|Glassboro Normal School (1923–1937)|
New Jersey State Teachers College at Glassboro (1937–1958)
Glassboro State College (1958–1992)
Rowan College of New Jersey (1992–1997)
|Motto||Eruditio spes mundi|
Motto in English
|Education, hope of the world|
|Type||Public research university|
|Established||September 24, 1923|
|Sea-grant · Space-grant|
|Endowment||$240.0 million (2020)|
|President||Ali A. Houshmand|
|Campus||Suburban, 800 acres (3.2 km2)|
|Colors||Rowan Brown & Gold|
|Athletics||NCAA Division III - NJAC|
|Nickname||The Professional Owls ("Profs")|
|Mascot||Whoo RU the Prof|
Rowan University is a public research university in Glassboro, New Jersey, with a medical campus in Stratford, New Jersey, and medical and academic campuses in Camden, New Jersey. It was founded in 1923 as Glassboro Normal School on a 25-acre (10 ha) site donated by 107 residents.
The university includes 14 colleges and schools with a total enrollment (undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies) of just over 19,600 students. Rowan offers 85 bachelor's, 46 master's degrees, six doctoral degrees, and two professional degrees. It is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity".
In the early part of the 20th century, there was a shortage of adequately trained teachers in the state of New Jersey. It was decided to build a two-year Normal school in the southern part of the state to counter the trend. Among the candidate towns, Glassboro became the location due in no small part to its easy access to passenger rail as well as its offer to donate 25 acres (100,000 square metres) of land to the state to build the Normal school. The 1917 purchase price of the property was raised by the residents of the town ($7,000 at the time) and used to purchase a tract that belonged to the Whitney family, who owned the local glassworks during the 19th century.
In 1923 the Glassboro Normal School opened, with a class of 236 female students arriving at the train station in front of Bunce Hall. With the evolution of teacher training the school became a four-year program in 1934; in 1937 the school was renamed The New Jersey State Teachers College at Glassboro and became co-educational shortly thereafter.
The college was one of the first in the country to begin programs for teachers for reading disabilities and physical therapy in 1935 and 1944, respectively. Glassboro State began to develop a reputation as a leader in special education. After several years and the return of soldiers from World War II, the college was able to expand its enrollment from a wartime low of 170 in 1943 to an expansion of several additional campus and academic programs over the next 15 years and became Glassboro State College in 1958.
The Cold War Glassboro Summit Conference between U.S. President Lyndon Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin took place from June 23–25, 1967, in Hollybush Mansion on the campus of then-Glassboro State College. The college was chosen because of its location equidistant between New York City, where Kosygin was making a speech at the U.N., and Washington, D.C.
Then-college president Dr. Thomas E. Robinson was given just 16 hours' notice of the decision to hold the summit at GSC and, despite the lack of advance notice, converted his on-campus home into a secure location for the leaders of the world's superpowers.
After the summit
The campus was relatively quiet during the following decade. However, it included hard rock band Black Sabbath's first U.S. concert on October 30, 1970. Peaceful student protests occurred during the Vietnam war as they did at other campuses, but never required the college to close the campus.
The college made national news following an annual event, Spring Weekend, in 1986, due to a loud party atmosphere primarily off campus around the Beau Rivage townhouses and The Crossings apartment complex in which police from several municipalities were called in to break up the parties. The event led to Glassboro State College's ranking as the #28 Party School in the nation in the January 1987 issue of Playboy magazine. Coincidentally, in the Greek section of that same issue of Playboy, the Epsilon Eta chapter of Zeta Beta Tau was also named one of the Animal House Contenders.
Though the alcohol-fueled Spring Weekend was canceled by then-President Herman James (a non-alcoholic version continued for several years), Glassboro State College remained known for its hard-partying culture. However, in 1988, there began one of the biggest crackdowns in school history. As a result of the drinking death of freshman James Callahan at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, Herman James decided to make GSC an example for the rest of the state colleges and universities to follow. He invited the New Jersey Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission (ABC) to the school. He began shutting down off-campus parties and placing undercover agents in the local liquor establishments. This prompted Morton Downey Jr., who was based in Secaucus, New Jersey, and very popular at the time, to do an untelevised show focusing on the drinking age and the classic argument that an eighteen-year-old can go off to war and die for their country although they cannot legally buy and consume beer. The following year, the ABC did not return, and the partying atmosphere that Glassboro State College was known for returned in earnest and continued into the 1990s and early 2000s.
