SCC Celebrates Opening of New Glass Education Center

SCC Board of Trustees Chair Dorothy Hall brought the ceremony to its conclusion by cutting a piece of stretched, hot glass to officially open the center. She is pictured with President Michael Gorman (left) and SCC Distinguished Alumnus and Artist-in-Residence Paul Stankard (right). Photo by BJ Ayars/Timeless Photographs by BJ

CARNEYS POINT, N.J. — Salem Community College (SCC) celebrated its esteemed past and exciting future in the glass world with the dedication of the Samuel and Jean Jones Glass Education Center. The 20,000-square-foot facility honors longtime benefactors whose generosity transformed a bold idea – moving the glass center back to campus in Carneys Point after 10 years in Alloway – into a reality. SCC President Michael Gorman cited the Jones’ “immeasurable contribution” that will benefit glass students for decades to come.

“The Glass Education Center is beyond anything that can be found anywhere else in this hemisphere,” said Gorman. “Salem Community College is setting the pace and the expectations for the glass community.” Described by Carneys Point Twp. Mayor Ken Brown as the “jewel of Salem County,” the Glass Education Center’s expansive work space is 50 percent larger than the previous space.

The Paul J. Stankard Studio and Lab features:
• Two flameworking studios. (The former Alloway facility had only one studio.) There are 20 student workspaces (known as benches) and one instructor bench in each studio, for a total of 42 benches
• Expanded lathe working area
• Hot shop area with four glassblowing benches (one more than the former hot shop)
• Expanded coldworking and kiln areas with more space for students’ projects
• A dedicated fabrication studio with metal and woodworking equipment
• 280-square-foot gallery for student and professional exhibitions providing the opportunity for students to showcase their work, as well as the ability for the center to promote contemporary glass to both SCC students and the surrounding communities

Paul Stankard, a distinguished alumnus and an internationally renowned artist working in glass, gave keynote remarks. “It’s a high honor to realize how important this state-of-the-art facility is to International glass education,” said Stankard, a 1963 graduate in scientific glassblowing. “Sam and Jean’s commitment to Salem Community College and the glass program has made this possible. They are local residents who have invested in the community and our South Jersey glass heritage.”

“I want to tell the students that the two or three years that you spend here at Salem, mastering your craft and gaining artistic and technical knowledge, will give you many options in the glass field in ways that will lead you to your full potential,” said Stankard. SCC’s construction partners TriMark Building Contractors of Vineland, N.J., and BlueScope Construction Inc. of Kansas City, Mo., presented a bronze plaque commemorating the dedication to President Gorman and Board of Trustees Chair Dorothy Hall. Fralinger Engineering, P.A. of Bridgeton, N.J., was also involved in the project.

Instead of a traditional ribbon, Hall cut a piece of stretched, hot glass to officially open the center. The hot glass “ribbon-cutting” was the brainchild of SCC Glass Studio Specialist Doug Ohm, who partnered with Scientific Glass Technology Instructional Chair Bob Russell to pull an eight-foot piece of ceremonial glass ribbon. Glass Education Administrator Kristin Deady narrated Ohm and Russell’s collaboration that led to Hall’s climactic ribbon cutting.

SCC offers two internationally recognized programs focused in the manipulation of glass: Scientific Glass Technology and Glass Art. SCC attracts degree-seeking students from across the nation and around the world.

Celebrating its 60th year, Scientific Glass Technology is the only Associate in Applied Science degree program of its kind in the nation. Scientific Glass Technology introduces students to the necessary skills and techniques to construct scientific glass apparatus for university laboratories, industrial research and production. SCC’s program has been producing well-qualified candidates for employment throughout the world in this highly specialized skill.

Inspired by Stankard, the Glass Art program (Associate in Fine Arts) will soon mark its 20th anniversary. SCC’s Glass Art program focuses on students using the material creatively and learning a variety of glass processes. A limited number of other institutions offer glass art. However, the SCC glass art program is unique with its intense focus on flameworking, a process others do not address. Graduates of SCC’s Glass Art program transfer to bachelor in fine arts programs, start their own creative glass businesses, work at a variety of art institutions, work as artist assistants, teach, and more.

Since the opening of the Glass Education Center in Alloway in spring 2009, enrollment in the Glass Art program has increased by 115 percent and the Scientific Glass Program has grown by 220 percent. The new Samuel and Jean Jones Glass Education Center will allow for continued growth in these unique programs.

For more information, contact Kristin Deady at (856) 351-2234 or