Celebrating the Power of Education

Michelle Keates' long and rewarding history with Stockton University.
Community Involvement Photo

Michelle Lenzmeier Keates has a long history with Stockton University. With great pride, she and the other trustees, welcomed the next generation of scholars and professionals on stage to accept their diplomas at the university's 2023 commencement ceremonies.

[Michelle Keates pictured with Dr. Harvey Kesselman (right), the President of Stockton University, and Dr. Joe Bertolino (left), who will officially assume the role of sixth President on July 1st, 2023.  Dr. Kesselman was part of the first Stockton University graduating class (1971) and is currently the President of Stockton University.]

Michelle, a First Vice President/Wealth Management AWMA® CRPC®, RIS at Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC, graduated with Stockton University's class of 1976. Since graduating she has remained actively involved with the development of the university. She is the Founding President of the Friends of Stockton Performing Arts Center (1979) and was recruited by Stockton’s second President to serve on the Foundation Board of Directors. 

She is also the co-creator of the first Stockton University Foundation Scholarship Benefit Gala which took place in 1980 and remains an annual event. The 2023 Gala, raised over $460,000 in support of Stockton’s Benefit Gala Endowed Scholarship Fund, which provides awards to deserving students from the community each year. To date, the annual gala has raised more than $5,000,000 for scholarships. 

In 2001 Michelle returned to the Atlantic City area to accept a position with Janney after obtaining her MA at Fairleigh Dickinson University (1982) and her JD at Fordham University School of Law, NY, NY (1985) while working in the Financial Services industry. 

Upon returning, she resumed her service on the Stockton Foundation Board where she served in several roles including Treasurer and Chair of the Investment and Finance Committee. In 2021 Michelle was appointed by the Governor of NJ to serve as a Trustee where she currently chairs the Investment Committee. 

Longtime supporters of Stockton and its students, Michelle and her husband Paxson (a 4th generation Atlantic County funeral director) created the Michelle and H. Paxson Keates Endowed Scholarship with an initial amount of $50,000.

[Michelle Keates and her husband Paxson Keates] 

“Learning is powerful”, Michelle explained. “We understand the transformative value of education and want to provide emotional and financial support to help encourage tomorrow’s leaders. This is a permanent source of scholarships for high achieving students who have demonstrated financial need.”

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