Ramapo College

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Ramapo College of New Jersey
Ramapo College logo.jpg
Type Public, Liberal Arts
Established 1969
Endowment $16.1 million[1]
President Peter Mercer
Students 6,008[2]
Location Mahwah, New Jersey, USA
Campus Suburban
Colors Maroon & White
Mascot Roadrunner
Website www.ramapo.edu

Ramapo College of New Jersey, abbreviated RCNJ, is a public liberal arts and professional studies institution of the New Jersey system of higher education, located in Mahwah, New Jersey, United States, near the Ramapo Mountains.


Its 300-acre (1.2 km2) campus is located at 505 Ramapo Valley Road, Mahwah, New Jersey (Bergen County), one mile (1.6 km) from the intersection of Route 17, U.S. 202 and Interstate 287.


In the late 19th century, the Ramapo Valley was developed for large estates by many wealthy families. The Theodore Havemeyer family arrived in the 1870s. Havemeyer, a founder of the American Sugar Company, purchased and renovated a home on Route 202 across from what is now the college and developed his one thousand plus acres into a farm. In 1889 he had a mansion built on the property for one of his daughters. The mansion and about 700 acres were later purchased by Stephen Birch, president of the Kennecott Copper Company.[3]:22

In 1968, the Department of Higher Education authorized establishing a new state college in Bergen County, due to its increasing population and suburbanization. The criteria for the new college's location were sufficient land for the construction of current needs and future expansion, and close to at least one major highway. The location of existing public and private institutions in the state were also taken into consideration.[3]:15 The college was planned to serve economically deprived students from urban and rural areas, as well as the full range of middle-class families.

George Potter was appointed the first President of the college before a location had been determined.[3]:11 After many board meetings, it was decided that Mahwah would be the location for the new college. Although the land was further north than originally intended for the campus, its proximity to routes 17 and 287 made the Birch Estate an attractive site and few state colleges have such mountains in the background.[3]:19 The Birch property was finally purchased in "November 1972 for $3,133,000 or a little over $10,000 an acre (with $215,000 of total going toward the mansion and other site improvements). Thus, the total cost of the land acquisition was nearly $4,000,000 out of the $15,000,000 allocated for building Ramapo College."[3]:22

A small 18th-century Dutch colonial home of a pioneer settler on the property was adapted as the president's house. The campus extended on either side of Route 202. Today the former Birch Mansion is used as the administration building of the college.[3]

The administration building at Ramapo College, built in 1889, was formerly Birch Mansion


Ramapo College arch

Ramapo College was established in 1968 as a state-supported, co-educational, four-year College for liberal arts, sciences, and professional studies. Ramapo received accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in 1975. Individual programs also received accreditation. The Social Work Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the Chemistry Program is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Nursing Program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and the New Jersey Board of Nursing, the Teacher Certification program is approved by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and the State of New Jersey, and the Anisfield School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Ramapo College is a founding member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, a national alliance of leading public liberal arts colleges.


In fall 2009, an estimated 6,000 students attended Ramapo College, including 250 graduate students and 158 undergraduate international students.[needs update]


US News and World Report ranks Ramapo 26th among "Regional Universities in the North."[4]

Ramapo College also received accolades from The Princeton Review: "Ramapo College was selected by The Princeton Review based on data collected from several hundred schools in each region, visits to schools, student surveys and the opinions of independent and high school-based college advisors. Regional best colleges represent a range of institutions that vary by size, selectivity, character and locale. The 629 colleges named in 2012 Best Colleges Region by Region represent about 25 percent of the nation's 2,500 four-year colleges. The Princeton Review asks students to rate their own schools on several issues—from the accessibility of their professors to quality of campus food—and answer questions about themselves, their fellow students and campus life."[5]


Ramapo has 213 full-time faculty members, of which 95 percent have doctorate or terminal degrees. This faculty is supplemented by adjunct specialists and other visiting scholars.[citation needed]

Degrees offered[edit]

Organized into five interdisciplinary schools offering more than 30 programs, the Public College's offerings are complemented by lectures, performances, and off-campus experiences. Ramapo College offers bachelor's degrees in the arts, business, the humanities, the social sciences, and the sciences, as well as in professional studies programs such as nursing and social work. Seven programs are offered leading to a master's degree: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS), Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, Master of Science in Educational Technology, Master of Science in Special Education, Master's of Science in Nursing Education and a Master of Arts in Sustainability Studies. The college also offers a physician assistant (B.S./M.S.) and physical therapy (B.S./D.P.T.) with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; a B.S./graduate degree program in chemistry with Rutgers University; a B.S./Doctor of Chiropractic with New York Chiropractic College; a B.S./D.D.S. and a B.S./D.M.D. with the New York University College of Dentistry and UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School; a B.S./Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) with SUNY State College of Optometry; and a B.S./Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) through UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine (SOM).

