PARAMUS, N.J. – In memory of departed Bergen Community College professor Robert Neil Ender, and in recognition of his family’s legacy of philanthropy at the institution in his memory, the College has renamed its math and science tutoring center in his honor.
The Bergen Community College Foundation, the nonprofit 501(c)(3) that supports charitable giving at the institution, sponsored a dedication event Oct. 20 to celebrate the facility’s rechristening. Twelve members of the Ender family, including family matriarch Joan Ann, attended the ceremony. Professor Ender passed away in 2002 at 68 years-old. He has since earned the title of “professor emeritus” at Bergen, an honor reserved for the most influential faculty members to serve the College.
“My father was truly dedicated to the College,” Robert Ender said at the event on behalf of his family. “When the opportunity came to support the walk-in center, it was a unanimous ‘yes’ - we thought it was very important.”
The renamed Professor R. Neil Ender Memorial Mathematics and Science Walk-In Center remains part of the College’s overall tutoring resource, the Cerullo Learning Assistance Center. Peer and professional tutors assist students in all subjects and disciplines, providing a support resource twice recognized by outside agencies as one of the best in the entire country.
The math and science walk-in center represents the second facility named in Ender’s honor. Shortly after his passing, College faculty and staff led an effort to rename the institution’s first building - East Hall - in Ender’s memory. The campaign not only succeeded in seeing the building become “Ender Hall,” but it established a perpetual fund for student scholarships in his memory. Students continue to receive scholarships in the Ender name and his family members remain active in supporting the fund honoring his legacy.
Ender, who taught math and computer science, worked at Bergen for more than 30 years. During that time, he distinguished himself as both a scholar and leading member of the overall College community. Ender served as the president of the faculty senate, the academic governance arm of the College, and as president of the Bergen Community College Faculty Association, the bargaining unit for Bergen professors and affiliate of the New Jersey Education Association.
Outside the College, Ender lived in Bergen County and maintained an active role in his local community. He and his wife had eight children and 14 grandchildren at the time of his passing. Ender served in the U.S. Navy before working at the College.
Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.
Photo Caption: Robert Ender spoke in celebration of his father at the Oct. 20 naming dedication.