After a week of classes at its new location, the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey officially opened Kramer Hall in Hammonton Thursday morning, Jan. 31. College President Dr. Herman J. Saatkamp, Board of Trustees members and members of the Kramer Family, for whom the building was named, were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony on a blustery morning after a night in which high winds ripped through the county.
The winds remained Thursday morning.
“It’s never good for a college to open in January instead of September,” said Saatkamp, who was likely referring to the weather just as much as losing the entire fall semester due to delay.
“We are delayed but we’re not going to let that dampen our enthusiasm,” Saatkamp said.
The college has been holding classes at St. Joseph’s Prep School, but officially opened for classes when the spring semester began on Tuesday, Jan. 22. Stockton College’s Kramer Hall campus opens with five classrooms, five seminar rooms (one 16-seat room and four 12-seat rooms) and a computer lab on three stories of what used to be the Bertino/National Garment Factory in Hammonton.
There are three 43-seat classrooms and two 30-seat multipurpose classrooms.
There are over 100 students in 11 courses at the Kramer Hall campus for this semester, Saatkamp said.
The hall was named for Charles Kramer, a Stockton College Foundation board member who owns Kramer Beverage in Hammonton. The beverage company has been in the Kramer Family for four generations, and Charles’s wife Lynn and his son Mark accompanied him Thursday morning.
“We’re proud to have this building named after our family, but that’s not what it’s all about,” Charles Kramer said. “It’s about future generations, and having the community prosper and having Stockton prosper.”
The building features a progressive art gallery, courtesy the Noyes Museum of Art, and the building will get plenty of use in the downtown area in which it is now located.
“The February Hammonton Chamber of Commerce meeting will take place at Kramer Hall,” Stockton Provost Dr. Harvey Kesselman said. “Eagle Theater board meetings will take place here, as well as the popular Teen Arts program.”
He added that the college will make use of the building for events, including poetry readings.
He called the building the meeting of two great legacies.
Hammonton Mayor Steve DiDonato was on hand, as was Deputy Mayor Sam Rodio. Freeholders James Bertino and Colin Bell were also in attendance.
“We are now a college town,” DiDonato said of the town known locally for its blueberries made famous nationwide by the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire.”
The opening follows the opening of the campus in Barnegat. The college is also part of the revitalized arts district in Atlantic City and has ownership of the Sam Azeez Museum in Woodbine, Cape May County.
The video attached to this story features comments from Charles Kramer.