At Georgian Court University, all signs point to service—and it shows. The university was named Nonprofit Partner of the Year by the Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce (GTRCC) at its 53rd Annual Awards Reception, held October 19 at Water’s Edge in Berkeley Township.
“We are grateful to the Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce for the recognition,” said GCU President Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D. He noted that in addition to educating more than 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students, GCU promotes its Mercy core values—respect, compassion, integrity, justice, and service—in its work with local businesses, nonprofit organizations, and partnership organizations.
He credited the GCU Office of Career Services, Corporate Engagement, and Continuing Education with playing a strong role in building those relationships—especially when it means exploring internship and employment opportunities for Georgian Court students.
“We are always looking to strengthen business and community relationships,” said Dr. Marbach. “This recognition culminates a very special week for GCU. It comes just days after we hosted hundreds of law enforcement officers and officials from Ocean County at our Blue Mass ceremony on campus and on the heels of receiving a proclamation from the Ocean County Freeholders for our efforts to prevent sexual violence and domestic abuse.
“And now, being named nonprofit of the year—we are honored,” he said.
The recognition by the GTRCC was noted by a congratulatory letter for all awardees from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, as well as a joint legislative resolution by the New Jersey Senate and General Assembly and a Congressional proclamation from the Office of the Honorable Tom MacArthur for GCU’s award.
Giving Back to the Community
Overall, the university is always looking for ways to strengthen its impact beyond the campus.
“While all of GCU’s core values are important, the guiding principle of service drives our commitment to help others expand possibility for themselves and for others,” said Dr. Marbach.
Each year, Georgian Court invests more than $12 million in institutional scholarships to help students afford college, and GCU is consistently recognized for giving back. The university was honored in 2016 and 2017 as a “Company Who Cares” by the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, and nationally by the President’s Community Service Honor Roll. Last year, GCU reported that faculty, staff, students, and alumni contributed 94,745 volunteer hours to area nonprofit organizations.
Georgian Court University puts its values into action with many local organizations in and around Toms River. Some of them include: Northern Ocean Habitat for Humanity; Donovan Catholic High School; Toms River Public Schools; Toms River CROP Hunger Walk; Harbor House Youth Shelter; Providence House Domestic Violence Services; Silverwoods Independent Living; Soroptimist International of Toms River; Cub Scouts Pack 30; Catholic Charities; Christ Episcopal Church; St. Luke’s RC Church; and Saint Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church.
GCU’s presence in Toms River is made stronger by its alumni base. Thousands of Georgian Court graduates live and work in the area, giving students valuable access to networking, internships, and community involvement.