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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)May 16, 2008

(Mahwah) – The weather did not dampen the spirits of the 1,358 students who continued Ramapo College’s tradition of walking under The Arch, as they did as freshmen, to begin the institution’s commencement ceremony May 16.  Students who completed their studies in January and May, or are expected to finish in August, were eligible to participate.

The Honorable Cory A. Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey, delivered the commencement address, energizing the crowd and offering words of encouragement to those assembled.  John A. Donofrio, Ramapo class of 1981, received the President’s Award of Merit.  Donofrio lives in Short Hills, NJ.

In addition, an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree was bestowed by the Board of Trustees on Richard Anisfield in celebration of his acute business acumen, outstanding commitment to business education and dedication to the future of Ramapo College.  The Board also bestowed an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree on Millicent Anisfield in celebration of the extraordinary example she has set for students, her outstanding commitment to the community and dedication to the future of the college.  The Anisfields, long time supporters of the Ramapo College, reside in Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Booker took the oath of office as mayor of New Jersey’s largest city on July 1, 2006 following a sweeping electoral victory.  Enacting his vision for change, the mayor has embarked on an ambitious agenda that is mission-driven and results-oriented.

The College’s President’s Award of Merit was awarded to John A. Donofrio, Class of 1981.  Along with his late wife, Martine Redman, he founded Briarpatch Inc. in 1992.  Headquartered in Millburn, New Jersey, the privately-held company has created more than 100 educational games and puzzles that have won more than 275 “best toy” awards.  Many of the products are games based on licensed book characters such as “Goodnight Moon” or the “I Spy” books.  The couple became respected leaders within the toy industry, serving on the boards of the National School Supply and Equipment Association (NSSEA) and the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) and were active in the Toy Industry Association and the Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association.  Briarpatch Inc. was listed on Inc.’s 1998 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America.  Previously, Donofrio ran North Mountain Press, a printing company based in Saddle Brook, New Jersey.

An active environmentalist, Donofrio is a Trustee of both the Rahway River Association and the Morris Land Conservancy, where he is on the Executive Committee and Chair of the Partner for Greener Communities Committee.  Donofrio is past president of the Rutherford Kiwanis Club.


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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