In 1992, president Dr. Herman James oversaw the development of Glassboro State College into what would eventually become Rowan University. This transformation came about because of what was then the largest single gift to a public college or University in history. Industrialist Henry M. Rowan, Jr., a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology class of 1947, and his wife donated $100 million to the college, which later changed its name to Rowan College of New Jersey in his honor. The gift stipulated that the college open a College of Engineering, allowing the college to expand its course and curriculum offerings to the point that it became a full-fledged university, achieving that status in 1997. This status was given by the State of New Jersey based on Rowan University's doctoral degree program, the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, and the numerous master's-level programs in education and business.
Following Dr. James' retirement as president in 1998, Dr. Donald Farish was chosen to succeed him and began further expansion on the Glassboro campus, opening a modern Science Hall in 2003 and a building to house the College of Education in 2005. In addition, acquisitions during the beginning of Farish's tenure as president led to the development of a tract of land bordering US Route 322 and State Route 55 as the West Campus.
The presidency of Donald J. Farish was noted for a continued crackdown on the university's partying culture, which declined alongside a rise in SAT scores and class rank among the incoming freshman classes. The crackdown on the partying culture began in earnest in 2002 with the official banning of kegs for use by Greek letter organizations. In 2006, two Rowan University students were found guilty for serving alcohol to minors at an off-campus party that resulted in the death of a 16-year-old male. Rowan promised to follow up with its own penalties.
On March 20, 2006, President Farish announced a joint venture between the university and Major League Soccer (MLS) to construct a new athletic complex based around a 20,000-seat soccer-specific stadium on property owned by the campus at the intersection of U.S. Route 322 and Route 55. Although the stadium was planned to be complete for the start of the 2009 MLS season, New Jersey's 2006 budget problems resulted in cutbacks in funding for the infrastructure upgrades required by increased traffic related to an MLS team. When plan fell through, the stadium project was relocated to nearby Chester, Pennsylvania.
The northern portion of the West Campus expansion currently contains the South Jersey Technology Park as well as room for future expansion; the southern portion of the West Campus expansion will accommodate both academic and athletic facilities. The university in 2015 opened a 17.5-acre site across from the South Jersey Technology Park at Rowan University with practice fields for football, soccer, field hockey and lacrosse. Transportation between the two campuses will be provided with both shuttle service and improved bike paths, as well as improvements to Route 322 itself.
On a vast site adjacent to the West Campus ball fields, Inspira has begun work on an estimated $350-million medical center complex. The health care company broke ground May 24, 2017 on a 204-bed, 467,000-square-foot facility that is expected to open in September 2019.
South Jersey Technology Park
Rowan University broke ground for the South Jersey Technology Park (SJTP) on April 10, 2006. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) gave Rowan University $5.8 million to combine with $1.5 million from the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology, $1 million from Samuel H. Jones, and $1 million from Rowan itself. SJTP is planned to be a 188 acres (76 ha) site which will serve as an establishment for science and technology companies as well as academics. It is planned to have 25 buildings to provide competitively priced Class "A" facilities for budding entrepreneurs, start-up and established companies. SJTP was incorporated as a non-profit corporation with its own board of directors. The first building, the Samuel H. Jones Innovation Center, has been leased completely out, and the revenue will help build a second building.
The second planned building will be approximately 66,000 square feet (6,100 m2) divided between research and technology labs and offices.
