The award will be presented during the College’s Annual Commencement Ceremonies on May 21; 907 students are expected to graduate.

Posted: 5/13/2015
Jennifer Christopher
May 12, 2015, Jersey City, NJ – Hudson County Community College  (HCCC) will present the 2015 Heritage Award to Joseph Michael Napolitano, Sr. for his lifetime of service to the community. The award will be presented during the College’s 37th Annual Commencement ceremonies, which will be held on Thursday evening, May 21 at 6:00 p.m. in Prudential Hall at New Jersey Performing Art Center in Newark, NJ. Approximately 907 students are expected to graduate as part of the Class of 2015.

Instituted 22 years ago, the HCCC Heritage Award honors members of the community who have made significant contributions to the College, its students, and families.

A lifelong Jersey City resident, Joseph Michael Napolitano, Sr. is a graduate of Our Lady of Sorrows Grammar School and Dickinson High School in Jersey City. He spent his teen years as an entertainer performing at Walt Disney World, Great Adventure, and other venues in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. He attended Miami University on a football scholarship, but was forced to leave because of a knee injury.

Mr. Napolitano spent two years in service to our country as a member of the United States Army during the Vietnam Conflict. Upon his return to New Jersey, he worked as a music writer, and as a teacher at Snyder High School, Louie DelMonte, and Master School of Music. He’s had a number of songs published, including a tune in the film, “Die Hard 2.” An active member of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers), a certified Teacher Member of the American Accordionists’ Association and the Accordion Teacher’s Association of New Jersey, Mr. Napolitano was also the owner/proprietor of Jacob’s Deli in Jersey City until his retirement in 1996.

Since retiring, Mr. Napolitano has devoted himself to community service and has been Secretary/Treasurer of the Jersey City Recreation Foundation, Executive Director of the Pershing Field Babe Ruth League, Secretary/Treasurer of the Jerramiah T. Healy Charitable Foundation, President of the Rotary Club Jersey City-Daybreak, Vice President of Boys & Girls Clubs of Hudson County, and Past President of the Jersey City Heights Civic Association. He is currently Officer-at-Large for the Hudson County Community College Foundation Board of Directors.

Throughout the years, Mr. Napolitano, Sr. has been honored with several awards, including Outstanding Board Volunteer “Rookie” Award from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Hudson Hospice’s “Man of the Year” award, “Rotarian of the Year” by the Rotary Club Jersey City-Daybreak, and the 2012 Brian C. Doherty Community Service Award by Boys & Girls Clubs of Hudson County.

“Joseph Napolitano, Sr. has been exemplary in his commitment to the people of Hudson County, and in his support of Hudson County Community College and our students,” said HCCC President Glen Gabert, Ph.D.

Past HCCC Heritage Award recipients include: Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise; President of Lindenfelser Associates, Aerospace Consultants and former Kearny Mayor and Councilperson Kenneth H. Lindenfelser; SILVERMAN principal Paul Silverman; former HCCC Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Abegail Douglas-Johnson; the extraordinary Union City science teacher Nadia Makar; Pastor and Overseer of Mt. Sinai Full Baptist Church Mother Jacqueline Mays; United Way of Hudson County President Daniel Altilio; Hudson County business leader Raju Patel; retired Jersey Journal publisher Scott Ring; former New Jersey City University President Dr. Carlos Hernandez; and Director of District Redesign & Leadership at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform/Brown University Marla Ucelli.