PARAMUS, N.J. – Almost 400 Bergen Community College faculty, staff, students, alumni, retirees and supporters celebrated the institution’s 50th anniversary during a gala fundraiser April 19 at the Venetian in Garfield.
Presented by the College board of trustees, President Michael D. Redmond, Ph.D., and the Bergen Community College Foundation, proceeds will provide student scholarships and educational support. The signature event of a yearlong anniversary celebration featured dinner, dancing, live music, a silent auction, College memory displays, games and other activities designed to recognize Bergen’s 50-year history.
“It is fitting that this gala is dedicated not only to honoring this College, and all that it does, but to raising greatly needed scholarship funds for students – some of whom may go on to change the world,” President Redmond said at the event. “It is humbling and moving to look around this room and see so many friends of the College and know you are here because Bergen means something to you.”
Government officials U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy, Bergen County Executive James J. Tedesco III, Bergen County Freeholders Mary Amoroso and Germaine Ortiz, state Sen. Gerald Cardinale, state Assemblyman Robert Auth and state Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi delivered proclamations recognizing the College’s 50-year record of success stories. Sen. Menendez also presented President Redmond with a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol in Bergen’s honor.
Event sponsors were Decotiis, FitzPatrick & Cole, LLP; Follett; SUEZ; Aspire; Bergen County Education Association; Hackensack University Medical Center; and RSC Architects.
In addition to proceeds from the event, supporters contributed to the College’s “$50 for 50” fundraising campaign, which has already raised more than $100,000. At the conclusion of the campaign, donors will have their name included on a recognition wall in the main campus student center. Visit tinyurl.com/bergen50 to donate.
Commemorating the 1967 hiring of Bergen’s first president, Sidney Silverman, Ph.D., and the approval of the master plan that developed the College’s main campus at 400 Paramus Road, the institution launched its 50th anniversary celebration last fall. A committee led by honorary co-chairs Bergen County Executive Tedesco, Bergen County Freeholder Tracy Silna Zur and Professor Emeritus Virginia Laughlin directed the institution’s efforts related to celebrating the anniversary.
Since its inception, Bergen has grown into the state’s largest community college with approximately 14,000 students taking classes this semester. No. 1 in the state for associate degree graduates, alumni have studied at every Ivy League institution and rank 11th in the U.S. for mid-career salaries, according to Payscale.
Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu<http://www.bergen.edu>), a public two-year coeducational college celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017-18, enrolls more than 14,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.