Bergen Begins 50th Year

Students returned to Bergen Community College’s main campus in Paramus Sept. 1.

PARAMUS, N.J. – Bergen Community College will celebrate its 50th anniversary during the 2017-18 academic year, commemorating the 1967 hiring of the institution’s first president, Sidney Silverman, Ph.D., and the approval of the master plan that developed the College’s main campus at 400 Paramus Road. Bergen’s first 1,454 students arrived the following year in Sept. 1968; the newest students arrived Sept. 1.

“During this anniversary, we will look first to our past in order to celebrate our place and influence in the lives of our students, but we will also look to the future,” Interim President Michael D. Redmond, Ph.D., said. “This celebration encourages us to imagine what we can still become.”

Since its inception, Bergen has grown into the state’s largest community college with approximately 15,000 students taking classes this semester. Ranked No. 1 in the state for associate degree graduates, alumni have transferred to every Ivy League institution.

Expanding beyond its original footprint in Paramus, the College now features campus locations in Lyndhurst (Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands) and Hackensack (the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center). Online classes provide greater flexibility, while dual enrollment programs at area high schools allow students to get a jumpstart on earning a college degree.

Faculty, which include a former U.S. Professor of the Year, lead degree, certificate and continuing education programs in areas such as criminal justice, health professions and business.

Resources include the $26 million Health Professions Integrated Teaching Center, which opened in 2016 as the College’s project as part of the state’s Building Our Future Bond Act approved by voters, and the Cerullo Learning Assistance Center – twice named as the best tutoring facility in the U.S.

A committee led by honorary co-chairs Bergen County Executive James Tedesco III, Bergen County Freeholder Chair Tracy Silna Zur and Professor Emeritus Virginia Laughlin will direct the institution’s efforts related to celebrating the anniversary.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (, a public two-year coeducational college celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017-18, enrolls 15,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

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