Hempstead, NY - Hofstra alumnus James C. Metzger ’83 has funded a summer internship within the Center for Civic Engagement in honor of his favorite faculty member, History Professor Michael D'Innocenzo.

The $25,000 gift will endow the Metzger-D'Innocenzo Endowed Summer Internship for the Center for Civic Engagement at Hofstra University. Based on the recommendation of the Dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the internship will be given to a deserving student based on academic achievement and/or financial need who is majoring in History and serving as an intern in the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE).

“He was the most passionate, charismatic professor that I ever had. I really enjoyed his classes immensely and I thought he brought history alive and was very good at making it relevant,” said Mr. Metzger, who is the founder, chairman and CEO of the Whitmore Group, a Garden City-based insurance and financial services firm. “I’m just very fond of him and I was very impressed with the CCE and what he’s doing there and its mission. It’s a real thrill for me to be able support this and to work with him in the future with the CCE.”

Last month, Mr. Metzger provided a leadership gift to support Hofstra’s men's and women's lacrosse programs and the football program.  That pledge will fund enhancements for a new Margiotta Hall Traditions Project that will display the history of the three programs. His support of Hofstra also included funds to build a new men’s lacrosse locker room. Mr. Metzger was a 1980 Division 1 All American lacrosse player who played for the Pride in 1979 and 1980. He left Hofstra in 1983 one course shy of his degree. He later returned and completed his degree.

“Jim Metzger's personal journey has taken him from high school multi-sport super star to Hofstra All-American lacrosse player to entrepreneurial leadership and outstanding philanthropy,” said Professor D’Innocenzo. “I admire his many accomplishments and I especially celebrate the ways he embodies da Vinci's highlighting of Curiosita (a ceaseless sense of inquiry) as the hallmark of all creative people. Jim's generosity by endowing the Center for Civic Engagement student internship illustrates his own deep commitment to Hofstra, to young people, and to fostering the kind of attentive society in which democracy can thrive.”

Professor D’Innocenzo, who is entering his 49th year teaching at Hofstra, was the recipient of the American Historical Association’s 2008 Eugene Asher Distinguished Teaching Award recognizes outstanding teaching and advocacy for history teaching at colleges and universities. The award, which recognizes outstanding teaching and advocacy for history teaching at colleges and universities, was be presented at the association’s annual convention in New York City in January 2009. Hofstra honored Professor D’Innocenzo on May 15 with a reception in his honor attended by 200 people.

In addition to his distinguished teaching career at Hofstra, Professor D’Innocenzo, who is The  Harry H. Wachtel Distinguished Teaching Professor for the Study of Nonviolent Social Change at Hofstra, has run for public office on Long Island, was instrumental in bringing to Hofstra the papers of Harry Wachtel, attorney to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; launched the Hofstra Public Policy Institute, which has worked with the Kettering Foundation for many years to promote democratic dialogue; and was most recently involved in founding the Center for Civic Engagement at Hofstra University, an interdisciplinary center that sponsors programs encouraging students to become active and informed citizens.

Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution where students can choose from about 150 undergraduate and more than 160 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, business; engineering; communication; education, health and human services;  and honors studies, as well as a School of Law. With a student-faculty ratio of 14-to-1, our professors teach small classes averaging 22 students that emphasize interaction, critical thinking and analysis. Hofstra offers a faculty whose highest priority is teaching excellence. The University also provides excellent facilities with state-of-the-art technology, extensive library resources and internship programs that match students’ interests and abilities with appropriate companies and organizations.  The Hofstra community is driven, dynamic and energetic, helping students find and focus their strengths to prepare them for a successful future.