Trenton, NJ: The dedication of the Dr. Beverly A. Richardson Learning Center at Mercer County Community College’s James Kerney Campus (JKC) on Feb. 25 was a true community tribute to a much-admired administrator and her accomplishments for education in downtown Trenton.
MCCC President Patricia C. Donohue praised Richardson’s 28 years of educational leadership. Speakers included MCCC Board Chair Mark Matzen, former Trenton Mayor Doug Palmer, with whom Dr. Richardson worked closely for many years, County Executive Brian Hughes, and Thomas Edison State College President George Pruitt.
Lending their support were many county freeholders, educators, elected officials, college trustees and members of the MCCC Foundation Board.
Choosing to dedicate her career to community colleges, which were the focus of her doctoral dissertation at Boston College, Dr. Richardson "set out to find a community college for herself -- a path that led her to Mercer County Community College – and lucky for us,” Donohue said.
Dr. Richardson expanded educational opportunities in many ways at the James Kerney Campus, and the Learning Center was her brainchild. Now renamed in her honor, the Learning Center serves as the center of educational services at the campus. It provides 70 computer work stations for student use, tutoring services, academic testing, faculty advisement offices, media services, traditional and “smart” classrooms, and a classroom with interactive technology that enables professors to teach students at both campuses simultaneously.
A driving force behind the expansion of services at jKC, Dr. Richardson made it her personal mission to ensure that minority youth in Trenton were afforded the same opportunities to pursue higher education as their suburban counterparts. During her tenure the student population more than doubled. After serving as Provost, Dr. Richardson was Vice President for College advancement for five years befor her retirement in 2009.
Dr. Richardson earned her bachelor’s in Sociology from Norfolk State College, her master’s in Urban Education from Simmons College, and her doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Boston College. She continues to work actively in Trenton and nationally, serving on many boards and commissions, including the national College Board and the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Board. She presently serves as interim vice president of academic affairs at Burlington County College.
Mercer County Community College’s roots in Trenton go back to the Evening Drawing School in 1890. Today the college’s two campuses -- West Windsor Campus and James Kerney, serve approximately 14,000 credit students and more than 12,000 noncredit students each year.
In addition to offering associate degree programs, the James Kerney Campus offers General Education and Adult Basic Education programs, and houses the English Language Institute, the Career Training Institute, and Youth College, which provides year-round academic enrichment and summer programs for students from the Trenton public schools.