July 19, 2019 | 87° F

Rutgers graduate and Targum alumnus dies at 57

Photo by Rutgers.edu |

Michael Lotito was active in the Rutgers community throughout his life, from working at The Daily Targum as a student to funding the Walter Joyce Memorial Scholarship to help young people at his alma mater.

A Rutgers University graduate and an alumnus of The Daily Targum, Michael Lotito, died surrounded by his family on Monday, Oct. 1, after a prolonged battle with lymphoma. He was 57 years old.

Lotito was born in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and attended Rutgers from 1979 to 1982, graduating with degrees in English and Mass Communications, according to his obituary. He got involved in the Rutgers community and served as marketing director at the Targum — spawning a nearly 30-year career in the media and a commitment to giving back to the University.

Over the course of his career, Lotito worked various jobs at companies McCann Erickson and Benton & Bowles before becoming an executive at Ammirati Puris Lintas and Initiative Media, according to his obituary.

He also started his own company, Media IQ, in 2001.

Professional endeavors aside, Lotito dedicated much of his career to giving back to others. He did this through mentoring entrepreneurs and companies, and also charity work such as co-chairing the Annual National Multiple Sclerosis Golf Outing for nearly 30 years — generating over $7 million to fight the devastating disease.

“I attended Rutgers on scholarships and loans,” Lotito said in a previous article with the School of Communication and Information (SC&I). “I always promised I would try to pay it forward and offer assistance to others fighting to improve their situation if I were ever able. I am lucky to have been successful enough to retire in my 50’s, so I am now focused on fulfilling that promise to myself. I can tell you honestly, it is the most rewarding time of my life.”

In 1995 he was inducted into the American Advertising Federation's Hall of Achievement, an honor that recognizes outstanding leaders in the communication industry under the age of 40.

He also honored the memory of Walter Joyce, a Targum Board alum who helped him with his job search. Joyce died in his late 50’s of lung cancer, Lotito told SC&I. To honor his memory he funded the Walter Joyce Memorial Scholarship to help young people in the business office of the Targum to get started in the advertising and marketing industries.  

Mike is survived by his wife Jennifer and children Sophia, Mary, Mark and Tom, and a large extended family across the United States. 

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to include one of Mike's children, Mary Lotito.

Ryan Stiesi

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