Cedar Grove Couple Stuns NJIT With $5M Gift

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A Cedar Grove couple who recently died willed $5 million to the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the school’s largest gift to date from an individual, officials said Thursday.

The donation stunned university officials.

John Hartmann, an NJIT alumnus, and his wife, Helen, lived a modest life driving a Ford Taurus and owning a home without modern conveniences — they lacked a dishwasher and laundry machines. For three decades, they donated about $25 a year to the school.

"We were definitely appreciative of that," said Monique Pryor, assistant vice president for planned giving. "She often expressed that she just did not have the financial means to take care of her husband."

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