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OceanFirst Foundation Awards $50,000 in Scholarships to GCU Students

Students smiling

OceanFirst Foundation Scholarship recipients John Murtagh, Nicole Maddalena, Baily Yanci, and Rebecca Ruimy (left to right) attended the Annual Scholarship Brunch in October. The brunch connects donors with students benefiting from their gifts to GCU.

Twenty Georgian Court University students will benefit from $50,000 in scholarship funds recently awarded by the OceanFirst Foundation of Toms River. The gift represents OceanFirst’s investment in higher education throughout the region and its support of Georgian Court, which enrolls a significant portion of students from Ocean and Monmouth counties.

“We are grateful to for the OceanFirst Foundation’s ongoing commitment to cultivating future leaders, including the amazing students who walk the campus of Georgian Court University every day,” said Brian Agnew, Ph.D., GCU’s vice president of institutional advancement.

“The impact of their support makes a difference in students’ lives, now and in the future as they become nurses, educators, business professionals, and scholars,” said Dr. Agnew.

The foundation’s generosity at GCU is ongoing. The organization has been a key supporter for more than a decade, and the $50,000 gift marks their eighth consecutive year of awarding scholarships to GCU students. Local recipients this year include:

Olivia N. McKittrick, Barnegat
Nicole Maddalena, Bayville
Robert E. Hill, Brick
John P. Murtagh, Brick
James C. LaPoint, Brielle
Emily M. Barnes, Farmingdale
Rebecca Ruimy, Freehold
Joelle L. Meimin, Forked River
Heather Smith, Howell
Rebecca Paneque, Jackson
Clement J. Rajakumar, Jackson
Sage Greenberg, Little Egg Harbor
Elissa Zaccagnino, Little Silver
James Manzo, Manahawkin
Baily A. Yanci, Manahawkin
Anissia Fucci, Manchester
Bianca Louis, Ocean
Hayden Fairhurst, Port Monmouth
Sarah Srour, Tinton Falls
Daniel Smoke, Toms River

About OceanFirst
The OceanFirst Foundation is affiliated with OceanFirst Bank, which was founded in 1902 and for more than 100 years has built a solid reputation and legacy as a good neighbor and responsible corporate citizen. OceanFirst’s strong commitment to helping families, organizations, schools and communities throughout central and southern New Jersey meet their financial needs has spanned several generations, reaching new heights in 1996 with the creation of OceanFirst Foundation. The foundation provides grants to organizations that meet community needs within the OceanFirst footprint area. Since its inception, OceanFirst Foundation has contributed more than $30 million to over 750 local charities and schools. Learn more about OceanFirst Foundation at

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 2,100 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 15 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates also make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at BrookdaleGCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.