On August 12, 1996 22-year-old Cindy Nannay was fatally shot outside Bozorth Hall by her estranged boyfriend, who then killed himself. Nannay was so afraid of Scott Lonabaugh, 27, that when he arrived on the campus to see her, she asked friends to accompany her to the parking lot, the Gloucester County Prosecutor's office said. As her friends looked on, Mr. Lonabaugh shot Ms. Nannay twice with a shotgun and then shot himself in the head, prosecutors said. Both died at the scene.
Eleven years later, in 2007, another student was murdered on campus. Sophomore Donald Farrell, 19, was robbed and beaten to death by unknown assailants while walking behind the Triad dormitory. A reward of $100,000 has been offered for information leading to the capture, arrest and conviction of the assailants. In an effort to find Farrell's assailants, television stations in Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York City aired reports on the murder, and America's Most Wanted twice featured segments on the incident.
Following Farrell's murder a new campus security initiative was undertaken, starting with a 14-point plan proposed by President Farish. The plan included hiring additional security staff, adding more fully trained police officers, starting a student patrol program, an expansion of the Safe Walk and Ride program, improving lighting in and around campus, installation of CCTV cameras, and changing security and police coverage from an 8-hour to a 12-hour shift.
Cooper Medical School
It was announced on June 26, 2009, that Rowan would be partnering with Cooper University Hospital to create a new four-year medical school to reside on Broadway in Camden. Rowan was chosen by governor Jon Corzine to house the new medical school primarily because the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) was not in a financial position to fund the creation of the school, for which Rowan issued $100 million in bonds.
The new school would require no new funding as $28 million would be diverted from UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, which will no longer be associated with Cooper University Hospital after the opening of Cooper Medical School. Opening in 2012 with an entering class of 50, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University was the only medical school in the state not affiliated with UMDNJ before their closing. It was the first new medical school in New Jersey in at least 30 years.
The Cooper Medical School of Rowan University was granted preliminary accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education on June 10, 2011.
Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act
In January 2012, a state advisory committee proposed a plan  to merge Rowan with the Camden campus of Rutgers University (which would have been separated from Rutgers) under Rowan's name. The project was opposed by the Rutgers governing boards, faculty, students, and alumni, and by others in the state. Legislation passed in June 2012 rejected the idea of a merger, though it did include provisions for a loose collaboration between Rowan and Rutgers-Camden limited to research and teaching in the health sciences. This legislation, the "New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act" (A3102 & S2063), enacted several essential changes to Rowan:
- Rowan University was granted Research University status and was granted increased state funding.
- Rowan University acquired the University of Medicine and Dentistry's (UMDNJ) Stratford-based School of Osteopathic Medicine. Rowan joined Michigan State University as the only institutions in the country to operate both a DO and an MD medical school. The acquisition also included the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS).
- A joint Rowan/Rutgers-Camden governing board was created to oversee the development and operation of collaborative programs in the health sciences.
Student deaths and mental health support
The university faced criticism for not providing more mental health resources and support for students after four students committed suicide between 2019 and 2021. Following the student deaths in 2019, the university expanded its resources better accommodate students' mental health, including bringing the number of counselors employed to 17 and partnering with TogetherAll, a 24/7 mental health support network. Additionally, the university received a $3 million grant in 2019 to start The Shreiber Family Pet Therapy Program after their success with bringing in local therapy dogs to help students with anxiety and stress.
The university is currently divided into thirteen units: College of Communication & Creative Arts, College of Education, Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering, College of Health Sciences, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, College of Performing Arts, Rohrer College of Business, College of Science & Mathematics, Global Learning & Partnerships, School of Biomedical Science & Health Professions, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Osteopathic Medicine, and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. Notable virtuoso concert organist Gordon Turk became a professor of organ instruction at Rowan University in 2013.
Enrollment at Rowan from the fall semester of 2017 shows 15,401 undergraduates and 2,045 graduate students from 38 states and 34 countries. The overall admission rate is 53.0%. Undergraduates submitting statistics for a data set in 2017 had scores of 530 at the 25th percentile and 630 at the 75th percentile in SAT critical reading and 510 at the 25th percentile and 620 at the 75th percentile for SAT Math. As of the fall of 2016, the average accepted GPA was 3.46.
|U.S. News & World Report||187|
|U.S. News & World Report||1420|
|National Program Rankings|
|Medicine: Primary Care||93-123 (DO & MD)|
|Medicine: Research||93-123 (DO & MD)|
Social Mobility Index rankings
Rowan was ranked the #2 school in the United States by the Social Mobility Index college rankings.
