The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Rutgers University

For other meanings of Rutgers, see Rutgers (disambiguation)

Rutgers University


Sol iustitiae et occidentem illustra

(Sun of righteousness, shine upon the West also.)
Established 10 November 1766
School type Public, Research University
President Richard L. McCormick
Location Three campuses: New Brunswick / Piscataway, Camden and Newark, New Jersey USA
Enrollment 51,480 undergraduate,
12,904 graduate
Faculty 2,552
Endowment US$398,178,000
Athletics 27 Sports Teams

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is located in New Brunswick, Piscataway, Camden and Newark, New Jersey. Considered a highly prestigious university, Rutgers offers more than 100 distinct bachelor's, 100 master's, and 80 doctoral and professional degree programs across 29 degree-granting schools and colleges, 16 of which offer graduate programs of study.

Rutgers is the eighth-oldest institution of higher learning established in the United States, originally chartered as "Queen's College" in 1766.

Rutgers was designated the State University of New Jersey by legislatives acts in 1945 and 1956. The University of Newark merged with Rutgers in 1946, expanding the school to include the current campus in Newark. The College of South Jersey, which became the Camden campus, merged in 1950.


About Rutgers University

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is one of the leading research universities in the nation and is unique in being the only university in the nation to be a colonial chartered college (1766), a land-grant institution (1864), and a state university (1945/1956). The university is made up of 29 degree-granting divisions; 12 undergraduate colleges, 11 graduate schools, and three schools offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Five are located in Camden, seven in Newark, and seventeen in New Brunswick/Piscataway.

Rutgers College became the land-grant college of New Jersey in 1864, resulting in the establishment of the Rutgers Scientific School, featuring departments of agriculture, engineering, and chemistry. Further expansion in the sciences came with the founding of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station in 1880 and the division of the Rutgers Scientific School into the College of Engineering (now the School of Engineering) in 1914 and the College of Agriculture (now Cook College) in 1921. The precursors to several other Rutgers divisions were also established during this period: the College of Pharmacy (now the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy) in 1892, the New Jersey College for Women (now Douglass College) in 1918, and the School of Education in 1924. After the initial legislation designating Rutgers as the New Jersey's state university was passed in 1945, the University of Newark (in 1946) and the College of South Jersey (in 1950) were annexed into the Rutgers University system.

The first Summer Session began in 1913 with one six-week session. That summer program offered 47 courses and had an enrollment of 314 students. Currently, Summer Session offers over 1,000 courses to more than 15,000 students on the Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick/Piscataway campuses, off-campus, and abroad.

Rutgers was designated the State University of New Jersey by legislatives acts in 1945 and 1956. The University of Newark merged with Rutgers in 1946, expanding the school to include the current campus in Newark. The College of South Jersey, in Camden, New Jersey, merged with Rutgers in 1950, becoming the Rutgers-Camden campus.

Since the 1950s, Rutgers has continued to expand, especially in the area of graduate education. The Graduate School—New Brunswick, Graduate School—Newark, and Graduate School—Camden each serve their respective campuses. In addition, professional schools have been established in such areas as business, management, public policy, law, social work, criminal justice, applied and professional psychology, the fine arts, and communication, information and library studies . (A number of these schools offer undergraduate programs as well.) Also at the undergraduate level, Livingston College was founded in 1969, emphasizing the urban environment.

On September 10, 1970, after several years of debate and planning, the Board of Governors voted to admit women into the previously all-male Rutgers College. The transformation from single-sex to coeducational institutions became a trend in many colleges across the United States that had—up to the late 1960's and early 1970's—remained all-male. Today, Douglass College (originally the New Jersey College for Women) remains all-female, while the rest of the institution is coeducational.

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (since 1921). In 1989, Rutgers University became a member of the Association of American Universities, an organization comprised of the 62 leading research universities in North America.

Richard Levis McCormick (b. 1947) is the current president of Rutgers University.

