Robert Meyer ’77, recently retired as General Counsel, Vice President, and Secretary of Van Beuren Management, Inc, the business founded by businessman/philanthropist Raymond Chambers. In appreciation for his friendship and many years of service, the Chambers’ family foundation, MCJ Amelior, generously agreed to donate $200,000 on behalf of Mr. Meyer and his wife, Margot, to a scholarship program. The Meyers chose the formation of a scholarship at Seton Hall Law to support students who have participated in the Boys and Girl Clubs of Newark and served in the U.S. military. Doing so, they not only hope to help others to fulfill their dream of becoming a lawyer, but to also uphold the values that make this country strong. Here Mr. Meyer talks about the meaning and purpose of that gift.
Why did you select the name the “God Bless America Scholarship” for this gift and who do you want to benefit from this scholarship?
“I served in Viet Nam as a United States Marine Corps captain and firmly believe that the reason there is as much stability in the world as we have is because of our strong military presence. I would like in some small way to honor those who do some of the heavy lifting for our country. I believe in God, am a Christian and believe in the importance of helping others. I know to some people it may be old school thinking and perhaps corny, but to me it’s not. Also, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Newark is an organization that does an enormous amount of good for the children of Newark. The most important thing they do is to provide exposure to role models and the kind of values that can help urban children succeed in life. Ray Chambers is a long-time supporter of the Boys and Girls Clubs, and my wife and I also support the Clubs. They generate so many success stories; we would like to (in at least some small way) remain a part of that.”
Why did you decide to establish this scholarship at Seton Hall Law?
“I attended Seton Hall Law on the G.I. Bill. In my view, it’s a terrific law school that prepares one well for the practice of law. Strong Judeo-Christian values are woven into the fabric of the institution. Being located in Newark, it’s able through its clinics and other efforts to help people whose needs typically are not met well. As a student, I was involved with the Juvenile Justice Clinic which gave me tremendous practical experience before I graduated. The professors at Seton Hall Law also are completely dedicated to helping students. I have so many good memories. I was an evening student, and one night I had to bring our three children to class. The class was taught by Professor John Wefing. We sat in the back, but he got our children involved right away. They still remember that night going to law school with their dad. It’s rewarding to know that through this scholarship others who otherwise might not have the financial resources will be able to benefit from a Seton Hall Law education.”
Why did you decide to become a lawyer and what have you enjoyed most about your career?
“I thought law school would be something that would be intellectually stimulating and financially rewarding. I also shared the altruistic sentiment most of us have when we enter law school. I wanted to do some good in the world. What I’ve enjoyed most about being a lawyer is helping people. When you’re a lawyer, you’re dealing with people. It’s not all about business, but rather helping people to get on top of their problems.”
What message would you like to share with current students?
“I would encourage them to make the best of their time at Seton Hall Law. To take advantage of everything they can. I also would like to remind recipients of this scholarship of the importance of their military experience and the good that it has accomplished. There does not seem to be any other champion of freedom that is willing to do what our country does to keep the world on an even keel. That’s something we should be proud of and willing to support.”