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RCSJ Receives Governor’s "We Value Our Veterans" Academia Award

John Ryder accepting award from Governor Murphy

(Pictured left to right): New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, Rowan College of South Jersey Director of Student Affairs & Military Services John Ryder and Brigadier General Lis Hou D.O.​

Each year, local dignitaries, college personnel and students gather to honor the bravery, sacrifice and courage of America's veterans during Rowan College of South Jersey's (RCSJ) annual Veterans Day Celebration. For John Ryder, RCSJ director of Student Affairs & Military Services, this Veterans Day held special significance for the Coast Guard veteran who accepted an award from Governor Phil Murphy on behalf of the College.

On Nov. 11, Ryder traveled to the New Jersey State Vietnam War Memorial in Holmdel to receive The New Jersey's Governor “We Value Our Veterans" Academia Award. The prestigious award, presented to colleges and universities in “appreciation of extraordinary efforts to promote a military friendly environment for the veterans of our great state," recognizes academic institutions honoring and assisting the men and women who have worn the military uniform. 

“I was proud that out of the five academia awards issued, RCSJ was the only two-year college to receive the award," said Ryder, after receiving the accolade from Governor Murphy and Brigadier General Lis Hou D.O.

RCSJ, designated a 2021-2022 Military Friendly® School by G.I. Jobs Magazine, was recognized for the Governor's Award through educational initiatives and campus activities. Some of RCSJ's efforts to support veterans pursuing a higher education include providing military and veteran affairs links on the College website, reserving parking spots for Purple Heart recipients and veterans, hosting annual Veterans Day ceremonies, delegating a lounge exclusively for veterans, offering scholarships and special events such as Operation Stand Down, a welcome to the campus luncheon with guest speakers and informational materials.

RCSJ is proud to support our military personnel and their dependents. For more information, visit

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