Gloucester County College Center Named for McCaffrey Sr.
(Deptford, NJ) - The Gloucester County Board of Chosen Freeholders was joined by family members of the late Eugene J. McCaffrey Sr. today as they unveiled the new lettering on the Gloucester County College Center. The building is now the Eugene J. McCaffrey Sr. College Center in honor of a founding father of GCC who passed away in April.
"The Freeholder Board requested that the College Center be named in honor of Eugene McCaffrey Sr., as a lasting tribute for his role in the creation of the campus and his devotion to education and the community. Gene was a truly amazing individual and I had the upmost respect for him. His family and friends know what a remarkable man he was, and now every student who passes through the GCC campus will learn about his role in creating this campus," said Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney.
Throughout his lifetime Eugene McCaffrey Sr. held many prominent public roles. He was Deptford's first elected mayor; he served as the county sheriff, and as a charter member of the county's "small" freeholder board. He served six years as freeholder director and later he served two five-year terms as surrogate. He served as a cabinet member under Gov. Thomas H. Kean as commissioner of the NJ Department of Personnel and served president of PATCO and executive officer of the Delaware River Port Authority in 1989.
During his six years as Freeholder Director (1967 to 1972) he spent much of his time working on the creation and construction of Gloucester County College. In February 1970, ground was broken for the first buildings on the new campus and GCC held its first graduation for 180 men and women that May. In autumn 1970, students began attending classes in the Instructional Center, the first building to be completed. The College Center and Physical Education Center opened in January 1971.
Freeholder Deputy Director Bob Damminger said that while growing up in Gloucester County he always knew who Eugene McCaffrey Sr. was. "Gene was the kind of man who wanted to make the world a better place for his family and he was dedicated to public service. He left his mark on Gloucester County," said Damminger.
"Naming the College Center for Eugene McCaffrey Sr. is a something I think he would have would have liked considering all the activity that takes place in this building every day. His life can serve as an example to our students and how much one person can help make a difference in their community," said Freeholder Deputy Director Damminger.
Michele McCaffrey of Mantua, a daughter of Eugene McCaffrey Sr., said, "Our family is truly honored by this recognition and grateful to Freeholder Director Sweeney, The Freeholder Board and the Board of Trustees of Gloucester County College for recognizing our father's contribution to the College. The College was undoubtedly one of my fathers proudest achievements as Freeholder Director."