Anil Salem: Musician, Philanthropist, and Student

Junior Anil Salem is redefining what it means to be a "renaissance man" at TCNJ. Not only was he a founding father of Delta Tau Delta, but he also founded the TCNJ American Veterans Club and completed an instrumental album entitled Roots, all in his freshman year. Aside from his many extracurricular activities, Salem is a Biology major.

Salem has taken full advantage of the myriad of clubs and activities at the college. He said he “decided that it would be really cool to be part of something new and unique.” He, along with a group of close friends, constructed the American Veterans Club principally because of Salem’s, “experiences volunteering as a music entertainer in the VA hospital, [where he] realized how much the veterans have sacrificed in order to keep us safe.” Salem has channeled his altruism through this organization, and it will definitely improve the lives of those who served in the armed forces.

Aside from his selfless contributions to the college, Salem has been an instrumental member in building Delta Tau Delta. Fraternity-life has positively impacted Salem because he says it has “taught me to be confident, focused, and ambitious in my life.” Even within the fraternity, Salem serves as the community service chair, which is yet another way he tries to help others.

Last year, Salem released Roots, which is an instrumental album that he composed throughout high school up until his freshman year of college. When describing why the album is instrumental, Salem explained, “each song tells a story that I cannot put into words. For me, music was the best and only way to convey these stories.” Music allows Salem another way to express himself as well as build memories. For Salem music is not temporary. “It got me through tough times, helped me grow, and made me appreciate where I come from.”  This past summer, Salem got to test out his music at the Big Joe Jersey Talent Show, busking throughout the streets of New York City and on vacation in Hawaii, as well as performing at local coffee shops in his hometown of Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

Salem’s fascination with music started with his grandfather, who was a dedicated harmonium player in India. This piano and accordion hybrid allowed Salem’s grandfather to produce instrumentals that were simply incredible. It is through his grandfather’s music where Salem was inspired. For this TCNJ junior, music “has been a lifelong friend.” Music plays an important role in Salem’s life, and his instrumentals have shaped him into the person he is today.

Despite all of his leadership roles and budding music career, Salem’s major goal in life is “to be happy.” Salem's ability to to release an album on iTunes, all while being a founding member of two vital organizations on TCNJ’s campus, makes him more than worthy of this profile.

Roots is now available on itunes.com