Fifty incoming Brookdale freshmen will start off their college career with a $1,000 scholarship, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the OceanFirst Foundation of Toms River.
The grant, awarded to the Brookdale Foundation, is part of the OceanFirst Foundation’s seventh annual college scholarship initiative, which provides a total of $200,000 for students at Brookdale, Ocean County College, Monmouth University and Georgian Court University each year. Since its inception, the grant program has awarded nearly $1.5 million to deserving local high school graduates.
Nearly all of the 50 Brookdale scholarship recipients joined their parents, foundation representatives, college officials and more than 100 fellow students from across Monmouth and Ocean counties on June 30 at an official Scholarship Reception Dinner at Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club in Farmingdale.
The reception began with a welcoming address by OceanFirst Foundation Chairman John Garbarino, who explained OceanFirst’s long-standing commitment to community service and encouraged the student honorees to carry that same commitment, both in college and in their careers.
Those sentiments were echoed by Brookdale President Dr. Maureen Murphy, who congratulated the scholarship recipients and welcomed them to the Brookdale community.
“You are our newest Brookdalians,” she said. “And you will find, when you come to us, that we are committed to your success. At Brookdale you are going to have the full college experience. I encourage you to get involved, get to know people, join student organizations and take advantage of all the opportunities that are going to present themselves to you.”
Murphy, speaking on behalf of the Brookdale Board of Trustees and Brookdale Foundation and Alumni Affairs Executive Directory Timothy Zeiss, also thanks the members of the OceanFirst Foundation for their continued support of Brookdale students.
“Thanks to this scholarship program we have had 350 students – that’s 350 students – who have been able to defray the expenses of a college education and achieve their dreams,” said Murphy, who also presented an official certificate of appreciation to Garbarino. “We are so incredibly grateful.”
For incoming Brookdale criminal justice major Dylan Murphy, the scholarship is more than just a monetary award. It’s also an official recognition of the hard work he has put in throughout his high school career.
After earning 20 college credits during his four years at the Academy of Law and Public Safety in Long Branch, Murphy said he hopes to earn a Brookdale associate degree and, eventually, a spot in the U.S. Coast Guard.
“It feels great,” said Murphy, who said he will be working part-time while attending college. “It’s an honor, and I’m very excited to take the next step in my education at Brookdale.”
In addition to dinner, each of the scholarship recipients received an OceanFirst gift bag and were entered into a raffle for a number of Brookdale-themed gift baskets, which were presented at the end of the ceremony.
For more information on Brookdale scholarship opportunities, visit the Brookdale Foundation webpage.
Check out more photos of the ceremony here.