2018 Walter & Leah Rand Awards and Scholarship Dinner

Celebrating leadership and service in South Jersey

Join us in celebrating South Jersey’s leading citizens and supporting the critical work of the students and staff at Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs.

Thursday, May 2, 2019
Reception 6 p.m.  |  Dinner and Program 7 p.m.
The Honorable Diane Allen will serve as master of ceremonies.

The Merion
1301 Route 130 South, Cinnaminson, New Jersey 08077

Tickets are $200 each | R.S.V.P. April 12
Tables and sponsorships are available.
Call 856-225-2195 or email



2019 South Jerseyans of the Year

We are pleased to recognize South Jersey's leading citizens in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. WRI's honorees join an esteemed list of South Jerseyans demonstrating an unwavering commitment to our region and its residents through service.
Senator Nilsa Cruz-Pérez
New Jersey State Senate
Public Sector

Senator Nilsa Cruz Pérez was born and raised in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.  She studied at the University of Puerto Rico, majoring in Political Science, while working for the Popular Democratic Party.  In 1981, Nilsa joined the U.S. Army and was stationed in Mainz Military Community in Germany.  While serving, she furthered her education by studying at the U.S. Quartermaster School, Big Bend Community College, Temple University and the University of Maryland (overseas division). In 1987, she was honorably discharged from the military.

In February of 1995, Senator Cruz Pérez was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly, serving from 1995 until 2010.  Appointed to fill an unexpired term, she went on to be elected as the first Hispanic woman State Legislator in New Jersey’s history. On December 15, 2014, Ms. Cruz Pérez was sworn in as State Senator for New Jersey’s Fifth Legislative District. She serves as the Vice Chair to the Senate Economic Growth Committee, and sits on the Senate Budget and Appropriations, and Military and Veterans Affairs Committees. She is also a member of the Joint Committee on Affordable Housing.

Nilsa Cruz-Pérez is a mother of three, including two sons, Luis and Angel, and a daughter, Linette.  She resides in Barrington with her husband, Luis.
Copyright © 2019 Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs, All rights reserved.

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