Celebrating Sam

Samuel M. Convissor

Born in Newark, New Jersey, Sam Convissor graduated from city schools. While

attending Central High School he was named an All City Basketball player and was a

member of the 1947 team that won the State Title, a first for any Newark city school.

After graduation he went to work and a year later, began his college education at

Fairleigh Dickinson University in Rutherford. He continued to excel in athletics and was

captain of the basketball team that competed nationally in the Small College tournament

in Kansas City. After his 1953 graduation from Fairleigh Dickinson he entered the US

Marine Corps Platoon Leadership Program and served as a First Lt. with the Marine Air

Wing. He was an instructor in close air support. After his service in the Marine Corp

ended, he attended Boston University and earned a Masters Degree in Communications

while also studying in the Public Administration Program.

Sam joined the Greater Newark Development Council in 1960 and was subsequently

invited by newly elected Mayor Hugh Addonizio to join his staff as Executive Assistant.

Another opportunity arose and Sam left the Mayor’s staff in 1963 to serve as a consultant

to the Mayor’s educational TV station Channel 13 and the New York State Department

of Education on a joint program on the uses of media in manpower development and

training. In 1964, he joined a select group of community experts created by the

Community Relations Service of the U.S. Departments of Justice and Commerce to

assist communities in response to the disturbances in many cities. In 1965 Sam and his

young family moved to Rochester, New York for a short period following that

community’s racial unrest. He served in the same capacity in the major cities of

Cleveland and Boston.

One SOPAC Way | South Orange, NJ 07079 | (973) 275‐1114 | www.SOPACnow.org/support/GALA

Sam continued with the Community Relations Service as a consultant and returned to

Newark. In August 1966, he joined RCA Corporation as Director of Community Relations.

In 1986, RCA was purchased by General Electric and 1992 Sam retired as Vice President

of Corporate Affairs. He joined Mutual Benefit Insurance Company in Newark as Vice

President of Government Relations and served until 1995 when the company was sold.

He has always been actively involved in the Not-for-Profit volunteer community. He

served for forty years on the Board of Trustees and as Vice Chair of the Board of the

Children’s Aid Society of New York City. Among his many volunteer activities, he has

served as Chairman of the Board of the National Office of Social Responsibility and was

an active member of various committees of the National Urban League and the United

Negro College Fund. He was co-editor of the Newsletter Business and Society from 1968

to 1974.

He served on the Board of Trustees of Fairleigh Dickinson University and currently serves

on the Board of Friends of Florham; an Organization in support of the FDU campus in

Florham Park, New Jersey where he and three other board members wrote a book on

the historic campus. He is the recipient of the Alumni Trustees Award and a member of

the Pinnacle Society of the University. As a resident of South Orange since 1966 he has

served with distinction with several community groups and was President of Main Street

South Orange in 1997-1999.

As a long-time supporter of the South Orange Performing Arts Center, Sam has helped

to underwrite a series of concerts featuring students from The Juilliard School. In 2003,

Sam completed the program for The Rutgers Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners

Program and serves on the Board of the Greater Newark Conservancy. He is a member

of Congregation Beth El in South Orange.

Sam’s wife Carole served as Director of Special Projects at the Juilliard School for 18

years. She was active in South Orange, serving as vice chair of the Committee regarding

the re-use of the First St. School and with the Village Committee for the celebration of

July Fourth. She was also a member of the South Orange League of Women Voters. Mrs.

Convissor died in 2000.

Sam is a proud father of three, and has seven grandchildren.