MCCC's COMMUNITY PARTNERS Celebrated at President’s Reception

2020 Foundation Honorees Receive Long-Delayed Recognition


West Windsor, N.J. – In a long-delayed tribute, Mercer County Community College (MCCC) welcomed the college’s most steadfast and generous community donors, along with Foundation Board members, MCCC trustees, and county officials, to the President’s Reception on Dec. 8. The festive event was hosted by the MCCC Foundation at Mercer Oaks. A highlight of the evening was an awards presentation by college and county officials honoring outstanding community partners: Educational Testing Service, Investors Bank and the Honorable Nina D. Melker.

Foundation Board Chair Dr. Aamir Rehman warmly welcomed the guests, noting that the support of Foundation donors has been invaluable, especially given the outsized challenges of the past year, .

“The MCCC Foundation is stronger than ever,” Rehman said. “Our past year has been transformative, and the Foundation enters the new fiscal and academic year with immense momentum and enthusiasm. Your contributions and support have enabled this transformation.”

MCCC President Dr. Jianping Wang added her own words of gratitude. “Our students have faced unprecedented financial hardships during the pandemic. Community members have responded to our fundraising efforts with a major demonstration of generosity. Your gifts bolstered students whose academic futures were in jeopardy.”

Wang noted that the strongest evidence of donors’ impact came directly from students themselves. “Our students showed resilience and commitment to their education. The classes of 2020 and 2021 included 1,651 graduates; close to 500 of them graduated with honors,” she said, adding that the Fall 2021 semester has continued to be a success story. “Students are grateful to be back on campus and have willingly observed our Covid-19 safety protocols. The support of the entire MCCC family has made this possible.”

Also addressing the audience were MCCC Board of Trustees Chair Mark Matzen and Vice President for College Advancement Joe Claffey.

Rehman and Wang introduced the honorees, who were originally selected for recognition at the spring fundraiser in April 2020. Due to the pandemic, the event was postponed multiple times. “It is gratifying to finally be able to thank these important community partners,” Rehman said.

Educational Testing Service (ETS) received Mercer’s Spirit of Education Award for its long-term, generous support of MCCC initiatives, including the President’s Leadership Academy, the Student Completion Fund, the Mercer Fund, and the MCCC Food Pantry. Accepting the award was ETS Community Relations Manager Rita Nini.

Lenora Green, retired executive director of the ETS Center for Advocacy and Philanthropy, and current MCCC trustee, added her comments in a specially prepared video. “Our mission at ETS is to advance quality and equitable education for learners worldwide, particularly for those who have the least opportunities and advantages,” Green said. “When we think about the indelible imprint of Mercer County Community College, which has served our community for more than 50 years, ETS is proud to share a common belief that through learning people can realize their fullest potential and make incredible contributions to the world.” Green added that many ETS staff members have attended MCCC.

Investors Bank was honored with the Distinguished Corporate Partner Award for its ongoing and generous support of initiatives at MCCC’s James Kerney Campus in Trenton, and support of the college’s Annual Scholarship Event and Golf Classic for Scholarships. 

Kevin Cummings, Investors’ CEO and chairman, said, “For 90 years, Investors Bank has been committed to helping our neighbors and the communities we serve. We are on a journey to making significant contributions to change the world for the better. Supporting education affords us one of the most important means to having that impact. That’s why we have supported MCCC for more than 20 years.”

Cummings emphasized that the uncertainties wrought by the pandemic make “now the time to come together and lend our support to this college and this Foundation.”

The Distinguished Benefactor Award was presented to Mercer County Commissioner, the Honorable Nina D. Melker, in recognition of her time, labor and philanthropy. For more than 20 years, Melker has served in volunteer leadership roles with the Foundation: as a member of the Foundation Board, including a three-year term as Foundation Board chair, as chair of the college’s Scholarship Gala committee, and as a member of the Golf Classic for Scholarships committee.

Melker noted that her service at MCCC has always been focused on helping students pursue their academic goals and better their lives through education. “It’s very important to raise money for scholarships. I don’t need to be honored because I serve from the heart, but it means a lot to me.”

The Mercer County Commissioners were represented by Chair Sam Frisby, Ann Cannon and Lucylle Walter, who presented certificates of appreciation to the three honorees.

Honorees’ comments and student testimonials were captured on video. Watch it here.



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From left, Rita Nini, representing ETS (Spirit of Education Award), the Honorable Nina D. Melker (Distinguished Benefactor Award), and Kevin Cummings, CEO of Investors Bank (Distinguished Corrporate Partner Award), with MCCC President Dr. Jianping Wang and Foundation Chair Dr. Aamir Rehman at the President's Reception on Dec. 8. 



Foundation Board Chair Dr. Aamir Rehman presents the Foundation's Gratitude Wall, completed by students on Giving Tuesday in November.


Foundation Board members at the President's Reception: seated, from left, are Savita Lachman, Lori Danko, Dr. Jianping Wang (MCCC President), Melissa Tenzer and Daniela Phayme; standing, from left, are Ty Robinson, Robert Humes, Dr. Aamir Rehman (Foundation Chair), Dan Klim and Randy Hanks.