Divisions of the University

New Brunswick/Piscataway Campus

  • Cook College
  • Douglass College
  • Livingston College
  • Rutgers College
  • University College–New Brunswick
  • College of Nursing
  • Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
  • Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
  • Graduate School–New Brunswick
  • Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology
  • Graduate School of Education
  • Mason Gross School of the Arts
  • Rutgers Business School–New Brunswick
  • School of Communication, Information and Library Studies
  • School of Engineering
  • School of Management and Labor Relations
  • School of Social Work

Newark Campus

The Newark campus of Rutgers University was formerly known as the University of Newark, which was merged with Rutgers in 1946 by an act of the New Jersey legislature. The University of Newark was established in 1935, growing out from the consolidation of five educational institutions in Newark, New Jersey—namely, Dana College, the Newark Institute of Arts and Sciences, the Seth Boyden School of Business, the Mercer Beasley School of Law and the New Jersey Law School. Today, the 35-acre Newark Campus consists of the following degree-granting divisions:

  • Newark College of Arts and Sciences
  • University College–Newark
  • Graduate School–Newark
  • College of Nursing
  • Rutgers Business School–Newark
  • School of Criminal Justice
  • School of Law–Newark

Camden Campus

The Camden campus of Rutgers University was formerly known as the College of South Jersey, which was merged with Rutgers in 1950 by an act of the New Jersey legislature. The College of South Jersey was established in 1910 in Camden, New Jersey. Today, the 40-acre Camden campus consists of the following degree-granting divisions:

  • Camden College of Arts and Sciences
  • University College–Camden
  • Graduate School–Camden
  • School of Business–Camden
  • School of Law–Camden

Rutgers: History and tradition

Early History

Shortly after the creation of The College of New Jersey (later Princeton University) in 1746, ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church sought to establish autonomy in ecclesiastical affairs. At that time, those who wanted to become ministers in within the church had to travel to the Netherlands to be trained and ordained, and many of the affairs of churches in the American colonies were managed from Europe. Thus, the ministers sought to create a governing body known as a classis to give local autonomy to the church in the colonies, and offer opportunities for the education of ministers.

Throughout the 1750s, Dutch ministers joined the effort to create an classis in the colonies, including Theodorus Jacobus Frelinghuysen who travelled on horseback in winter of 1755 to several congregations throughout the northeast to rally ministers and congregations to the cause. Soon after, Frelinghuysen travelled to the Netherlands to appeal to the General Synod, the Dutch Reformed Church's governing council for the creation of the classis. In 1761, the effort having failed, Frelinghuysen set sail for the colonies, but as the vessel approached New York, he mysteriously perished at sea.

After Frelinghuysen's death, Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh (later Rutgers' first president), established himself as spokesperson for the cause, and a strong supporter of establishing a college in New Jersey. Hardenbergh, travelled to Europe renewing Frelinghuysen's efforts to gain the Synod's approval, but was also rejected. Much to the Synod's chagrin, however, Hardenburgh returned to the colonies with money for the establishment of a college.

Queen's College

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, was chartered on November 10, 1766 as "Queen's College," in honor of King George III's Queen-consort, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (17441818). The charter was signed and the young college supported by William Franklin (17301813), the last Royal Governor of New Jersey and illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin (17061790). The original charter specified the establishment both of the college, and of an institution called the Queen's College Grammar School, intended to be a preparatory school affiliated and governed by the college. This institution, today the Rutgers Preparatory School, was a part of the college community until 1957.

The original purpose of Queen's College was to "educate the youth in language, liberal, the divinity, and useful arts and sciences" and for the training of future ministers for the Dutch Reformed Church—though the university is now non-sectarian and makes no religious demands on its students. (Ironically, given the tenets of Christianity, the college first met at a tavern called the Sign of the Red Lion, on what is today the grounds of the Johnson & Johnson corporate headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey.) It admitted its first students in 1771—a single sophomore and a handful of first-year students taught by a lone instructor—and granted its first degree in 1774, to Matthew Leydt. When the American Revolution broke out, the college abandoned the tavern and held classes in private houses, in and near New Brunswick. During its early years, the college developed as a classic liberal arts institution.

