Statement from NJCU President on Confirmation of Miguel Cardona, Ed.D as U.S. Secretary of Education

March 2, 2021
Statement from NJCU President on Confirmation of Miguel Cardona, Ed.D as U.S. Secretary of Education

Dear Members and Friends of the NJCU Community,

Yesterday, the United States Senate confirmed the nomination of Miguel Cardona, Ed.D, to serve as the 12th U.S. Secretary of Education. We congratulate Dr. Cardona on his historic appointment and look forward to his leadership of the U.S. Department of Education.

As a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and Minority-Serving Institution (MSI), our university applauds Dr. Cardona’s confirmation and celebrates his appointment as a reflection of the community we serve. NJCU is an institution dedicated to educating students in our region which include a large percentage of first-generation college students who — like Dr. Cardona — come from a diverse socioeconomic background.

Dr. Cardona brings substantial knowledge of historically underrepresented communities to this national leadership position. Born into poverty to Puerto Rican parents, he was raised in a housing project and spoke only Spanish when he entered the city's public schools. He eventually became the first member of his family to graduate from college. Dr. Cardona’s story mirrors that of many of our own students and educational leaders throughout the state of New Jersey who earned their undergraduate or master’s degree from NJCU. The next Dr. Cardona could very well be enrolled on our campus right now.

Dr. Cardona has pledged to address questions of inequity in our nation’s education system including Pell Grant awards for college students from low-income families. He is a lifelong champion of public schools who has advocated for underserved communities and emphasized how investing in public education and making education accessible, can change lives. NJCU has a similar purpose. We are a catalyst for transformative change in our students, our city, and our communities, including those who have been historically underserved.

NJCU is home to the most ethnically diverse student body in New Jersey and the City of Jersey City is the most diverse city in the nation. We are a community that values diversity, equity, and inclusion.

NJCU has long recognized that our strength lies in our diversity and we are pleased to see that diversity reflected in our national leaders.

Sue Henderson, Ph.D.
New Jersey City University (NJCU)