President Jebb praises students in State of the College Address

Students, faculty and staff gathered in Friends Hall Wednesday afternoon to join Ramapo College President Cindy Jebb in her inaugural State of the College Address.

The address began with Jebb expressing her immense gratitude for the Ramapo College community, acknowledging everyone who has welcomed her with open arms. 

“Students, I love your energy, your excitement and your care for one another,” she said in the introductory portion of her speech. “This college has benefited from your services and so have I.”

Attendees paid close attention to Jebb’s passion and honesty throughout her speech. She shared a brief background of herself and how she ended up transitioning from the military to Ramapo. 

“What drew me to this college in the first place were the values resident here,” she said, before listing some of the college’s key values. “Developing the whole person, student-focused, sustainability, love of civic and public service, diversity, equity and inclusion, and the liberal arts.”

Embracing the liberal arts and encouraging well-versed students are key components of Ramapo’s mission, and the liveliness of college engagement is found all over campus—not just in the classroom.  

“It is a gift to be able to study, live or work in a physical environment that is as carefully tended to as Ramapo,” she said, before inviting all of her talented colleagues and essential teams to stand for a round of applause for their hard work in keeping Ramapo’s community and environment both operational and successful. 

Jebb turned her attention toward the student body multiple times to highlight their accomplishments: Ramapo’s impressive Honors Program, students with academic achievements, athletic victories, artistic talents, dedication to service and career readiness. She promoted the value that the collegiate body brings to the college's overall success.                                                                                                                         

Jebb was passionate about uplifting and embracing unity in fears and struggles about the future. She assured the Ramapo community that they can relate to her and find comfort in progressing through these challenges together. 

“Many of our students, actually, all of us, given the pandemic, may feel quite uncertain about the future,” she said. “Feeling uncertain is hard. Moving through change is hard. This is life.”

“The good news is we are all facing uncertainty together,” Jebb continued. “We’re all moving through change together. Together we are not alone. You are not alone.”

As the new president, Jebb shares a commitment to experiencing obstacles, both good and bad, together as a unified community. She is aware of the students’ concerns and needs, and believes change towards ultimate success will come within a matter of time. 

“It is exciting and energizing to be at this place, at this time, with this amazing community,” Jebb said. “Yes, we have concerns, as some of you have shared, but know that we are exactly where we need to be to do this important work.”

President Jebb wrapped her inaugural address restating her earlier remarks about being comfortable with our current collegiate standing. 

“Yes, we are exactly where we need to be,” she said, “and we get to labor together to be bold, to be kind and to be good teammates.” 

A post-recording of President Jebb’s address will be uploaded on Ramapo’s main website for personal viewing. 

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to attend the post-address discussion, “State of the College Reflections: A Conversation with President Jebb,” that will take place on Thursday, Oct. 7 from 1:15-2:15 p.m. in Trustees Pavilion.