U.S. News rankings
 Best Colleges Rankings (2020):
- National Universities: 166 (tie);
- Top Public Schools (National): 78 (tie);
- Undergraduate Engineering Programs (where a doctorate is not offered): 21 (tie).
- Undergraduate Electrical Engineering (where a doctorate is not offered): 15 (tie)
Best Grad School Rankings (2019):
- Medical: Primary Care 91–120;
- Education: 195–258;
- Nursing (Masters): 176 (tie).
Top Online Programs Rankings (2019):
- Graduate Engineering Programs 72–94;
- MBA Programs 131 (tie);
- Graduate Education Programs 186 (tie);
- Bachelor's Programs 264–348.
Rowan University has 18 sports teams (8 men's and 10 women's). The football, field hockey, women's lacrosse, and track & field teams play at Coach Richard Wackar Stadium at John Page Field, the basketball, volleyball, and swimming & diving teams play in Esbjornson Gymnasium (attached to the REC Center), and all other teams play on their own fields around campus. Rowan's teams are styled as the Profs (short for Professors, a nod to the school's history as a teaching college), and the current mascot is named "Whoo RU." Rowan also has club teams for archery, ballroom dance, baseball, men's and women's basketball, cheerleading, crew (rowing), cycling, dance, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, fishing, golf, men's and women's ice hockey, karate, men's and women's lacrosse, mixed martial arts (MMA), outdoors, paintball, powerlifting, Quidditch, racquetball, rock climbing, roller hockey, men's and women's rugby, skateboarding, ski and snowboarding, men's and women's soccer, softball, street hockey, swimming, table tennis, tennis, ultimate Frisbee, men's and women's volleyball, and wrestling.
A member of the NCAA in Division III, the sports teams at Rowan University have been moderately successful on a national level. The Profs football team is regularly a contender for the national title, having gone to the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl five times (1999, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1993) and the national semifinals in 1992, 1997, 2001, 2004 and 2005. The women's field hockey team won the national championship in 2002 and had a perfect season of 21 wins and no losses. The men's basketball team has made the Division III National Championship Tournament 12 times, winning the national title in 1996. The men's soccer team has made the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament 24 times, resulting in seven trips to the national semifinals. Rowan men's soccer has won national titles in both 1981 and 1990, finished second in 1979 and 2000, and third in 1980, 1985 and 1998. Rowan hosted the Division III National Championship Tournament Final Four for men's soccer in 2000 and Women's Lacrosse in 2002. The baseball team has won the Division III National Championship in 1978 and 1979 while making appearances in the NCAA Division III World Series in 2004, 2005, and 2021. The Profs compete in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
The Chamberlain Student Center is the main location for dining on campus. Dining options include the Owl's Nest restaurant, Peet's Coffee, Grill Nation, Jersey Mike's, Freshens, Sono, Crust, Chef Jet, Smoked, Breakfast & Co., Bowl Life, Pop Up, and the RoGo convenience store. The Student Center also features a Game Room where students can play pool and arcade games such as skee-ball, ping pong, and air hockey. It is also home to the Student Government Association, Conference and Event Services, the Greek Affairs Office, Student Activities, the Mailroom, and the Information Desk. Students and staff also get their RowanCard ID here.
There are three primary publications on Rowan's campus, The Whit, Venue, and Avant. The Whit is in the classic newspaper format and is published weekly except during exams. Venue is a more "alternative" publication that is uncensored and focuses on campus opinions and humor. Initially formed in 1968, Venue was a very political publication that only later changed its format. Venue prints out four issues a year in full color and is run entirely by students. Avant is a student-led literary magazine that compiles students' poems, short stories, photos, and artwork. Avant publishes fall and spring issues each year.
