Community Benefits

As a “charter member” of Hoboken (for background see Stevens history), Stevens is inextricably intertwined with the city. At age 27, Colonel John Stevens, the patriarch of the Stevens family, was appointed a Captain in Washington's army, and later bought at public auction from the state of New Jersey land which had been confiscated from a Tory landowner. The land, described as "William Bayard's farm at Hoebuck" comprised approximately what is now the city of Hoboken.

Today, Stevens enjoys a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with the City of Hoboken, encompassing educational initiatives, volunteer initiatives, student programs, relevant research, and economic impact. Stevens takes great pride in telling the world that our premier, globally recognized technology-centric university’s home is Hoboken and that Hoboken has been ranked among the “Best College Towns” by Princeton Review.

Renewed under the leadership of President Nariman Farvardin, Stevens’ commitment to a deeper, vibrant and mutually beneficial relationship with the City of Hoboken focuses on our synergistic interests: education, sustainability, technology entrepreneurship, and quality of life, among others.

Hoboken Partnership and Service to the Community

Stevens has provided education programs, extracurricular activities, student volunteerism, collaborative partnerships and technical research expertise to benefit the community over many decades. These continue and expand as the partnership between Stevens and the City of Hoboken continues to strengthen.

For more than 25 years, the university’s Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) has secured grants totaling $50 million to support programs aimed at improving science, math and engineering education in elementary and high schools in Hoboken, throughout New Jersey and across the country. The Center has developed a particularly strong relationship with city schools in Hoboken, providing professional development and other programming for more than 250 Hoboken teachers and administrators to date.

In addition, a number of youth camps, including a “Student Innovation Camp,” and an underwater robotics STEM camp (WaterBoticsTM), have been sponsored for Hoboken youth, along with sports camps, the Junior Police Academy, and other initiatives.

Hoboken and Stevens have partnered in initiatives to support the continued development of what Fast Company and the Wall Street Journal have lauded as Hoboken’s burgeoning high-tech innovation hub. The city and university launched Smart City, a collaborative effort using information and communications technology to improve services to city residents. Initial Smart City initiatives include the development of mobile phone applications that will allow residents to check on the availability of parking, monitor energy use and air quality, and quickly receive emergency information.

Stevens is lending its technical expertise to help New York and New Jersey shore communities recover from the effects of Hurricane Sandy and to better equip them against future extreme weather events. Stevens faculty members have worked closely with several bi-state public agencies on plans for enhancing the resilience of waterfront communities, business districts and essential infrastructure in the face of increased flood risk and vulnerability to storm damage.

The university’s value as a resource for the community was particularly evident in the days following Hurricane Sandy, which caused widespread flooding, extensive damage and dislocation of residents throughout Hoboken. In the week following the storm, 300 students performed more than 2,000 hours of volunteer work – working with the National Guard to rescue people stranded by the storm, delivering water in high-rise buildings, checking in on elderly residents, working with the Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corps, helping prepare meals for people who had taken refuge in city shelters, providing the city with an audio system for public meetings and helping to staff a city command center.

In addition, Stevens makes its on-campus facilities available for many local community events, ranging from the New Jersey Tech MeetUp group, based in Hoboken, to the first TEDx Hoboken conference, to public forums and official events held by the City of Hoboken.

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Economic Impact

Stevens is a significant enterprise in its own right – a major local employer, a buyer of goods and services and a sponsor of campus construction projects. As of fall 2012, Stevens employed 955 full and part-time staff (excluding students), making it the fourth-largest employer in the City of Hoboken and one of the 20 largest employers in Hudson County.

Taking into account the direct and indirect impacts of university spending (payroll, purchasing and construction) and off-campus spending by students and visitors to campus, the university is responsible for 1,469 jobs in Hudson County and 1,877 jobs across New Jersey. The spending accounts for $163 million of economic impact in Hudson County and $232 million statewide.

As of fall 2012, 17 percent of Stevens’ employees lived in Hoboken, 36 percent lived in Hudson County, and 86 percent were New Jersey residents.

The investment in the new Academic Gateway Complex will also have a significant economic impact. From fiscal year 2015 through 2018, the university’s investment in construction of this new facility could total as much as $50 million. These investments will translate into jobs for New Jersey contractors and construction workers.

