Ramapo College of New Jersey officially announced the name of its newest building on campus–the Peter P. Mercer Learning Commons– as part of the College’s 51st Founders’ Day celebration on Wednesday, November 18.
Ramapo College Board of Trustees Chair Susan A. Vallario unveiled the name of the building, which is on track to open in Fall 2021. Chair Vallario and her husband, Nick Vallario, have been the lead pledge supporters of the Learning Commons Campaign and participants in the project task force since its inception in 2016.
“When Nick and I pledged to support the Learning Commons Campaign, we did so because we believed in the vision for this transformational facility—a reimagined library combined with state-of-the-art technology and an array of special resources giving all members of the Ramapo community a place to connect, contemplate, and collaborate,” said Chair Vallario. “At the time of our pledge, the naming rights for the new building were reserved to us, and we’ve always intended to exercise that right in a way that honors President Mercer for his outstanding service to the College over the past 15 years and for his efforts as the driving force behind the Learning Commons vision.”
“It’s quite an experience seeing one’s name on a building that will be the heart and soul of the campus,” President Mercer said, acknowledging the honor alongside his wife Dr. Jacqueline Ehlert-Mercer. “For Jackie and me, our time here at Ramapo has been all-consuming and all-rewarding. I am glad to be leaving a piece of myself. Thank you all so much.”
The project, a multi-year effort to renovate the existing George T. Potter Library and construct a new learning space, addresses aging infrastructure issues and increases the building’s interior space from 60,000 to 80,000 square feet. The Learning Commons will bring together an array of resources that go beyond those of a traditional campus library, including state-of-the-art classroom and laboratory space, media rooms, on-site technology resources, a design laboratory, lounge seating and an on-site café. The Learning commons will also be home to the Ramapo College Archives, the Center for Reading and Writing, the American History Textbook Project, the Jane Addams Papers Project and the Gross Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies.