(MAHWAH, NJ) -- Ramapo College of New Jersey will hold the formal inauguration ceremony for its fifth college president, Dr. Cindy R. Jebb, on Friday, October 14th, 2022. Dr. Jebb joined the state college in 2021, after retiring from the U.S. Army and her post as the first woman Dean of the Academic Board at the United States Military Academy at West Point. The inauguration ceremony begins in the Arena of the Bill Bradley Sports and Recreation Center at 2:00pm, followed immediately by a reception. Doors to the Arena open at 1:00pm.
“Ramapo College is proud to consider itself an institution on the leading edge of change,” said Susan A. Vallario, Chair of the Ramapo College of New Jersey Board of Trustees. “President Jebb’s career-long commitment to developing strong, bold, empathetic leaders reinforces our obligation to the state of New Jersey and furthers our mission of equipping and empowering the leaders of tomorrow.”
Prior to Dr. Jebb’s formal installation as the College President, attendees will hear remarks from U.S. Senator Jack Reed and Major General Diana M. Holland. Initially connected through West Point’s Department of Social Sciences, Senator Reed’s and President Jebb’s shared passion for service has forged an enduring bond over the years. Senator Reed is the senior United States senator from Rhode Island and the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Senator Reed graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point (B.S. ’71) and also holds degrees from Harvard’s Kennedy School (M.P.P. ’73) and Harvard Law (J.D. ’82). He served in the U.S. Army with the 82nd Airborne Division as an Infantry Platoon Leader, a Company Commander, and a Battalion Staff Officer before returning to West Point as a member of the faculty, where he taught cadets about economics and international relations. He earned the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Ranger Tab, Senior Parachutist Badge, and Expert Infantry Badge. Before his election to the U.S. Senate in 1996, Reed practiced law and served in state government and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives as a Congressman representing Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional district.
Major General Holland was the first woman appointed Commandant of Cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point. She and Dr. Jebb worked alongside each other marking the only time in the Academy’s history that women served as both Dean and Commandant. Holland was also the first woman to hold the title of deputy commander of a light infantry division. She served one combat tour in Iraq and two combat tours in Afghanistan. As a senior commander in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, she oversaw support to disaster-stricken states and U.S. territories following hurricanes Irma, Maria, Florence, Michael, Laura, Delta, and Ida. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy in 1990, Holland was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. She currently serves with the Corps of Engineers as the Commanding General of the Mississippi Valley Division and as the president of the Mississippi River Commission, both firsts for a woman in these appointments. Holland’s military awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge, and Silver Order of the de Fleury Medal.
The ceremony will also feature an invocation by Chief Dwaine Perry of the Ramapo Munsee Lenape Nation, along with remarks by New Jersey Governor Philip D. Murphy, the student government, the staff and faculty of the College, and Ramapo College alumni. Susan A. Vallario, Chair of the Ramapo College of New Jersey Board of Trustees, will perform the official installation of the President, and those in attendance will also enjoy remarks from Dr. Jebb. Musical selections throughout the event will be offered by the Ramapo Concert Band Ensemble, Ramapo College CantaNOVA, and the West Point Glee Club.
Dr. Jebb received a unanimous vote by the Ramapo College Board of Trustees to succeed Dr. Peter P. Mercer, who served the college for sixteen years. Her tenure officially began on July 6, 2021, following a national search. The fifteen-member Search Committee, led by the Board of Trustees, included several trustees, students, alumni, faculty and staff.
“Our fast-changing world and the health of our democracy put Ramapo’s public liberal arts mission in sharp focus. It is foundational for developing ethical leaders who will serve as change agents across all sectors in New Jersey and beyond,” said Dr. Jebb. “I am honored to have this phenomenal opportunity to serve such an inspiring institution and community that is committed to investing in the future, one student at a time. I am grateful for the community’s warm embrace, Chair Vallario’s compassionate leadership, and the Board of Trustees for their confidence and support.”
Dr. Cindy R. Jebb dedicated 39 years of service to the U.S. Army and retired with the rank of Brigadier General. She earned a Ph.D. in Political Science and an M.A. in Political Science from Duke University, an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, and a B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point.
As a Professor, Dr. Jebb taught courses in Comparative Politics, International Security, International Relations, Cultural Anthropology, Terrorism and Counterterrorism, and Officership. Additionally, she served in command and staff positions at home and abroad; conducted human security research in Africa; and completed study projects in Iraq and Afghanistan, to include serving as a senior advisor to the Chief, Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq during the summer of 2015. She served as the Head of the Department of Social Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point before assuming the duties as the Dean of the Academic Board. Dr. Jebb is the author or co-author of three books, a recipient of an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Bard College, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
The inauguration will be preceded by an optional 30 minute tour of the Ramapo College campus which will begin at 1:00pm. Ramapo College has been named by CondeNast Traveler one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America. On Saturday, October 15, and Sunday, October 16, the College will continue the inaugural celebration as part its annual Family Day and Oktoberfest festivities.