Press release from Raritan Valley Community College:

April 27, 2021

Raritan Valley Community College has received a $500,000 donation to support a number of important initiatives on campus, including the College's Center for Environmental Studies, Galileo Scholarships, Honors Capstone Research, Authentic Engineering Experience, and other innovative RVCC programs.

The extraordinarily generous gift from Jim and Jill Gibson of Basking Ridge will sustain student involvement in seven critical environmental areas of concern, including Forest Ecology, Wildlife Research, Coastal Conservation, Rare Plant Research and Recovery, Open Space Stewardship and Native Plant Propagation, Water Quality Research, and Campus Sustainability, as well as interdisciplinary campus collaborations in workforce development and environmental justice.

"Our support of Raritan Valley stems from the great work they are doing, including research in several areas of critical importance, as well as their commitment to enriching the student experience," said Jim Gibson. "We're lucky to have such a worthy college in our home community."

The Gibsons' gift will be spread across five years and will help ensure the financial stability of the Center for Environmental Studies—which is the only such center at a New Jersey community college.

"The Gibsons' extraordinary generosity is a resounding affirmation of the work of our faculty and the quality of our students. We couldn't be more honored or grateful. Their incredible gift will help us maintain our commitment to providing innovative environmental education and being a national leader in sustainability initiatives," said RVCC President Michael J. McDonough.

"This is such a momentous gift," noted Dr. Jay Kelly, co-director of the Center. "The Gibsons' generosity has been nothing short of transformational for our programs, and this gift will allow us to continue to offer opportunities for our students to apply what they are learning in their classes to directly benefit the communities we serve. We are all thrilled and beyond grateful."

Added Dr. Emilie Stander, the Center's other co-director, "This support will allow us to continue to employ student interns year-round on a wide variety of environmental projects. It will help kickstart their careers as environmental professionals, as well as provide valuable technical assistance and service to local communities and environmental organizations."

With their latest gift, the Gibsons are now the largest single donors to RVCC. In 2016, the couple provided an equally generous commitment to support STEM education programs and innovation in science, technology, and research, including "in-the-field" projects to enhance student learning.

"We are so fortunate to have such caring and generous supporters of the College," said Mike Marion, Executive Director, RVCC Foundation. "The Gibsons are truly in a league of their own: they believe in the mission of RVCC and they're committed to supporting it."

Ranked by, and as the #1 community college in New Jersey, Raritan Valley Community College has been serving as an academic and cultural center for Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for over 50 years. The College has been nationally recognized for its service to the community, environmental stewardship, and commitment to diversity. It is home to a Planetarium, Science Education Institute, and an Honors College for high achieving students.

The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, small business assistance through the Small Business Development Center, and professional development courses. RVCC is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. For further information, visit

This press release was produced by Raritan Valley Community College. The views expressed here are the author's own.

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