Under blue skies, The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey's President Herman Saatkamp cut the ribbon and marked the official opening of a new instructional site in Manahawkin on Thursday, Sept. 13.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place just one day after on U.S. News and World Report’s annual “America’s Best Colleges” Top 15 Public Colleges and Universities.
"Ocean County is very important to Stockton," said Stockton President Herman Saatkamp in remarks to the crowd. "They are always the number one or number two in terms of student enrollment."
Four of the top 10 municipalities for enrollment at Stockton are from Ocean County, according to the school's fall 2011 statistics: Toms River is the third-leading municipality overall with 282 students enrolled, followed by Manahawkin (fifth overall, 186 enrolled), Tuckerton (sixth, 181) and Barnegat (ninth, 146).
The 3,200-square foot facility, located in the Manahawkin Plaza, includes two 35-seat classrooms, computer stations with printing capabilities, and an e-podium. Seven courses are currently being offered at the school, including a Language Acquisition course, which was taking place at the same time as the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
One of the students in the class, Manahawkin resident Shannon Wunder, is a matriculated student on the college's main campus, but was happy to have the convenience of taking courses right in her hometown.
"I want to do speech pathology, and I heard this was a great school for that," Wunder said.
Other classes offered are: Introduction to Management, Families, Schools and Communities, Documentary Photography, Science of Forecasting Waves, and Introduction to Sociology.
Stafford Mayor John Spodofora, whose daughter attended Stockton, reminded Wunder and the other students at the ceremony: "This is what you make of it. This is an opportunity to do anything you want in life." He went on to point out the various Stockton graduates in attendance at the ceremony, including a number of Manahawkin police officers.
"We are all so proud to have Stockton as a part of our community," Spodofora said.
Questions about the new Manahawkin site can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or can be asked by phone at 609-626-3883.