Prudential Honored For Its Support Of Branch Brook Park Revitalization

The Branch Brook Park Alliance and Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. today honored Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU) for its support of a multi-million dollar, multi-phase project to revitalize the lakefront area in Essex County Branch Brook Park’s Southern Division.

At a special ceremony announcing completion of the restoration of the Southern Division of Branch Brook Park, the music court overlooking the lake was dedicated as the “Prudential Concert Grove” in recognition of Prudential’s ongoing support of work to restore the Park.

“This is a proud day for Prudential. Branch Brook Park is an important asset to the people who live and work in Newark and we are honored to have the Music Court dedicated in our name,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO John Strangfeld. “Today’s ceremony is the realization of the vision for Branch Brook Park we shared with our dedicated partners – the Branch Brook Park Alliance and the Essex County Parks Division. We are very proud of what we have been able to accomplish together.”

As part of the celebration, a memorial cherry tree grove was rededicated in honor of the late Kiyofumi Sakaguchi, who had been president and CEO of Prudential International Insurance; and the two historic Prudential lion statues that Prudential earlier donated to the Park were dedicated to retired Prudential Chairman and CEO Arthur F. Ryan and his wife Pat, co-chair of the Branch Brook Park Alliance, for their dedication to restoring the Park.

“The Branch Brook Park Alliance and Prudential have been dedicated partners in our ongoing initiative to restore Branch Brook Park,” said Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. “Prudential and Art and Pat Ryan believed Essex County Branch Brook Park was a special place. They dedicated themselves to helping us achieve our goal, engaged others to assist us and raised awareness to the world of the natural treasures found right here in Essex County.”

Barbara Bell Coleman, co-chair of the Branch Brook Park Alliance, said, “Although many people have been involved in what has truly been a labor of love, Prudential has played a special role from the beginning, and today we salute them on behalf of the one million people who use the park every year.”

Last year, Prudential made a $1.5 million contribution to support the restoration of Branch Brook Park and to support the Branch Brook Park Alliance’s efforts to raise funds for the improvements identified in its strategic design plan for the Park.

The Kiyofumi Sakaguchi Memorial Grove was created in 2003 as a living memorial for Sakaguchi, who was executive vice president and head of Prudential’s international operations from 1979 until his death in 2002. The grove of cherry blossom trees is located in Branch Brook Park’s Southern Division along the lake.

The two limestone lions were originally located at the entrance to the Prudential Building at the corner of Broad Street and Bank Street in Newark. In 1959, Prudential donated them to Essex County, which installed them at an entrance to the Park. Over the years, exposure to the elements caused the Lions to deteriorate. They were removed last year, restored, and installed on the front steps to the Essex County Hall of Records. The Lions dedicated at the ceremony are replicas of the original Lions.

The Prudential Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, a subsidiary of Prudential Financial, Inc. The Prudential Foundation focuses its grant making strategy in the areas of education, economic development and arts and civic infrastructure; and it supports community engagement efforts of Prudential employees through Matching Gifts and other programs that recognize their volunteer work.

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader with approximately $901 billion of assets under management as of December 31, 2011, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit

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