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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)March 28, 2003

Vernon W. Hill, II, Lawrence R. Inserra, Jr., Joseph M. Leone and Carolyn M. Merkel were Honorees

(Mahwah) – The Ramapo College Foundation’s 2003 Distinguished Citizens Award Dinner, held recently at the Rockleigh Country Club, honored four distinguished citizens for their leadership and commitment to higher education: Vernon W. Hill, II, chairman and president, Commerce Bancorp, Inc.; Lawrence R. Inserra, Jr., president of Inserra Supermarkets, Inc.; Joseph M. Leone, executive vice president and chief financial officer, CIT Group Inc.; and Carolyn M. Merkel ’78, executive director of ingredient technology, McNeil Nutritionals, a member of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies.

Co-chairs for the event, which drew more than 400 guests, were Tom McGurn of Ho-Ho-Kus and Thomas Palmer of Mahwah. The evening featured entertainment by The Drifters and Soiree, and a silent auction.

The annual benefit dinner raises funds for student scholarships, faculty research and development, and critical college projects.


Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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