Today was a very big day in the storied history of Stockton University.

The occasion was the official groundbreaking of the Stockton University Atlantic city campus, phase 2 Residence Hall project.

The first thank you goes out to my friend, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. The Governor’s support for Atlantic City during very tough times has been unconditional.

It would have been so easy to remove the Stockton University Atlantic City Campus, Phase 2 funding during a global health pandemic.

Governor Murphy didn’t do that. Instead, he moved to fully fund it.

The second thank you goes out to another good friend, New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney.

Sweeney Has also been an unconditional supporter of Atlantic City for decades.

New Jersey Assembly budget committee chairman, Lou Greenwald was also in attendance today and spoke glowingly about how important Atlantic City is to the entire state of New Jersey.

Dr. Harvey Kesselman, President and chief executive officer of Stockton University and Michelle McDonald, Provost, Stockton University Atlantic City campus beamed with justifiable pride.

Each spoke so well about how important this is to Stockton University, Atlantic City and our entire state.

New Jersey lieutenant governor Sheila Oliver, New Jersey state senator Chris Brown, Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson, Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small and others spoke at the impressive event.

Oliver was impressive with her command of Atlantic City local issues and her reaffirmation of the partnership between the state and the city.

Mayor Small spoke about a highly personal situation involving himself. He revealed to all in attendance how Kesselman basically saved his life.

Small was on his way out, failing miserably at Stockton University. Kesselman, then Provost, threw Small a lifeline and gave him one final chance to make good.

Small took full advantage, ultimately graduating with his degree and he’s now a two-time Stockton University Hall of Fame member for basketball.

Following the series of short and restrained speeches, everyone walked across the street to the official “ceremonial shovel” groundbreaking ceremony.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and other dignitaries at Stockton University Atlantic City - Photos by Don P. Hurley

Another important attendee and speaker was Jon Hanson, Chairman of DevCo. Hanson spoke about the importance of this project for Atlantic City. He properly thanked all of the right people.

Hanson also highlighted the influence of former New Jersey State Senator Bill Gormley. He described Gormley as a man of many ideas ... including Stockton University having a proper Atlantic City presence.

My schedule is so busy these days that I don’t get to attend as many events as I would like.

I wouldn’t have missed this one.

Today was a great day in Atlantic City. The Stockton University Campus Phase 2 is not nearly the end. There is so much more that will follow in the future.

This is a game-changer, moment of truth.

Governor Murphy, Sweeney, Kesselman, Hanson/DevCo and all key partners have delivered big time.

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