A Real Factor: Alumnus and Math Instructor Making a Difference Inside and Outside the Classroom

By Tom McLaughlin

Page after page, student reviews for Paul Moré’s Pre-Calculus for Business and Calculus for Business classes are glowing, depicting an educator who is effective, helps students overcome their fears of the subject matter, and isn’t afraid to break up the monotony with a dash of humor.

more-1965Prof. Moré is a master at his craft who senses when his class is struggling and finds alternate ways of presenting the material,” writes one student of the part-time lecturer of mathematics at Rutgers University–Camden.

“He was so willing to help us succeed,” pens another. “He made it fun and gave us so many opportunities to learn and grow. I didn’t feel helpless.”

Simply put, Moré’s students evoke a teacher who cares – a case which can be made just as much for his support and guidance outside the classroom. In 2007, the Rutgers–Camden alumnus established the Moré Family Scholarship at Rutgers–Camden. The award is open to full- or part-time undergraduate students who are a minimum of three years removed from high school and are in their junior or senior year in the College of Arts and Sciences or University College at Rutgers–Camden. To date, 20 students have benefited from Moré’s generosity.

“Paul exemplifies the core values at Rutgers–Camden,” says Kris Lindenmeyer, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers–Camden. “He worked hard as a student, had an exceptional professional career as a leader in his field, and is now serving new generations of our students through his outstanding teaching and generous philanthropy. We are very proud and grateful to call Paul Moré a Rutgers–Camden alum, donor, and instructor.”

Along with the financial assistance, Moré makes it a point to connect with the students and share his parents’ life stories and his own humble beginnings.

“It is my way to honor my parents who sacrificed so much to ensure that were taken care of,” says Moré, a 1965 graduate of Rutgers–Camden with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

As Moré recalls, he grew up nearby in the Parkside section of Camden, the 11th of 13 children born to Italian immigrant parents. From an early age, they taught him the value – and unadorned reality – of hard work. By 12 years old, he was rising early and accompanying his father on his daily milk deliveries – a job that lasted well until his father’s 60s. At age 14, he was working in a nearby luncheonette.

But with those indelible experiences, Moré knew that he didn’t want to struggle like his parents to make ends meet. Education is the key, he thought, but only if he could afford it.

“I still tear up when I try to talk about it,” says Moré. “My parents couldn’t offer any financial support; they just had too many other things on their plate.”

Moré’s dreams would find new life, however, as he earned a $1,600, four-year New Jersey State Scholarship – a hand up that he would never forget. But first he had to make it through high school. During April of his senior year at Camden High, Moré’s family moved to Deptford. Having saved up $90 from his part-time luncheonette job, he was forced to use every last penny taking two buses, five days a week, to and from school for his final three months.

Moré always make it a point to connect on a personal level with the students he supports through this philanthropic efforts.

Upon arriving at Rutgers, Moré found that the books for his classes totaled $70 – and he didn’t know how he was going to pay for them.

“I remember going to my room crying,” says Moré. “I knew that I had done everything that I could, but the circumstances were just beyond my control.”

With the cost loaned by a family member, Moré pursued a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Rutgers University, attending classes in Camden for two years before preparing to take his remaining classes in New Brunswick. However, since the scholarship only covered tuition and not room and board, he decided to continue his classes in Camden and completed his bachelor’s degree in mathematics instead.

While at Rutgers–Camden, Moré became active on campus, serving as president of the Lambda Sigma Chi Fraternity and the Intra-Fraternity Council during the 1964-65 year, and playing on both the junior varsity and varsity basketball teams, helping lead the Rutgers–Camden squad to the Delaware Valley Conference Championship in 1964-65.

After briefly attending the University of Arizona, Moré continued his studies as a graduate assistant at Temple University, where he got his first taste of teaching, leading mathematics classes. In 1967, he began a long and successful career as a civilian employee in the U.S. military, working for the Army at the Frankford Arsenal in Philadelphia. He also continued to pursue his goal of becoming an engineer, earning a master’s degree in engineering from Penn State University in 1972.

Moré went on to work for the Department of Defense – including two important positions for the U.S. Navy – for 35 years, serving as an engineer and subsequently as an executive director of engineering responsible for 150 technical personnel. During that time, he received three Meritorious Civilian Service Awards, the highest honor a civilian employee can receive from a commanding officer, and was honored by the National Association of Professional Engineers for his numerous technical contributions during a National Engineer’s Week in 1989.

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Pictured is Paul Moré (front row) with (top row, counterclockwise) Moré’s son Paul Moré III and his wife, Michele; grandson Benjamin; daughter Jacqueline; and wife Dianna.

With a successful career under his belt, Moré decided that his next mission was two-fold: to stay busy and to give back to young students aspiring to new heights just as he did. Wanting to return to his roots, Moré contacted some of his former professors at Rutgers–Camden and landed a position teaching mathematics in 2002.

Moré soon turned his attention to charitable work as well, sponsoring the organization Amigos de Jesus, an orphanage in Honduras co-founded by his friend, Fr. Dennis O’Donnell. Moré and his wife, Dianna, a fellow Rutgers–Camden graduate who earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 1989 and a master’s degree in nursing in 1998, along with one of his sisters, also sponsor a child who attends Sacred Heart School in Camden.

In 2007, Moré took an initial $1,000 inheritance willed by his mother – which had grown exponentially over 20 years – and started the scholarship at Rutgers–Camden in his parents’ name.

“While they didn’t have the money to send me to college, they have essentially partially paid for many other students to attend college,” says Moré, who proudly adds that he and Dianna, a nurse practitioner at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden, also put their own children through Rutgers. Their daughter, Jacqueline Manzoni, earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Rutgers–New Brunswick in 1990 and their son, Paul III, earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rutgers–Camden in 1995.

Moré is also once again active in the Rutgers–Camden community as well, serving as vice president of the Camden chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and a member of the Rutgers–Camden Faculty Council. He also enjoys mentoring some of the other part-time lecturers.

Since returning to his alma mater, Moré says, the experience has been greater and more satisfying than anything he could have ever expected. “Students thirst for somebody who cares,” he says. “They seem to be attuned to what I am doing. In the words of Phil Vischer, ‘There is no happier place than the intersection of God’s will and your giftedness.’”

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