We have had a good Fall semester at Ramapo College.
Let me begin with the students. We had the largest class ever, with 939 full- time first-time freshmen. They hail from every county in the state of New Jersey, from eight other states and from six different countries. Their average SAT scores are approximately 1,160 and they stand roughly in the top 23% of their class.
We have also been fortunate in our faculty hires. In the past year we have hired 24 new faculty members, a net increase of five from the preceding year. These individuals have marvelous academic backgrounds, very well developed research agendas and tremendous degrees from some of the best universities around the world.
We also, for the first time this year, announced Staff Recognition Awards to thank our staff members, without whom the College could not function.
A College alumnus, A. J. Sabath, was recently selected as our new Chairman of the Board of Trustees. A 1993 graduate in social work, he has had a distinguished career in public service in New Jersey. Chairman Sabath is a former Commissioner of Labor and former Chief of Staff to Senator Richard Cody. I very much look forward to working with him. Our outgoing chair, the Rev. Dr. Vernon C. Walton, will continue to serve on the Board’s Executive Committee, along with Bergen County Counsel Ester Suarez who is our Vice Chair and Sharon McGahee, Assistant Chief in the Office of the New Jersey Solicitor at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Our new Trading Simulation Room in the Anisfield School of Business is complete and will host classes in the Spring. It will provide our students the opportunity to engage in stock trading exercises and analytics that they would not otherwise be able to do in real-time. It was provided as a part of the $6 million dollar gift by Richard and Millicent Anisfield after whom the school of business is named.
If you take a walk around campus, you will also see the Salameno Spiritual Center is nearing completion; we will hold a ribbon-cutting in the Spring. On the other side of campus, the Sharp Sustainability Education Center is also almost completed. This wonderful facility is already drawing praise from groups who want to take advantage of its demonstration classroom space. It will also serve as headquarters for the New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability. Within a year we believe we will offer the first master’s degree in sustainability studies in New Jersey and hope to have our first class entering in the coming academic year.