In its early years, Queen's College was plagued by a lack of funds. In 1793, with the fledgling college falling on hard times, the board of trustees voted on a resoluton to merge with the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University). The measure failed by one vote. The problem did not go away, and in 1795, lacking both funds and tutors, the trustees consider moving the college to New York. Instead, they decide to close, only to reopen in 1808 after the Trustees raised $12,000.

The next year, the College got a building of its own, affectionately called "Old Queen's" (which still stands), which is regarded today by architectural experts as one of the nation's finest examples of Federal architecture. University President Ira Condict laid the cornerstone on 27 April 1809. However, continued financial woes would cause the building to wait 14 years for completion, that combined with a nationwide economic depression and the impending War of 1812 forced Queen's College to close down a second time, in 1812. In its early years, Queen's College, the Queen's College Grammar School, and the New Brunswick Theological Seminary shared space in Old Queens. In 1856, with Old Queens suffering from overcrowding, the Seminary, moved to a home of its own nearby.

In 1825, Queen's College was reopened, and its name was changed to "Rutgers College" in honor of American Revolutionary War hero Colonel Henry Rutgers (1745–1830). According to the Board of Trustees, Colonel Rutgers was honored because he epitomized Christian values, however, it probably helped that the Colonel gave a gift that set the college on secure financial footing. Rutgers, a descendant of an old Dutch family that settled in New Amsterdam (now New York City), gave the fledgling college a $5000 bond and a bell to be placed in the cupola of Old Queens. The college's early troubles inspired numerous student songs, including an adaptation of the drinking song Down Among the Dead Men with the lyrics "Here's a drink to old Rutgers, loyal men, May she ne'er go down but to rise again."

"Rutgers College" became "Rutgers University" in 1924.


Rutgers was among the first American institutions to engage in intercollegiate athletics , and participated in a small circle of schools that included Yale University, Columbia University and long-time rival, Princeton University.

On May 2, 1866, in the first intercollegiate athletic event in Rutgers history, the Rutgers baseball team was humiliated by the Princeton team, 40-2.

On November 6, 1869, Rutgers became the "Birthplace of College Football" when it defeated Princeton, six "runs" to four, in the first intercollegiate football game ever played (the site, then a field, is now occupied by the College Avenue Gymnasium). Instead of wearing uniforms, the players stripped off their hats, coats, and vests and bound their suspenders around the waistbands of their trousers. For headgear, the Rutgers team wound their scarlet scarves into turbans atop their heads. This led to the College later adopting scarlet as its school color. The game— with rules more resembling those of soccer than the later form of American football—gave birth to a new pastime described as "replete with surprise, strategy, prodigies of determination, and physical prowess." During the 1870s, games resembling rugby became popular at other American colleges, and Rutgers eventually adopted similar rules. These games developed into what is today known as American football.

However, Rutgers proceeded to lose at football to Princeton each year for the next 68 years, only breaking that losing streak in 1938.

An amusing sidenote: the first intercollegiate competition in Ultimate frisbee was held between Rutgers and Princeton on 6 November 1972—the 103rd anniversary of the first intercollegiate football game.

Today, Rutgers University is a member of the Big East Conference, (in football since 1991, all other sports since 1995) a collegiate athletic conference consisting of thirteen colleges and universities in the Northeastern United States. Rutgers is a Division I-A school as sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The Rutgers-Camden and Rutgers-Newark campuses participate in Division III athletics within the New Jersey Athletic Conference.

The Rutgers University mascot is the Scarlet Knight.

