Douglass Residential College

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Douglass Residential College
Established 1918 (Degree granting college); 2007 (residential college)
Students 2,500
Location New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
Affiliations Institute for Women's Leadership

Douglass Residential College, located in New Brunswick, New Jersey, is a part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. It is a non-degree granting organization which succeeded the liberal arts Douglass College (originally New Jersey College for Women) when it was merged with the other undergraduate liberal arts colleges at Rutgers–New Brunswick to form the School of Arts and Sciences in 2007. It offers a community that focuses on developing women's success. Douglass Residential College provides opportunities for women to reside in single-sex residence halls, to participate in women-centered organizations and to develop leadership skills.

Women enrolled at academic undergraduate schools at Rutgers–New Brunswick, including the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Mason Gross School of the Arts, etc., may participate in Douglass Residential College, at which they must satisfy additional requirements specific to the college.


The New Jersey College for Women was founded in 1918 by the New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs.[1] It was affiliated with Rutgers College and in turn became part Rutgers University. In 1955, the name was changed to Douglass College in honor of its founder, Mabel Smith Douglass. It was the largest public women's college in the United States[2] and continued to grant degrees into the 21st century.

In 2005, Rutgers University President Richard Levis McCormick unveiled plans to merge Douglass College with the University's other undergraduate liberal arts colleges at Rutgers–New Brunswick — Rutgers College, Livingston College, Cook College, and University College — to create the School of Arts and Sciences. The plans proved controversial, resulting in numerous open forums and town hall meetings.[3]

In 2007 the Douglass Residential College was formed, a residential college within Rutgers University, as the result of a compromise between those who wanted a complete merger and those who wanted the college to remain as a separate, degree-granting institution.[4][5][6]

Notable Alumnae[edit]

  • Adrienne Scotchbrook Anderson NJCW '45: engineer, higher education advocate
  • Alice Aycock DC'68: Sculptor
  • Margaret Ayers DC'63: Social activist (women's rights and the arts)
  • Julia Baxter Bates[7] DC'38: Civil Rights Pioneer
  • Elise Biorn-Hansen Boulding NJCW'40: Sociologist, social activist
  • Linda Brady DC'69: Chancellor, University of North Carolina, Greensboro
  • Leonie Brinkema DC'65: Judge, U.S. District Court, E.D. Va.
  • Elise M. Boulding NJCW'40: Peace activist
  • Ruth Ann Burns DC'67: Director, WNET's Education Resources Center
  • Patricia Smith Campbell[8] 'DC'63: Chemist, inventor of the transdermal patch
  • Carol T. Christ DC'66: President, Smith College
  • Sandra Clark Consentino DC'59: Documentary director. Winner of 3 Emmys. [2]
  • Ruth Dill Johnson Crockett NJCW'46: Advocate for women's education, her Johnson children donated the Ruth Dill Johnson Crockett building on Douglass campus
  • Janet Evanovich DC'65: New York Times best-selling author
  • Edith Morch Faste DC'38': Glass Artist
  • Sharon Fordham DC'75: CEO,[9]
  • Jeanne Fox DC'74: President, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
  • Jean Griswold NJCW'52: Founder, Griswold Home Care[10]
  • Elizabeth Cavanna Harrison NJCW'29: Noted author as Betty Cavanna and under the pen names Elizabeth Headley and Betsy Allen.[11]
  • Barbara J. Krumsiek DC'74: President and CEO, The Calvert Group, Ltd.[12]
  • Jaynee LaVecchia DC'76: New Jersey Supreme Court Justice
  • Yolanda Mapp DC'53: physician, medical school professor
  • Susan Ness DC'70: FCC commissioner (1994–2001). President and CEO, Women's Radio Network, LLC.
  • Janet Norwood DC'45: economist, US Commissioner of Labor Statistics (1979–1991). Past president, American Statistical Association.[13]
  • Carole Frandsen St. Mark DC'65: Director, Gerber Scientific[14]
  • Joan Snyder, DC'62; artist and awardee of a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant.
  • Judith H. Wizmur DC'71: Chief Judge, U.S Bankruptcy Court, D. N.J.
  • Freda L. Wolfson DC'76: Judge, U.S. District Court, D. N.J.
  • Joanne Yatvin, NJCW'52: President of the National Council of Teachers of English (2006–2007). Author of books and articles for teachers.


  • Mabel Smith Douglass (1918–1932): A graduate of Barnard College, Mabel Smith Douglass was a leader of the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs.
  • Margaret Trumbull Corwin (1934–1955): A graduate of Bryn Mawr with a master’s degree from Yale. It was during Dean Corwin’s tenure that the New Jersey College for Women became Douglass College.
  • Mary Bunting (1955–1960): A graduate of Vassar with advanced degrees in microbiology from the University of Wisconsin. She resigned to become president of Radcliffe.
  • Ruth Marie Adams (1960–1966): An Adelphi graduate with a doctorate in English from Radcliffe. She resigned to become president of Wellesley.
  • Margery Somers Foster (1967–1975): A graduate of Wellesley with a doctorate in economics from Radcliffe.
  • Jewel Plummer Cobb (1976–1981): A graduate of Talladega College in Alabama with advanced degrees in cell biology from New York University. She resigned to become president of California State University at Fullerton.
  • Mary S. Hartman (1982–1994): A graduate of Swarthmore with an M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University in history, Mary S. Hartman became a member of the Douglass History Department in 1968 (Institute for Women’s Leadership, 2004, p. 1). She served as director of the Women’s Studies Institute from 1975 to 1977, was named acting dean in 1981, and dean in 1982. She resigned to become director of the Institute for Women’s Leadership at Rutgers University.
  • Barbara A. Shailor (1996–2001): A graduate of Wilson College with a master’s degree and doctorate in classics from the University of Cincinnati. She resigned to become Director of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. She was appointed the Deputy Provost for the Arts at Yale University in 2003.
  • Carmen Twillie Ambar (2002–2008): A graduate of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Carmen Twillie Ambar earned a law degree from Columbia School of Law and a master’s in public affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. In 2008, Ambar resigned to become president of Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA.
  • Jacquelyn Litt (2010–present): A graduate of William Smith College with an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from University of Pennsylvania.


  1. ^ New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs
  2. ^ Harwarth, Irene. "Women's Colleges in the United States: History, Issues, and Challenges". Retrieved 2006-10-14. 
  3. ^ "Students Rally to Save Douglass" The Home News & Tribune September 2, 2005. [1]
  4. ^ Alaya, Ann M. "DOUGLASS ENTERS A NEW ERA", The Star-Ledger, July 11, 2007. "Starting this fall, Douglass will no longer award academic degrees but will continue to offer single-sex dormitories and women-only classes -- as part of a four-year, women-centered experience."
  5. ^ Douglass Residential College. Accessed July 15, 2007.
  6. ^ Board Approves Reorganization at Rutgers
  7. ^ "Her Work Opened The Doors." The Star-Ledger. 22 February 2008.
  8. ^ Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni
  9. ^ " Appoints Sharon A. Fordham CEO." <>.
  10. ^ "Our Story"
  11. ^ "Betty Cavanna Papers". de Grummond Children's Literature Collection. The University of Southern Mississippi. May 1994. Retrieved 2013-06-22.  With biographical sketch.
  12. ^ "Calvert Management." The Calvert Group, Ltd
  13. ^ "Janet Norwood: A Pioneer and an Inspiration." American Statistical Association.
  14. ^ "Carole St. Mark Profile." Forbes.Com

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°29′02″N 74°26′06″W / 40.484°N 74.435°W / 40.484; -74.435