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Life of Reillys

The Reilly clan, all 20 of them, are alumni of Rutgers—one of the many families in New Jersey that have sent numerous generations to the university.

From left: Christopher Reilly CCAS’06, Meghan Reilly DC’09, Diane Pallante Reilly CCAS’77, Dennis Reilly CCAS’77, Amy Pallante CCAS’87, John Pallante CCAS’99, Eugene Donato CCAS’06, and, sitting, Ryan Reilly SBC’07
From left: Christopher Reilly CCAS’06, Meghan Reilly DC’09, Diane Pallante Reilly CCAS’77, Dennis Reilly CCAS’77, Amy Pallante CCAS’87, John Pallante CCAS’99, Eugene Donato CCAS’06, and, sitting, Ryan Reilly SBC’07. Photography by Benoit Cortet

Diane Pallante Reilly CCAS’77 had to create a spreadsheet to track all her family connections to Rutgers. “With 20 family members over three generations, it got too confusing when I tried to sort it in my head,” says Reilly, who met her husband, Dennis CCAS’77, when they were freshmen on the Camden Campus in 1973. One spreadsheet column, listing the Rutgers schools that family members attended, includes: Camden College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business–Camden, School of Law–Camden, Rutgers College, Douglass College, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, and Mason Gross School of the Arts.

Three’s a Charm: The Reillys’ three children received Rutgers degrees: Christopher CCAS’06 in economics and Ryan SBC’07 in finance and business management from Rutgers–Camden and Meghan DC’09 in English from Rutgers–New Brunswick.

Brotherly Love: Diane’s uncles, by marriage, G. Robert DiMarco AG’54, GSNB’59 and the late Joseph Kreps CCAS’52, were childhood friends in Camden who ended up becoming brothers-in-law. Robert became a professor and chaired the Department of Food Science (a podium in his honor stands in the lobby of the Food Science Building on the George H. Cook Campus) and was an executive for General Foods and the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Joe worked in alumni relations on the Camden Campus before becoming a telephone company executive.

Reconnecting with Rutgers: Once their children had graduated, the Reillys experienced Rutgers withdrawal. They conquered it by attending events sponsored by the Rutgers Club of Greater Philadelphia, where they made new friends. Dennis even joined the Rutgers Alumni Crew team, although a bad back prevented him from rowing last year.

Scarlet Ambassadors: Diane’s cousins, Dorte Jensen DiMarco DC’78 and Robert DiMarco RC’78, GSNB’85, met at Rutgers and were married at Voorhees Chapel. Today, they host alumni events at their home in the Washington, D.C., area, and Dorte works to recruit students to Rutgers.

What’s your legacy? Talk about it on the message boards at Ralumni.com.