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MONTCLAIR, NJ-Developer John J. Cali donated $5 million to Montclair State University, and yesterday trustees of the institution voted to name the university’s fledgling music school after him. The John J. Cali School of Music will be located in the existing Chapin Hall in what school officials call the first university-based music school in New Jersey.

“In recognition of the generosity and sustained support shown to Montclair State by the Cali family, we’re honored to place his name on a school that the Cali family has ensured will open the door to a first-rate education for young musicians,” university president Dr. Susan A. Cole said at yesterday’s announcement.

John Cali co-founded Cali Associates, a real estate development company, in 1949. In 1994, Cali Realty Corp. became a publicly traded company with Cali as chairman/CEO, and three years later the company merged with the Mack Co. to form Mack-Cali Realty Corp., now based in Cranford, NJ. Cali’s wife Rose is a Montclair State grad and a member of the university’s board of trustees and Cali himself was a professional musician before turning his efforts to real estate.

The existing Chapin Hall is currently undergoing a $17 million renovation. The 53,000-sf building is also being expanded with the addition of a 250-seat recital hall. The $5 million donation by Cali will largely go toward scholarships, with $4 million specifically designated for that purpose. The remaining $1 million will go toward establishing a new professorship.

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