Bergen’s Care for Vets Gets Recognized

PARAMUS, N.J. – For the second consecutive year, Bergen Community College has secured a “Companies That Care” award from the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ) and Commerce Magazine.

Lauding the College’s work for supporting military veterans, the CIANJ honored Professor Julie Seda at a May breakfast sponsored by the advocacy organization. Seda, who leads many of the College’s initiatives for the veteran community, accepted the award on the institution’s behalf. A panel of independent judges reviewed the entries and chose the honorees as part of the CIANJ program, which recognized organizations, companies and colleges for their work in various service categories. Bergen earned the distinction as the state’s only community college to receive an award from the CIANJ.

“We are always happy to host this awards ceremony every year, acknowledging the good works of our companies and the real difference they make in New Jersey,” CIANJ President Anthony Russo said.

Bergen’s student veteran community includes 112 enrollees under the Post-9/11 GI Bill pursuing their education after returning to civilian life. The College takes an active approach to easing this transition by offering numerous holistic and supportive resources for veterans. Among them, the College’s veterans committee has sponsored a 5k run/walk since 2016. The event takes place to both honor the sacrifices of veterans, but also to raise funds for veterans’ emergency support, including tuition, housing and other basic needs. Drawing 151 participants in its first year, the event now gathers more than 350 runners, joggers and walkers. In 2023, the event earned $14,945 for the emergency fund. The College also maintains an on-campus veterans center with access to advising, counseling and academic resources tailored to assisting those who served in the military.

CIANJ seeks to be the leader in free enterprise advocacy for the purpose of fostering, through education, legislative vigilance and membership interaction, an economic climate that enhances business potential and makes New Jersey a better state in which to live, work and conduct business.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (, 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: Bergen Community College Professor Julie Seda and President Eric M. Friedman, Ph.D.

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