The giving season began early for members of the Veolia Northern New Jersey Water Operations leadership team who visited Bergen Community College on Dec. 8 to hand-deliver a $25,000 check for student scholarships.
The donation, earmarked for students in Bergen’s renowned STEM program, represents the latest in the utility’s longstanding support of the institution through the Bergen Community College Foundation.
President Eric Friedman accepted the donation alongside STEM Center Director Chris Tully.
“Veolia has prioritized supporting Bergen students throughout the company’s history,” Friedman said. “Their support has made a college education possible for STEM students who might not otherwise had the opportunity to study at Bergen. I value Veolia as a partner and truly appreciate the company’s investment in our students.”
Veolia New Jersey Utility Operations VP and General Manager Alan Weland said the scholarships not only represent a way for the company to give back to the community, but develop the next generation of utility, energy and sustainability professionals.
Veolia, and its preceding water utility identities Suez and United Water, have donated $180,000 to Bergen in the last 15 years. The donations have helped fund scholarships and special projects at the institution.
“Our company is all about ecological transformation,” he said. “We’re looking for opportunities with organizations that are thinking about things we’re thinking about them. The work being done here at Bergen Community College is in total alignment with what our company is all about.”
With the nation’s only STEM Student Research Center, multiple awards from the National Science Foundation and projects such as an electric go-kart, Bergen has solidified its standing as one of the top community college STEM programs in the country. More than 2,000 students enroll in the College’s STEM offerings, including cybersecurity, mathematics and engineering science. Dean of Mathematics, Science and Technology Emily Vandalovsky, Ph.D., leads the academic division.