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Statement by NJIT President Joel S. Bloom on the Passing of U.S. Representative Donald M. Payne Sr.

All at NJIT are greatly saddened by the death of U.S. Representative Donald Payne. As someone who worked tirelessly to promote access to higher education in New Jersey, Representative Payne was a special friend of NJIT and the students we serve. He was always supportive of efforts to provide the resources needed to carry out our university’s mission. He personally sponsored all of our requests for Congressionally directed funding that over the years have brought tens of millions of dollars of Federal funding back to New Jersey. This support has strengthened our university’s research and development capacity and forged important new partnerships and capabilities for the U.S. Army’s Picatinny Arsenal.  He was also a tireless champion for causes such as Pell Grant funding and other forms of student aid. 

Most recently, Representative Payne rallied the New Jersey Congressional delegation to sign a letter of support for our $5 million H1-B Grant application for a technology-industry training program, funding approved just last week. Awarded through the Department of Labor, this grant will support training that meets the need for skilled employees in high-growth occupations in New Jersey.

On a national level, Representative  Payne was a staunch advocate of educational opportunities for all talented men and women. He firmly believed in education as a path to individual success and economic security, and to prosperity for our entire nation in the 21st century. We share a great loss with his family and his constituents in the 10th Congressional District.