When Dr. Marcheta (pronounced Mar-KEET-ah) Evans became the new President of Bloomfield College in June, students say they immediately noticed an energy and commitment to them. Dr. Evans is the first woman and first African American president of Bloomfield College in the school's 150-year history.
Dr. Evans, who served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas, becomes Bloomfield's 17th President. Her inauguration is set for December 6.
Dr. Evans says she and others at Bloomfield College are doing their best to deal with the evergrowing concerns about the costs of higher education.
"Most people don't realize that Bloomfield College is the only four-year Predominately Black Institution (PBI) in New Jersey. We're also a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). About 70 percent of our students are first generation. Over 90 percent of our students receive some form of financial aid. So we have a unique purpose and mission in the state of New Jersey and beyond. And that really is to work with students that maybe were not accepted somewhere else, but again they may also wanted to have a small faculty to student ratio. We are the lowest-priced private institution in New Jersey. But the tuition is still high."
Dr. Evans and her husband Edgar are enjoying New Jersey for many reasons.
"I was born in Alabama but I didn't live there my whole life. I've lived in San Antonio three times now. My stepfather was in the Air Force and I actually graduated from high school in Washington, D.C. So I've kind of lived all over, traveled all over the world as well. What my husband and I find truly interesting is that coming from San Antonio, people don't realize that it's the seventh largest city in the United States. It's also what we call a majority-minority city. The largest population there is Hispanic or Latinx. Since we've been in Jersey what we found is that we actually hear more people speaking Spanish in New Jersey, in Bloomfield, than we did the whole time we were in San Antonio. We absolutley love the diversity here. You hear all kinds of languages. It's just wonderful."
The Bloomfield College President says being selected for her new role was the fulfillment of a dream inspired by her grandparents as they raised her as a child during the civil rights movement of the 1960's.
"My grandparents instilled in me the importance of education. My grandmother would always say 'people can take your house, your car, everything from you but they can never take away your education'. So it really wasn't an option, the way I was growing up. Education was always key. She (grandmother) also taught and instilled in me the importance of service."
Dr. Evans is an extremely proud mother of six children. She is a big sports fan, especially the San Antonio Spurs and the University of Alabama. You'll see her at many of the Bloomfield Bears sporting events. President Evans also likes jazz and vows to listen to WBGO.
Note: Doug Doyle teaches radio and production classes at Bloomfield, where he's also a faculty advisor to the college radio station.
Click above to hear News Director Doug Doyle's entire conversation with Dr. Marcheta Evans.