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Research, technology transfer and business development

Since the mid-twentieth century, university research has been an important source of economic growth in the United States. Stevens is one of New Jersey’s leading research universities – and just as important, a leader in translating the results of university research into new products, processes and services, new businesses and new jobs.

During fiscal year 2013, research spending at Stevens totaled $27.67 million. The university’s research enterprise is especially strong in several areas that are of particular importance to the New Jersey economy and to New Jersey communities, including marine and coastal engineering, health information technology and environmental sustainability and resilience. Stevens has also increased the rate at which the results of university research are made available for commercial use, providing a basis for development of new products, new businesses and new jobs. Between fiscal year 2008 and 2013, the number of invention disclosures filed by researchers at Stevens rose from 18 to 40, and the number of new ventures formed to bring to market technologies first developed at Stevens rose from 2 to 6.

As part of the Strategic Plan, the university has set ambitious goals for the continued growth of its research enterprise, which could nearly triple university research spending over the next 10 years, from $27.7 million to $80 million. The Academic Gateway Complex will be a primary vehicle in upgrading the university’s research facilities and capabilities. This growth will also translate into increased employment at Stevens, and increased spending on purchases of goods and services from New Jersey businesses.

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Human Capital

In an increasingly knowledge-driven economy, human capital – the totality of knowledge, skills and experience accumulated over time by a community’s or a region’s workforce – plays a central role in determining whether cities and states flourish or falter economically. Stevens has long been a major contributor to the development of New Jersey’s human capital, especially in science, engineering and technology.

Stevens is a major source of engineering and other technical talent for New Jersey. In 2011-2012, Stevens ranked third among all New Jersey colleges and universities in the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in engineering, and first in the number of engineering graduate degrees awarded.

About 54 percent of all Stevens alumni whose addresses are known – more than 16,100 Stevens graduates – live in New Jersey. Stevens’ graduates have a history of achievement and contributing to society. According to PayScale’s annual report on the earnings of college graduates of more than 1,300 colleges and universities in the United States, in 2013 Stevens:

  • Tied for 3rd highest mid-career salary for graduates ($124,000); and
  • Ranked 5th when measured by students’ return on investment, with an average net return after 20 years (after taking financial aid into account)
  • Tied for 8th highest average starting salary of its graduates ($64,900)

Stevens is one of only three institutions in the United States (along with Harvey Mudd College and the California Institute of Technology) that rank among the top ten on all three of these measures.

Spanning from the earliest days to the present, Stevens alumni have offered humankind advancements in areas such as transportation, communication, business, scientific management, art, and more. Here are examples of their accomplishments in more recent times across a wide range of fields:

  • Who has not opened a package to find sheets of Bubble Wrap, and enjoyed bursting those bubbles of sealed air? It was alumnus Alfred Fielding, Class of 1939 who co-invented Bubble Wrap in the late 1950s. Today, the company he co-founded in 1960, Sealed Air Corporation, is a worldwide manufacturer of packaging materials with annual revenues exceeding $3 billion.
  • Organizations as diverse as Fandango, Overstock.com, GameFly and the U.S. Department of Education have benefited from a technology developed by Class of 1983 alumnus Greg Gianforte. Greg developed a company based on customer relationship management software called RightNow Technologies, Inc., which Oracle Corporation purchased in October 2011 for $1.5 billion. The Gianforte Family Foundation's $10 million gift toward the Academic Gateway Complex is the largest single contribution made to Stevens in its history.
  • Among our famous alumni, we also count Alexander Calder, Class of 1919, creator of the art form known as the mobile, whose work hangs in many famous galleries including the Whitney and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as well galleries in Washington DC, Paris, and Madrid.

Other distinguished alumni include Aaron Cohen, MS ’58, the director of NASA from 1986 to 1993; Leon Febres Cordero, ME ’53, former president of Ecuador; John McLean, Class of 1960, developer of the corneal transplant and founder of the Eye Bank for Sight Restoration; Larry Babbio ‘66, retired vice-chairman and president of Verizon Communications, and Virginia Ruesterholz, ‘86, until recently executive vice president of Verizon Telecom. Larry Babbio was Chairman of the Stevens Board of Trustees until last May, when Virginia Ruesterholz became Chairman—the first woman Chairman of the Board in Stevens history.

Stevens alumni have made an impact on the world in fields as diverse as medicine, telecommunications, international politics, art, and, of course engineering and technology.

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