During a distinguished career in library leadership, as an award-winning Broadway producer, founder of the Karma Foundation, and through outstanding volunteer service, Sharon Matlofsky Karmazin, Class of 1967, has touched countless lives beyond her Douglass roots.
At Douglass College, she earned a bachelor of arts degree in English and went on to earn a master of library science degree from Rutgers’ School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies in 1969.
During more than 30 years from 1968 to 1999, she built a career as a leader at the East Brunswick Public Library. She helped lead the library to be the busiest library building in the State of New Jersey with the highest per capita circulation. Sharon also created innovative collections, programs and services, and operated the municipal cable channel. During her tenure, she held leadership positions in the New Jersey Library Association and the American Library Association. She has been recognized with numerous State and National awards including three John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards from the American Library Association.
During the last 14 years, Sharon has been a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer. She has produced numerous plays on and off Broadway and in London, earning nine Tony Award nominations between 2002 and 2014, when she won in the category of Best Revival of a Musical for “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” Her previous award was in 2012 in the category of Best Play for “Clybourne Park.” Other shows she has produced include, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” “Metamorphosis,” “The Seagull,” “Altar Boyz,” and the London production of “Ragtime.”
She is the founder of the Karma Foundation, a philanthropic family foundation that supports arts and culture, education, literacy, health and human services, autism, and the development and enrichment of Jewish life. Sharon has contributed several major gifts through The Karma Foundation. She has been a lead donor to the three major capital campaigns at Douglass. Sharon served as Chair of the ‘Douglass…Always a Leader’ Capital Campaign, which successfully raised $29 million. Most recently, she was a lead donor in The Campaign for Douglass, providing major support for the new Global Village Living Learning Center Residence Hall at the Jameson Complex at Douglass. She also has provided support to the Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life, and the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers. In addition, she is a supporter of the AADC’s annual fund raising appeal, and has given significant support to the Lucy Scarcella Special Opportunity Fund.
Sharon has supported major programs and projects at Douglass. She has served as a member of the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College Board of Directors and as chair both of the Douglass Society Selections and the Major Gifts committees. She has served her class as Alumnae Council Representative, planned reunions and hosted Florida Area Alumnae Gatherings at her home. As a theater producer, Sharon has welcomed alumnae for special gatherings, tours, and performances of the shows she produces on the stages of New York’s Broadway theaters and New Brunswick’s George Street Playhouse.
In addition, she has served as a member of the Rutgers University Foundation Board of Overseers and the Rutgers President’s Council Executive Committee. She serves on the boards of many organizations, including the George Street Playhouse, the Actor’s Fund, Yiddish Book Center, Association for Israel’s Decorative Artists, the Creative Glass Center of America at Wheaton Arts, and the Moment Magazine Advisory Board in Washington, D.C.
Sharon is a recipient of many honors, including the AADC Alumnae Recognition Award and the Rutgers Meritorious Service Award. She received the Douglass Medal in 2013 for her contributions to Douglass and her unwavering support. She received a 2014 New Jersey Women of Achievement Award presented by the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs and Douglass, and she was inducted into the 2015 Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni.
The Associate Alumnae of Douglass College and Douglass will induct three distinguished alumnae into The Douglass Society at the annual ceremony on Saturday, October 17, 2015, at 11:30a.m. in the Rectangular Room, in Neilson Dining Hall at Douglass. This year’s honorees are: Cheri L. Beasley, Esq. ’88, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina and Lecturer in Appellate Law; Sharon Matlofsky Karmazin ’67, Tony Award-Winning Producer and Public Library Leader; Annmarie Previte Sabb, Ph.D. ’64, Pharmaceutical Research Scientist, Medicinal Chemist, Inventor. The Douglass Society was established in 1973 to recognize alumnae who have made major contributions in their field of expertise and whose life work embodies exceptional accomplishments and leadership.