In addition to print publications, Rowan also has an award-winning radio station, Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM, which began in 1964 on a $6,000 budget. Additionally, the Rowan Television Network (RTN) is a student-run closed-circuit television station that provides 24-hour content to the students of Rowan University. RTN currently consists of 11 student-produced television shows, various sports related programming, and coverage of topical events occurring on campus.
Rowan provides housing for over 6,500 students in 13 University owned housing complexes and 5 affiliated housing units. Students have a choice between halls, apartments, or townhouses. Full-time, non-commuter students are required to live in on-campus until the completion of their sophomore year, and are thus guaranteed on-campus housing during this time. After this, students must enter into a housing lottery.
With the university's continued growth, housing at Rowan's main Glassboro campus has reached capacity. To counter this, the university offers incentives for first-year students who volunteer to live in tripled units (three students in a standard two person dorm room). Incentives include $1000 off housing/academic year, free summer housing, and a free in-room fridge/microwave rental. As of late 2015, the tripling program has been highly successful at gaining voluntary sign-ups. In addition to the tripling program, the university has moved to construct new housing aggressively.
The student-run Residence Hall Association represents students who live on-campus. The Residence Hall Association (RHA) is an organization formed to represent the interests of resident students and work to improve the quality of life on campus. RHA is affiliated with the National Association of College and University Residence Halls, Inc. (NACURH, Inc.).
Freshman residence halls
Mimosa Hall was constructed in 1967 and is in the center of campus adjacent to the student center. This 4-story building has suite style rooms consisting of 2–3 bedrooms with a common bathroom. The hall houses 310 students, including 1 Resident Director and 11 Resident Assistants.
Chestnut Hall is a 3-story colonial-style building constructed in 1984. The building is on the North end of campus in between Holly Pointe Commons and Magnolia Hall. It features bedrooms arranged around a common bathroom and a small lounge. The common bathroom and lounges are maintained by RLUH staff and come fully furnished. The building accommodates 384 students, including 1 Resident Director and 14 Resident Assistants.
Willow Hall was constructed in 1984 and is on the north end of campus near Chestnut Hall and Magnolia Hall. It houses 203 students, including 1 Resident Director and 6 Resident Assistants. The building features bedrooms with a hallway connecting them to a common bathroom and small lounge. There are no laundry services for this building so students must bring their laundry to the Student Center.
Magnolia Hall is a colonial style hall constructed in 1984. It houses 201 students including 6 Resident Assistants. The bedrooms consist of 1–3 students and a hallway leading to a common bathroom and lounge which are maintained by RLUH staff. The hall is adjacent to Willow Hall.
Evergreen Hall is located on the south end of campus and was constructed in 1962. The hall houses 230 students split across 3 floors. The building features an interior courtyard, but is off-limits to students except with explicit permission from the resident director. The building features 2 bedrooms connected by a private bathroom. Each floor has a private study room, and the building has an air-conditioned lounge and kitchen. The building has a staff of 6 resident assistants and is on the southern end of campus, next to Mullica Hall.
Mullica Hall was built in 1963 and houses 107 students, including 3 resident assistants and 1 resident director. The building has 3 floors and a common kitchen and air-conditioned lounge. The hall features 2 bedrooms connected by a common private bathroom. The hall is next to Evergreen Hall.
Holly Pointe Commons
Holly Pointe Commons is a 1,415 bed housing complex consisting of single, double, and triple occupancy bedrooms. It also features a 550-seat dining hall opened in the Fall 2016 semester. Constructed on the former location of Mansion Park Apartments, the taller portion of the complex is seven stories and is connected to a four-story building via overhead walkways. It is the first project constructed under a public-private partnership on Rowan's campus. As the university continues to expand, numerous other potential housing sites have been evaluated by master planners. In mid-2015, the Borough of Glassboro issued Requests for Qualified Developers for the remaining developable land along Rowan Boulevard. Additionally, the Borough is seeking to redevelop the former Roxy theater location in Downtown Glassboro. Rowan University has agreed to lease space at this location for its College of Performing Arts and the Rowan Television Network.