Traditions and Legacies

Howard Fullerton, a member of the Order of the Bull's Blood, goes down in Rutgers history not only for his penning the alma mater but for allegedly inspiring the theft of a cannon from the campus of Princeton University on 25 April 1875, an event—and the ensuing debate between the two university presidents—reported in nationwide newspapers. Princeton students retaliated by raiding the Rutgers Armory and stealing a few muskets. Eventually the committee appointed by the two colleges recommended the return the stolen items to their owners before the event. When the cannon was returned, Princeton University officials ordered it buried in the ground, encased in cement, with only a few feet of the butt end exposed above ground.

Several Rutgers students attempted to repeat the crime, unsuccessfully, in October 1946. With the efforts of the Princeton administration to thwart them unknown, they attach one end of a length of heavy chain to the cannon and the other to their Ford. Surprised by Princeton men and the local constabulatory, they gun the engine of the Ford so viciously that the car is torn in half. The Rutgers army manages to escape, but with neither the car nor their prize, the cannon.

To this day, intrepid Rutgers students journey the 16 miles to Princeton University to place their declaration of ownership of the cannon by painting the cannon scarlet red. Unfortunately, like the students who stole the cannon in 1875, they usually paint the wrong cannon, as there are two behind Nassau Hall at Princeton. Today, a cannon is placed in the ground before Old Queens at Rutgers, memorializing both this event, and a few alumni in the service who were killed in action. At Commencement, tradition leads undergraduates to break clay pipes over the cannon, symbolizing the breaking of ties with the college, and leaving behind the good times of one's undergraduate years. This symbolism dates back to when pipe-smoking was fashionable among undergraduates, and many college memories were derived from evenings of pipe smoking and revelry with friends.


  • The College Avenue Gymnasium, built on the site where the first college football game was played, hosted New Jersey's 1947 and 1966 Constitutional Conventions.

  • In 1810, a book of 104 rules and regulations are published to guide student down a moral path. Among these rules were prohibitions on dancing and fencing schools, billiards, cards, dice, beer and oyster houses, firearms, powder, and public ball alleys; and further, no student was to "disguise himself for the purpose of imposition or amusement," "speak upon the public stage anything indecent, profane, or immoral," or "employ a barber on the Lord's day to dress his head or shave him."
  • In 1879, Mark Twain, the famed American author, accepted an honorary membership into the Philoclean Society at Rutgers, but failed to make the customary monetary contribution.
  • In addition to being the "birthplace of college football," Rutgers has given birth to discoveries and innovations such as Cheez-Whiz , water-soluble sustained release polymers, Tetraploids , robotic hands, artificial bovine insemination , and developed the ceramic tiles for the heat shield on the Space Shuttle.

Alma Mater

The alma mater of Rutgers University is the song entitled On the Banks of the Old Raritan, written by Howard Fullerton (Class of 1872). The lyrics to the song are, as follows:

My father sent me to old Rutgers,
And resolv'd that I should be a man;
And so I settled down,
in that noisy college town,
On the banks of the old Raritan.
On the banks of the old Raritan, my boys,
where old Rutgers ever more shall stand,
For has she not stood since the time of the flood,
On the banks of the old Raritan.
Then sing aloud to Alma Mater,
And keep the scarlet in the van;
For with her motto high,
Rutgers' name shall never die,
On the banks of the old Raritan.
*N.B.: The phrase "my boys" in the first line of the chorus was changed in 1990 to "my friends" in light of Rutgers being coeducational since 1970.

