ICFNJ, bringing together N.J.’s independent colleges

In Brief

Name: Independent College Fund of New Jersey
Location: 797 Springfield Ave., Summit
Serving: The 14 nonprofit New Jersey colleges and universities draw students from all of the state’s 21 counties, across the country and around the world.
Key leaders: John B. Wilson, president; Gerry Bellotti, vice president; MaryAlice W. Breuninger, development officer.


The Independent College Fund of New Jersey was founded in 1953 as a cooperative effort involving business and academic leaders of New Jersey in order to broaden financial support for and awareness of the significant impact of independent higher education in meeting workforce demands and building an educated citizenry.

Today, ICFNJ continues to promote an understanding of the value of the independent private colleges and universities on today’s economic bottom line and an appreciation of the return on investment received by supporting the education of tomorrow’s leaders and workforce.


The Independent College Fund empowers deserving students to realize their goals by strengthening New Jersey’s independent colleges and universities with support for strategic investments in programs, scholarships and education. The Independent College Fund of New Jersey partners with the corporate and philanthropic communities to support its 14 member institutions.


ICFNJ would like to continue to build on current programs by engaging more New Jersey corporations in the business of independent higher education. The two programs cited for success in the past year need further development to result in better alignment of student knowledge, skills and competencies to meet employer needs. Expansion of the current activities would be an exciting addition to current programs for the next year.


ICFNJ focuses its efforts in several areas:

  • Scholarship funding to support students who have chosen an independent college or university;
  • Strategic projects and programs that enhance the educational experience and/or develop opportunities for building competencies that promote successfully contributing in the workplace;
  • Unrestricted funds that allow our member institutions to address priorities and direct funds where they are most needed.


Two projects stand out that were worked on over the past year, coming to fruition in March 2018.

  • 5th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium: 49 student projects, 46 corporate and academic judges coming together at the Liberty Science Center in a judged event designed to advance research and STEM field engagement.
  • The Talent Pipeline: A half-day conference offering career services, academic deans and professors insights into knowledge, skillsets and professional qualities sought in today’s college graduates. The program set the stage for promoting independent college students in the talent pipeline.

ICFNJ has historically been successful in several areas:

  • Fostering educational attainment and academic achievement;
  • Promoting student advancement;
  • Addressing sustainability.


ICFNJ raises funds through corporations and foundations that have a vested interest in an educated citizenry for New Jersey. Our board of trustees plays a significant role in supporting fund raising activities.


Funding comes from the broad spectrum of industries that operate in New Jersey.

Finally …

ICFNJ’s mission is to “empower students to realize their goals” with a focus on the goal of completing an undergraduate degree. But the dream does not stop at a college degree. Our students pursue a degree as a means to achieving something greater — careers that give them something to offer back to the community, opportunities to make a difference and enlightened perspectives on the people, challenges and promise of the world.

Yes, we are about providing funds that give students access to the college of their choice and creating better educational opportunities — because we understand the impact of the decision to invest in a passion or a career path by attending college.

ICFNJ does not work in isolation, but rather on behalf and in partnership with its 14 member colleges and universities to achieve a common goal that is in everyone’s best interest.

Conversation Starter

MaryAlice W. Breuninger, development officer at: mabreuninger@njcolleges.org or 908-277-3424.