Ramapo College of New Jersey Names the Peter P. Mercer Learning Commons

MAHWAH, N.J. – 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.


Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World ReportKiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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