Bloomfield College establishes Juneteenth as college holiday

BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Bloomfield College President Marcheta Evans announced to the Bloomfield College community that the institution recognized as New Jersey’s only four-year private predominantly black institution will be honoring Juneteenth as a college holiday for all students and employees.

In making the announcement, Evans said, “I want to echo the words spoken by Gov. Murphy when he signed the Juneteenth state holiday law last month, when he said, ‘This is an example of an action we can take. I think words matter, but we know that actions matter even more.’ As New Jersey’s PBI, and serving as a leader in New Jersey higher-education social justice activism, volunteerism and related pursuits, this action is exceedingly fitting for Bloomfield College and the students we serve.”

One of the most diverse liberal arts colleges in the nation, recently cited in U.S. News & World Report as ranking highest in the state of New Jersey and No. 42 nationally among 216 liberal arts institutions in social mobility, Bloomfield College’s student body reflects its mission and commitment to educating students who are first-generation and are primarily from underserved communities. 

On Sept. 10, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law making the Garden State the sixth state in the nation to establish an official state holiday to honor Juneteenth, the day commemorating when the communication about the emancipation of all slaves in America finally reached every state in the union. The law specifically states that it applies only to state employees with some essential employees working on overtime, and that it is up to local governments and private businesses and organizations as to whether to give their employees the day off.

While the governor established the third Friday in June as Juneteenth Day in New Jersey, Bloomfield College will observe the holiday on the third Thursday in June, since the college, along with most other higher education institutions in the state, is closed on Fridays in the summer. Each year on the third Thursday in June, Bloomfield College will be closed, no classes will be held and employees will receive a paid day off.