With a room filled with people dressed from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and the present, County College of Morris (CCM), on May 4, ushered in the college’s 50th anniversary celebrations at the Annual CCM Foundation Gala held at the Hanover Marriott.
The “Dancing through the Decades: CCM Celebrates 50 Years” gala recognized the opening of the college in 1968 and the start of a series of anniversary events for both the college and greater Morris County community that will run through May 2019.
With great enthusiasm, CCM President, Dr. Anthony J. Iacono, also announced the launch of an historic multi-million dollar capital campaign, led by the CCM Foundation. With $1.8 million raised to date, the college is focused on funding programs and facility upgrades, including the new Paragano Family Foundation Medical Simulation Center, a Cyber Security Suite, an enhanced Culinary Arts Training facility, a new Manufacturing and Engineering building, student scholarships and the Faculty Innovation Fund.
Dr. Iacono noted, “Tonight is just the beginning! CCM is committed to the students of today and tomorrow. CCM is committed to the employers of today and tomorrow. CCM is committed to our community, today and tomorrow. The FORWARD campaign helps shape the future of CCM. With an initial goal of $2.1 million, realizing 85 percent in our first phase, CCM celebrates all that came before us and all that lies ahead. We are confident that the Morris County community will stand side by side with us as we reach higher and move our college forward.”
He added, “With more than 50,000 alumni, our impact on Morris County is enormous. We believe in our communities, and time and time again our communities have shown they believe in us.”
Since its founding, CCM has grown into one of the state’s most recognized community colleges. The college consistently has one of the highest combined graduation and transfer rates in the state. It is the only community college in New Jersey to be named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. PayScale also has rated CCM number one in New Jersey based on the earnings of its graduates.
Over five decades, CCM has educated tens of thousands of students, who have positively impacted the local community, region and beyond. A 2017 study by Emsi, a leading provider of economic impact reports, found the college’s annual contribution to the Morris County economy equates to more than $484 million. Today, CCM is recognized for its high-quality educational offerings, which include transfer, career, workforce development and life-long learning.
In 1968, the college opened its doors with a single building – Henderson Hall – and a few select academic programs. Over the years, the college added an advanced Academic Complex, the Longo Planetarium and an aquatic and Health and Physical Education facility. Today, also included among the college’s facilities are a LEED certified Landscape and Horticultural Technology building, a Music Technology Center and a renovated Alex DeCroce Media Center, along with plans for a state-of-the-art $10 million Engineering and Manufacturing facility and the Paragano Family Foundation Medical Simulation Center.
In the area of academics, CCM now offers more than 45 associate degrees and a full slate of credit and noncredit certificate and workforce development programs. This coming fall, the college will be launching two new academic programs in animation and virtual reality to meet the demand for employees in these rapidly developing areas. In 2014, Rutgers also entered into a partnership with the college to offer bachelor degree programs on the CCM campus. Currently, Rutgers at CCM offers bachelor’s programs in Criminal Justice, Psychology, Business Leadership and Management, and Business Marketing.
Presented with awards at the gala were Gene Fitzpatrick ’90, of Denville, senior vice president at Grey Healthcare Group, who received the Alumnus of the Year Award; Dr. Vasiliki Tsigas-Fotinis ’82, of Succasunna, a creative learning consultant, who was presented with the Alumni Achievement award; Trish Colucci Barbosa ’85, of Long Valley, president and principal care manager at Peace Aging Care Experts, LLC, who received the Alumni Service Award; and Dr. Zowie S. Barnes ’01, of Baltimore, onsite medical director at the Baltimore County Detention Center, who was presented with the Alumni Humanitarian Award.
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