News & Events
News & Events
June 15, 2017
TOMS RIVER, NJ – During Ocean County College’s 50th Annual Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 25, 2017, Dr. Jon H. Larson, OCC President, announced an $8 million donation to the College. The donation, a gift from The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation will help construct a new building to house the Ocean County Vocational Technical School (OCVTS) Performing Arts Academy (PAA) on OCC’s Main Campus in Toms River. The PAA is a full-time high school administered by OCVTS that is geared toward students who wish to excel in the performing arts.
The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation is a private family philanthropic fund based in Toms River. The goal of the Grunin Foundation is to make Ocean and Monmouth counties the regional template for quality of life and strong economic health through focused investment in healthcare, education, and the arts. The Foundation collaborates with and invests in innovative projects that can have a measurable impact and create meaningful, transformative change for the community.
In 2014, The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation donated $5.75 million to Ocean County College to establish an arts center endowment. The endowment supports arts education and quality programming in The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts for students and residents of Ocean County and neighboring counties.
With this second gift of $8 million, The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation will support the construction of a new facility on OCC’s Main Campus. Along with funding from the County of Ocean and the State of New Jersey, this extraordinary donation will make it possible for OCVTS to move the PAA onto the college campus. The new facility will be shared with OCC, allowing expansion of college programs in the performing arts.
The PAA is a specialized, public high school program that concentrates heavily on the performing arts, including dance, music, and theatre, serving students in 9th-12th grades from all of Ocean County. High school students enrolled at the PAA will also be able to enroll in college courses allowing students to earn college credit while still in high school. Students will also have the opportunity to graduate with both a high school diploma and an OCC associate degree.
During the Commencement Ceremony, Dr. Larson addressed the Grunin family with sincere thanks. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, the faculty, staff, and students of Ocean County College, I want to express our deepest appreciation for your gift, which demonstrates your deep commitment to the education of Ocean County’s students. Your combined gifts of some $13 million are the largest ever donated to a New Jersey community college. We are truly grateful. We look forward to a long, productive, and successful partnership.”
Ocean County Freeholder John C. Bartlett Jr., who serves as liaison to OCC, stated, “Providing quality educational opportunities has always been a priority for the Board of Freeholders as we take great pride in both Ocean County College and the Ocean County Vocational Technical schools. When we can partner with the state and organizations like The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation to assist with financial support in advancing these opportunities then everyone benefits from it. I want to extend the appreciation of the Board to the Grunins for their generous contribution in helping to bring the Performing Arts Academy to the Ocean County College campus.”
“The Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation is dedicated to supporting Ocean and Monmouth county-based initiatives that include the arts, human services, and education. The Foundation has in recent years made a considerable impact in the areas of health care and education. We see the untapped potential in the fine and performing arts here in Ocean County and know that Ocean County College is the perfect vehicle for unleashing that potential, specifically through our young people,” added Jeremy Grunin, Foundation President.