

"Kean University is delighted with this incredible display of generosity by Maxine and Jack," said Foundation President Doug Nelson. "The Lanes have been donors and friends of Kean for many years, and I am grateful that they chose to bestow their philanthropy upon this institution. The entire campus community, particularly our students, will benefit tremendously from this major gift." The majority of the gift will go toward student scholarships.

The CAS building is a perfect complement to Maxine, an advocate of education, scholarship donor and the mother of two, who began her academic career considerably later than most students, due to what she describes as a "calling from God." She began taking courses at a local community college before transferring to Kean, where she earned her social work degree in 1978 at the age of 51, specializing in aid for families with dependent children. The primary reason I became interested in social work was because of the people," says Maxine. "It's a wonderful feeling to know that you can make a difference in someone's life. My professors and counselors ensured that was the case while I was a student here, and this is how I live my life to this very day."

The building, which now bears the Lanes’ name, is a cornerstone of Kean's commitment to opportunity. It is a home to many of the University’s student support offices, all of which serve the purpose of ensuring that students will have the tools necessary to receive a world-class education. It features a lecture hall for 125 students, 44 classrooms, 20 seminar rooms, 13 computer labs and 77 offices. Additionally, the facility houses an art gallery and the WKNJ radio station.

Residents of Lake Kiowa, Texas for the past 30 years, the Lanes still fondly recall their time spent in New Jersey, during which Maxine worked with the Monmouth County, N.J. Welfare Board and Jack, a veteran of the United States Navy, worked in the oil industry. "We had not been back to the campus in more than 20 years, but we were very eager to return," said Maxine. "Kean University has always been a great place to receive an education, and in recent years, it has risen to new levels."