$2 Million Gift from The Agnes Varis Charitable Trust will support construction of new Newark studio
December 3, 2014 – NEWARK, NJ – WNET President and CEO Neal Shapiro and NJTV General Manager John Servidio announced today a landmark gift from the Agnes Varis Charitable Trust in support of NJTV’s new anchor studio in development at Gateway Center in downtown Newark, NJ. WNET operates the statewide New Jersey public television network.
As previously announced, NJTV is relocating from Montclair State University. “We are enormously grateful to the Agnes Varis Trust for their generosity in supporting our efforts to make Newark the long-term home base for NJTV,” said Servidio.
“The state of New Jersey and the New Jersey Public Broadcasting Authority have entrusted us with the responsibility of leading New Jersey Public television in pursuit of excellence in service to the state. This new studio is a critical step in that process. We are fortunate to have the support of the Agnes Varis Trust as we continue our efforts on behalf of New Jersey public media,” says Shapiro.
A self-made woman and daughter of Greek immigrants, the late Agnes Varis was a legendary business leader who started her first NJ-based company, Agvar Chemicals, in 1975. A graduate of Brooklyn College, Dr. Varis co-founded Marsam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Aegis Pharmaceuticals, both generic pharmaceutical companies. An ardent supporter of women’s issues, animal welfare, and accessibility to the arts and healthcare, Varis was honored with an honorary doctorate for social service from Tufts University in 2003, and in 2010 was appointed by President Obama to the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities.
The Agnes Varis NJTV Studio at 2 Gateway Plaza will be the broadcast home of the network’s news division and its weeknight newscast NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and house its NJTV News studio and office space as well as a community room for hosting public events and program productions. The studio is expected to be operational in the spring of 2015.