Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise to Receive Hudson County Community College 2014 Heritage Award

Posted: 5/19/2014
Jennifer Christopher, 201-360-4061 jchristopher@hccc.edu -- Roger Jones, 201-200-1080 rj@j-a-c.com

The honor will be awarded during the College’s Commencement Ceremonies on
May 22nd; more than 925 students will graduate that evening.

May 14, 2014, Jersey City, NJ – Hudson County Community College (HCCC) will award the 2014 Heritage Award to Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise at the College’s 36th Annual Commencement Exercises. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday evening, May 22nd in Prudential Hall at New Jersey Performing Art Center in Newark, NJ.  More than 925 students are set to graduate as members of the HCCC Class of 2014.

The HCCC Heritage Award recognizes members of the community who have made significant contributions to the College, its students, and families.

HCCC President Dr. Glen Gabert said Mr. DeGise has dedicated much of his life to serving and investing in the people of Hudson County, and the College. “The County Executive has been a steadfast partner of Hudson County Community College, particularly with regard to the College’s $200 million physical expansion and revitalization endeavors,” Dr. Gabert stated.
“Mr. DeGise’s support has been instrumental in the College’s from-the-ground-up construction of the Culinary Conference Center, North Hudson Higher Education Center, and the new Library & Academic Building, as well as the renovation of several buildings, including 2 Enos Street, 70 Sip Avenue, and One PATH Plaza. We are grateful for the consideration, care, and support he has always shown.”

A lifelong Hudson County resident, Mr. DeGise earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Peter’s College in 1973, and began his career as a teacher and administrator in the Jersey City Public Schools, where he served for twenty years. He entered public life by founding the New #28 School Neighborhood Association in the 1980s, and eventually chaired the Heights Coalition of Neighborhood Associations, a group dedicated to improving the quality of life in The Heights section of Jersey City.

Mr. DeGise served as Jersey City’s Municipal Council President from 1993 to 2001. He was elected County Executive in November 2002, and on his first day in office he submitted legislation to create the first-ever Ethics Oversight Board for Hudson County government to the County’s Board of Chosen Freeholders. He was re-elected County Executive in 2003, 2007, and 2011.

As County Executive, Mr. DeGise has made workforce development a priority. He revived programs for youth, especially at-risk youth, and created the County’s innovative Summer Youth Employment Partnership. Mr. DeGise also increased the amount of parks and open spaces throughout the County’s twelve municipalities by more than 25 percent, grew recreational opportunities, and expanded preservation of historic sites.

The County Executive serves as the Chairman of the New Jersey Transportation Planning Authority. He has been recognized by a host of community and civic organizations for his efforts to combat homelessness, improve the environment, and support the independence of those who are physically challenged.

“Education has always been an important part of my life, and Hudson County Community College holds special meaning to me on many levels,” Mr. DeGise said. “The College has been a gateway to a better future for thousands of our residents, including my daughter. It is gratifying to play a part in the growth of the College, and the education of those who live and work here in Hudson County.

“I congratulate the Class of 2014, and invite them to partner with me and the College in working to make the future brighter and better for everyone in Hudson County.”

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NOTE TO EDITORS: A limited number of press passes and parking vouchers for the
HCCC Commencement Ceremonies are available and may be secured by contacting the
College’s Communications Office at 201-360-4060.

Reporters and members of the media covering the event may interview the College’s
distinguished guests in the VIP Room from 5:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. that evening.
 

Important Note to Media: NJPAC regulations allow members of the media to film a maximum of
30 (thirty) minutes of video footage from proceedings in the auditorium,
and to air just 3 (three) minutes of that footage.