The five interdisciplinary schools include the Anisfield School of Business, the School of Contemporary Arts, the Salameno School of American and International Studies, the School of Social Science and Human Services and the School of Theoretical and Applied Science.


The campus includes modern academic buildings with computer centers, a student life building with an FM radio station, student offices, cafeteria, entertainment and meeting rooms; a library with electronic research facilities; an administration building; athletic playing fields and 12 lighted tennis courts.

The Angelica and Russ Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts houses performance theaters, art galleries and specialized spaces devoted to fine arts, computer art, photography, theater, dance and music. The Berrie Center includes a number of art galleries that are aligned with the School of Contemporary Arts and display a wide variety of art including faculty artwork and international collections. The visual arts faculty uses the exhibitions as an educational tool to illustrate the creative process to students. The art galleries include the Kresge Gallery, Pascal Gallery, Selden Rodman Gallery, Potter Library Gallery, and the Photo Lounge Gallery. The Potter Library Galleries showcase regional artists and student work.

A campus-wide building program during recent years has resulted in the completion of the Anisfield School of Business, designed by local firm SNS Architects & Engineers, PC [1], which opened in Fall 2007 and the Bill Bradley Sports and Recreation center with its 2,200-seat arena, fitness center, climbing wall, dance/aerobics studio, gymnasium and indoor swimming pool. The center has also been used for live music.[6] A new synthetic outdoor running track was laid down in the summer of 2008, and further refurbishments to the main athletic stadium are ongoing. Five residence halls, Mackin Hall, Bischoff Hall, Overlook Hall, Laurel Hall, as well as the Village, an apartment-style complex, were also completed. Restoration of the College Park Apartments, built during the late 1970s is also underway, reaching Phase II of the project. As per the other residence hall they are relatively modern, with Pine Hall being completed in 1986 and the luxurious Linden Hall being completed in 1990. Linden Hall has commonly been compared to Seton Hall's best housing assignments available; ergo it is truly a wonderful living area. A groundbreaking ceremony took place for the Sustainability Education Center. The Salameno Spiritual Center is now open.

Dr. Peter Philip Mercer became the College's fourth president on July 1, 2005. The College is governed by a Board of Trustees who are appointed by the Governor of the State. A. J. Sabath '93 is the chairman of the board.[7]

The school has an independent FM radio station, WRPR 90.3 FM, a free-form station featuring numerous genres and talk shows.

The Roukema Center for International Education is located in the Anisfield School of Business. Here, advisement is given for those students who want to study abroad. There are more than 50 countries in Ramapo's study abroad program.

Residence life[edit]

Ramapo College offers a wide variety of on-campus housing options ranging from suite style living to apartment style Housing. This includes Pine and Linden Hall for first-year students along with Laurel Hall, and The Overlook to complement Dorm-style living. Bischoff Hall currently houses all transfer students, while Mackin Hall houses Honor Freshmen and the First Year Student Living Learning Community. Pine Hall and Linden Hall offer housing for Freshmen only. College Park Apartments along with the Village offer students apartment style housing, with each student receiving their own private room to live in a four-person suite.


Ramapo College currently has 8 men's teams and 12 women's teams, and participates in NCAA Division III sports. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country running, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Women's athletic teams at Ramapo College consist of basketball, cheerleading, cross country running, dance, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

The men's college baseball team won a Division III World Series title in 2013.[clarification needed]

Student supporters of Ramapo College's athletic teams are known as the Ramapo Rowdies.


Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2015. "Ramapo College Foundation Audited Financial Statements As of and for the years ended June 30, 2015 and 2014" (PDF). Ramapo College. p. 14. Retrieved September 2, 2016. 
  2. ^ "About Ramapo". 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Henry Bischoff, A History of Ramapo College of New Jersey: The First Quarter Century – 1971–1996 (Mahwah: Ramapo College of New Jersey,1997).
  4. ^ US News And World Report. As of August 2016.
  5. ^ "Ramapo College Again Featured in the Princeton Review's "Best in the Northeast"". 
  6. ^ Ambrose, Anthony. "inTuneMusic Online: Brand New @ Mahwah 4/3". Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  7. ^ About Ramapo, Ramapo College. Accessed December 17, 2007.
  8. ^ "Toronto Argonauts - Argos". Retrieved 30 September 2016. 
  9. ^ "Alumni". Ramapo College Literature Department. Retrieved 21 July 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°04′58″N 74°10′41″W / 41.08278°N 74.17806°W / 41.08278; -74.17806