Local Philanthropists Donate $500,000 To RVCC Foundation For STEM Programs

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The Raritan Valley Community College Foundation has received a $500,000 donation from Jim and Jill Gibson of Basking Ridge in support of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) educational programs at the College.

“This leadership gift will support the next generation of scientists and mathematicians, technology innovators, and engineers, enabling RVCC students to engage in thoughtful research and field work,” said Donna LoStocco, Chair of the RVCC Foundation, at an August 30 ceremony in honor of the donation and the new “Gibson Center for Innovation in Science and Technology.” The Center is located in the newly expanded Christine Todd Whitman Science Center at the College’s Branchburg campus.

The leadership gift will support three pillars of teaching and learning:

•    Early intervention programs that will provide pathways for nontraditional and under-represented students to meet the rigors of science, technology, engineering, and math programs at the College and achieve academic success;
•    Undergraduate research and in-the-field projects that will enhance student research and deepen learning through innovative pedagogy;
•    New academic programs in engineering and advanced manufacturing technology and in environmental sustainability that will lead to sustainable earning opportunities for RVCC students.

“We are a community college, and I am so very honored to note that Jim and Jill Gibson are a vital part of our community – not just because of the scale and impact of this gift, but because of their belief in our students, their certainty that this College transforms lives,” said RVCC President Michael J. McDonough.

Robert Wise, Chair of the RVCC Board of Trustees, said that “Thanks to the Gibsons’ generous donation of $500,000 over five years, our faculty will have the resources they need to pursue innovative teaching and learning opportunities that will bring the Science Center to life.”

In his comments, Jim Gibson traced his commitment to philanthropy back to his father, who had received scholarships when he had attended college. That support made it possible for his father to pursue a successful career in engineering and found Gibson Tube in 1962. The company manufactured specialized tubing (corrosion-resistant tubing) for the petroleum and natural gas industry. Jim Gibson ultimately owned and operated Gibson Tube, then sold the company in 1999. Jim now focuses his time managing his family farm in Basking Ridge with his wife, Jill.

Jim Gibson is an active member of the Somerset Hills YMCA and has served on the YMCA’s Community Advisory Board. He served on the Nature Conservancy’s New Jersey Board from 2002-2004 and also has had an association with the New Jersey Audubon.

As the fundraising arm of Raritan Valley Community College, the RVCC Foundation engages individuals, local businesses, corporations, and other foundations in philanthropic activities to help ensure the College continues to provide high quality education at an affordable cost. It also supports the College as a center of intellectual thought, cultural vibrancy, personal enrichment and an engine for economic growth. For additional information about the Foundation or making a gift to the College, contact Ronnie Weyl, Executive Director of the RVCC Foundation, 908-526-1200, ext. 8349 or ronnie.weyl@raritanval.edu.

Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. Serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 50 years, RVCC is an educational and cultural center that is nationally recognized for its innovative programming, service to the community and environmental leadership. The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, professional development and personal enrichment courses. The College also has a performing arts center and planetarium.

RVCC is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community’s businesses and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.

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