Cranford, NJ – Union College of Union County, NJ proudly recently celebrated its 90th Anniversary and Founders Day at the College’s Cranford Campus. The College, then known as Union County Junior College, was founded on October 16, 1933, with 243 students taking evening classes at Abraham Clark High School in Roselle. Many students, alumni, adjuncts, faculty, staff, Board members, and elected officials participated in this celebratory moment in history for the College, the County, and the State.
Union’s President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin welcomed attendees to the celebration and Union County College Foundation Executive Director Doug Rouse served as the Master of Ceremonies.
Attendees included Union’s Board of Trustees Chair Victor M. Richel; Union’s Board of Governors Chair Mary M. Zimmermann (Union ‘01); Trustees Vice Chair Rafael J. Betancourt; Trustees Anjali Mehrotra and Miguel Merino; Board of Governors members Donna Herran (Union ’85), and John Toriello; Foundation Board members Gene Jannotti and Suzanne Covine (Union ’58); Union County Commissioner Vice Chairwoman Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded; Assemblyman Reginald Atkins (LD-20); and representatives from the offices of Assemblywoman Linda Carter (LD-22) and Assemblywoman Michele Matsikoudis (LD-21).
Vice Chairwoman Palmieri-Mouded spoke about the great opportunities that the College provides the students in the County, including her mother who graduated from Union College with a degree in nursing several decades earlier. Assemblyman Atkins emphasized that Union is a place of hope and a future for our community. Representatives from Assemblywoman Carter’s office presented Dr. McMenamin with a resolution to acknowledge the College’s 90th Anniversary and Founders Day.
The event was held on the lawn outside of the Victor M. Richel Student Commons and included the dedication of a new gazebo in honor of the 90th. The lively celebration also featured a DJ and photobooth with giveaway items that included t-shirts with the 90th Founders Day logo, custom Rubik’s cubes, and refreshments. The menu was inspired by the Prohibition Era of when the College was founded: a mocktail bar featuring drinks with cheeky names inspired by the College, hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, and cookies with the 90th logo on them.
“The College has had an immeasurable impact on our community over the past 90 years, and our Founders Day event was a celebration and acknowledgment of that impact. The College was originally founded as an emergency junior college to provide jobs for unemployed teachers and professors, and today we remain proud to serve our community with access to an affordable and excellent education. Today, tomorrow, and hopefully 90 years from now, we will continue our mission to transform our community, one student at a time,” stated Union President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin.
Union College of Union County, NJ is a public, comprehensive community college that provides quality, affordable, accessible educational programs to the greater Union County region. It is the first of New Jersey’s 18 two-year colleges, serving both career-minded and transfer-oriented students since 1933. The College offers a wide variety of academic and extracurricular activities. Union provides many experiential learning opportunities such as access to a Bloomberg Business Center, Innovation Center, and Student Research hub. Additionally, students at Union attend one of the top 25 community colleges in the country for 2023 as designated by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. To learn more, visit www.ucc.edu.