Presidents of Rutgers University

  1. 1785–1790 Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh (1736–1790)
  2. 1791–1795 William Linn (1752–1808)
  3. 1795–1810 Ira Condict (1764–1811)
  4. 1810–1825 John Henry Livingston (1746–1825)
  5. 1825–1840 Philip Milledoler (1775–1852)
  6. 1840–1850 Abraham Bruyn Hasbrouck (1791–1879)
  7. 1850–1862 Theodore Frelinghuysen (1787–1862)
  8. 1862–1882 William Henry Campbell (1808–1890)
  9. 1882–1890 Merrill Edward Gates (1848–1922)
  10. 1891–1906 Austin Scott (1848–1922)
  11. 1906–1924 William Henry Steele Demarest (1863–1956)
  12. 1925–1930 John Martin Thomas (1869–1952)
  13. 1930–1931 Philip Milledoler Brett (1871–1960)
  14. 1932–1951 Robert Clarkson Clothier (1885–1970)
  15. 1951–1958 Lewis Webster Jones (1899–1975)
  16. 1959–1971 Mason Welch Gross (1911–1977)
  17. 1971–1989 Edward J. Bloustein (1925–1989)
  18. 1990–2002 Francis L. Lawrence (b. 1937)
  19. 2002— Richard Levis McCormick (b. 1947)

Notable alumni

Politics, government and public service




Science & Engineering

Arts & letters

Entertainment and sports

Notable faculty

  • Haim Brezis
  • Stephen Bronner — Professor of Political Science, Comparative Literature and German Studies
  • Avery Brooks — Associate Professor of Fine Arts
  • Vašek Chvátal
  • Michael Curtis
  • Ralph Ellison — Author of The Invisible Man
  • James J. Florioformer Governor of New Jersey (1989-1993)
  • Jerry Fodor — Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science
  • David S. Foglesong
  • Israel Gelfand
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Lila Gleitman
  • Alvin Goldman — Professor of Philosophy
  • Leon Golub
  • Mason W. Gross
  • Andras Hajnal
  • Henryk Iwaniec — Professor of Mathematics
  • Jeffry Kahn — Professor of Mathematics
  • Temma Kaplan
  • Leonid Khachiyan — Professor of Mathematics
  • Ernest Lepore — Professor of Philosophy
  • Alan Leslie
  • David Levering Lewis — Professor of History, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography (2001)
  • Roy Lichtenstein
  • Colin McGinn — Professor of Philosophy
  • Alan Prince
  • Zenon Pylyshyn
  • Michael Saks — Professor of Mathematics, Winner of the Gödel Prize (2004)
  • Saharon Shelah — Professor of Mathematics
  • Stephen Stich — Professor of Philosophy
  • Mario Szegedy — Professor of Mathematics
  • Endre Szemeredi — Professor of Mathematics
  • Lionel Tiger
  • Jay Tischfield
  • Robert Trivers — Professor of Anthropology
  • Wise Young
  • Doron Zeilberger — Professor of Mathematics, Winner of the Steele Prize for Seminal Contributions to Research (1998)

Student organizations

A list of student organizations at Rutgers University, mostly endorsed by the university administration (some are not for various reasons), including links to their official websites when available.

Other Listings

Student Government


Academic Organizations

Social and Political Organizations

Art, Music and Performance Organizations

Secret Societies

Fraternities and Sororities

  • Alpha Chi Omega
  • Alpha Epsilon Pi
  • Alpha Kappa Lambda
  • Alpha Sigma Phi
  • Chi Phi
  • Chi Psi
  • Delta Kappa Epsilon
  • Delta Chi
  • Delta Gamma
  • Delta Phi (charter revoked/suspended)
  • Fiji
  • Gamma Phi Beta
  • Kappa Sigma (charter revoked/suspended)
  • Kappa Zeta Psi
  • Omega Phi Chi
  • Phi Delta Theta
  • Phi Kappa Sigma
  • Phi Kappa Tau
  • Phi Sigma Kappa
  • Phi Sigma Sigma
  • Pi Kappa Alpha
  • Psi Upsilon
  • Sigma Alpha Mu
  • Sigma Chi
  • Sigma Delta Tau
  • Sigma Kappa
  • Sigma Phi Epsilon
  • Sigma Pi
  • Squamish
  • Tau Kappa Epsilon
  • Theta Chi
  • Zeta Beta Tau
  • Zeta Psi
  • Zeta Tau Alpha

Community Service

Honorary Organizations

Leisure Clubs

Cultural Organizations

Religious Organizations

External links

Last updated: 05-10-2005 13:27:52
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04