April 30, 2019

Prestigious award recognizes individuals who advance the mission and ideals of Centenary University

Hackettstown, N.J., April 30, 2019—Centenary University will present its Gold Dome Award to Claire Couch Bosee of Manhattan and Stephen M. Somers of Hackettstown at the 22ndannual Scholarship Gala on Thursday, May 30. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. at Perona Farms in Andover, N.J.

Since its inception, the Scholarship Gala has generated significant financial support to provide tuition assistance to Centenary students. During the annual event, the University presents the prestigious Gold Dome Award to individuals who advance the mission and ideals of Centenary. “Claire Couch Bosee and Stephen Somers have each demonstrated a strong commitment to Centenary,” said Rosalind Reichard, Ph.D., interim president. “Their dedication and generosity will continue to shape the future of this University, as well as its students, for years to come.”

A 1954 Centenary graduate, Bosee embodies the phrase, “It is better to give than to receive.” Every five years for her birthday, she hosts a party to provide financial support for the Claire Couch Bosee ’54 Tea Dance Scholarship. The scholarship recognizes outstanding Centenary students with demonstrated financial need who are majoring in education or liberal arts, and plan to teach on the elementary, high school, or college level. Bosee is a past recipient of the Centenary University Van Winkle Award, which recognizes those with extraordinary accomplishments, including outstanding service to Centenary and the community at large, who bring honor to the University.

“I’m honored to receive this recognition from Centenary University, which has played such a pivotal role in my life,” Bosee said. “Through the years, it has been so exciting to be associated with a University that continues to advance its academic mission, educating young women and men for leadership in a rapidly changing world.”

Somers is the owner and president of Vigon International, one of the fastest growing companies within the flavor and fragrance industry. Several years ago, he was recognized as the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year in manufacturing for the greater Philadelphia area, and his firm recently earned its third consecutive spot on the “Best and Brightest Companies to Work For” list compiled by the National Association for Business Resources. A part owner of the New York Yankees Triple A team, Somers and his wife, Sharon, are the lead donors of Centenary University’s new baseball complex, dubbed “Our Diamond of Dreams,” which is currently under construction. He holds a master’s degree in analytical chemistry from St. John’s University and a bachelor’s degree in organic chemistry from St. Joseph’s College.

All proceeds from the Scholarship Gala benefit Centenary University student scholarship funds. For tickets or information on sponsorships, go to http://bit.ly/CenGala19 or call (908) 852-1400, ext. 2336.


Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township. The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs at two locations, Parsippany and Edison, as well as online and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.

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