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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)March 22, 2017

Andrew Silverstein, CIANJ Board Chairman, left, with Ramapo College President Peter P. Mercer

MAHWAH, N.J. – Ramapo College of New Jersey was recognized for its volunteer efforts when the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ) and COMMERCE Magazine recently hosted their Fourth Annual Chairman’s Reception – paying tribute to the kindness and generosity of the business community.

The College’s Ramapo Readers program was among the thirty-nine entities, including leading manufacturers, retailers, hospitals, banks and colleges and universities, who were honored as “Champions of Good Works” at the gala reception, attended by more than 260 business executives.

“The Ramapo Readers Program is fueled by the good will, compassion, and contagious energy of the students, faculty, and staff of Ramapo College. It is initiative of which I am proud to be a part and one that I trust will continue to grow,” said Peter P. Mercer, President of Ramapo College.

Ramapo Readers is an ongoing book drive initiated by student and faculty volunteers of the College and supported by generous donors throughout the College and community.

The project began in 2006 when faculty spearheaded through students of the Social Work Club a textbook drive to provide books for the devastated Southern University library in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following Hurricane Katrina. In all, 7,500 books were shipped.

To sustain the project, Ramapo Readers has since shifted its focus to help local organizations and schools, including 52 public schools in Paterson. Students of the Social Work Club have expanded their efforts to establish additional collection points throughout the community as well as on campus. Their commitment to the project has resulted in the collection and distribution of approximately 134,000 books of all genres and appropriate for all age groups. True to its mission, Ramapo Readers is changing the world, one reader at a time.

“For most of the companies that we are honoring tonight, their generosity and kindness is part of their culture,” said Andrew Silverstein, a member of the accounting firm, Dorfman Abrams, Music, who welcomed all the guests as chairman of the CIANJ board of directors. “The public is often unaware of the magnitude and scope of these good works. This reception is our way of shining a spotlight on ‘Companies that Care,’” Silverstein added.

CIANJ is a statewide business advocacy organization, representing more than 950 corporate members from every industry sector. The organization asked the business community to share stories of its philanthropy. Their stories became a special section of the March issue of COMMERCE Magazine that was distributed at the reception, which was held at the elegant Nanina’s In the Park in Belleville.


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, 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, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education.


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