Edgewood Park Apartments
Edgewood Park Apartments is a complex of four identical buildings, each with three floors and 24 quad-occupancy apartments, housing 480 students.
Triad Apartments was acquired by the university in 1966 and contains three wings of four floors each. The building's first floor was used as classroom space and the Office of Public Safety until a renovation in the early 2000s converted it into student housing with air conditioning. The other three floors were unrenovated. It holds 378 students.
The Townhouse Complex was built in 2005 and has 113 apartment style living units that accommodate 464 students in single occupancy rooms. The lower density complex features ample shade covering and is located farther from the main Rowan Boulevard/Glassboro business district. However, some students choose to live here because it is closer to most academic buildings and quieter than other locations. There is a three-story parking garage to accommodate Townhouse residents.
Rowan Boulevard Apartments
Rowan Boulevard Apartments opened in September 2009 and contains four buildings housing 884 students located along the south side of Route 322 and Main Street. The apartments have both single-bedroom and four-bedroom/two bathroom configurations. Three buildings housing 568 students finished for the 2009–2010 school year and the final building was completed the following year.
The Whitney Center is a five-story mixed use building located on Rowan Boulevard. The ground floor contains retail space including businesses such as Pizza Hut, and 7-Eleven. The top four floors contain student apartment-style housing. The building also houses a portion of the Rowan Honors College Living Learning Community.
Starting in the fall of 2017, Rowan University offered apartment-style housing options in a public-private partnership with Nexus Properties. The locations include 223 West High Street, 230 Victoria Street, 57 North Main Street, 114 Victoria Street. These apartments all feature similar layouts and consist of 2, 4, 6, and 8 person configurations.
220 Rowan Boulevard
This 6-level 316,500 sq ft (29,400 m2) upscale building opened in August 2015. Formally named 220 On the Boulevard, it runs along Victoria Avenue, from Whitney Avenue to Rowan Boulevard. It then turns and runs along the midsection of Rowan Boulevard to Redmond Avenue. The developer Nexus Properties own the mixed use building. It features 456 beds of student housing in 110 4-bedroom apartments and 10 2-bedroom apartments. Through an agreement between the building owner and Rowan University, housing is managed through the Rowan housing request system. 220 Rowan Boulevard also features 57 units of market rate housing (apartments open to the general public) on the top two floors. Finally, on the ground floor the building contains retail space and an outpatient medical facility managed through a partnership with Cooper Bone and Joint and Inspira Health Network.
There are more than 100 clubs and organizations at Rowan University; along with more than 30 Greek organizations on campus.
Other chartered clubs report to the Student Government Association including national award-winning programs such as the Rowan Television Network, the local PRSSA, the Rowan College Republicans, the Rowan Democratic Club, and The Student University Programmers (SUP). Cinema Workshop, the university's student film club, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2007.
New Jersey Transit bus routes 313 and 412 serve the university. U.S. Route 322 (Mullica Hill Road) bisects the campus. It is a planned stop on the Glassboro–Camden Line, a proposed 18-mile (28.97 km) diesel multiple unit (DMU) light rail system.
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- John Sadak, Television play-by-play announcer for the Cincinnati Reds
- Jessica Boyington, Miss New Jersey USA 2006
- Kyle Cassidy (born 1966), American photographer and videographer
- Betty Castor (born 1941), Florida politician and former president of the University of South Florida
- Adam Chazen (born c. 1985), Associate Visual Effects Producer for Game of Thrones.
- Jack Collins (born 1943), college basketball coach and former Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly
- Nick Comoroto (born 1991), professional wrestler
- Jim Cook Jr. (born 1987), journalist and playwright.
- Scott DePace, TV director, The Howard Stern Show
- Steve Dildarian (born 1969), creator of the HBO animated series The Life & Times of Tim.
- Ric Edelman, financial planner and radio host
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- Stink Fisher (born 1970), football player and actor in movies such as Invincible and The Longest Yard.
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- Dino Hall (born 1955), running back who played in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns.
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