Rowan University

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Rowan University
Rowan University seal.svg
Former names
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)[1]
MottoEruditio spes mundi
Motto in English
Education, hope of the world
TypePublic[2] Research university[3]
Endowment$207.2 million (2018)[4]
Budget$519 million
PresidentAli A. Houshmand
ProvostAnthony Lowman
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Location, ,
United States
CampusSuburban, about 200 acres (0.81 km2)
Radio Station89.7 WGLS
ColorsRowan Brown and Gold[6]
Athletics18 NCAA Division III-NJAC sports teams[5]
37 intramural sports[5]
MascotProf (Owl), "Whoo RU"[7]
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata
Rowan University logo.svg

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. The university was founded in 1923 as Glassboro Normal School on a 25-acre (10 ha) site donated by 107 local residents.[8]

As of 2018, the university includes 12 colleges and schools plus the Division of Global Learning & Partnerships which manages the graduate program, online learning and other creative educational programming. The university has a total enrollment (undergraduate, graduate and professional studies) of roughly 18,560 students. Rowan offers 74 bachelor's, 51 master's degrees, four doctoral degrees, two professional degrees, seven undergraduate certificates, and 38 post-baccalaureate certificates.


In the early part of the 20th century, there was a shortage of properly 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 for the purpose of building the Normal school. The 1917 purchase price of the land 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.[9]

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 and 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 buildings and academic programs over the next 15 years and became Glassboro State College in 1958.[citation needed]

Hollybush Summit[edit]

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.[citation needed]

Then-college president Dr. Thomas E. Robinson was given just 16 hours' notice of the decision to hold the summit at GSC[10] and, despite the lack of advance notice, converted his on-campus home into a secure location for the leaders of the world's superpowers.[citation needed]

Hollybush Mansion, site of the Glassboro Summit Conference

After the summit[edit]

The campus was relatively quiet during the following decade though it included hard rock band Black Sabbath's first U.S. concert on October 30, 1970.[11] Peaceful student protests occurred during the Vietnam war as they did at other campuses, but never required the college to close the campus.[12]

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 lead to Glassboro State College's ranking as the #28 Party School in the nation in the January 1987 issue of Playboy magazine.[13] 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.[14]

Though the alcohol-fueled Spring Weekend was cancelled 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 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 and 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, but they cannot legally buy and consume a 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.[citation needed]

University status[edit]

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 and it allowed 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 Masters level programs in Education and Business.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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 .[15] 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 with Rowan promising to follow up with its own penalties.[16]

West Campus[edit]

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. The stadium was planned to be complete for the start of the 2009 MLS season. Unfortunately, 2006 budget problems in New Jersey resulted in cutbacks, including funding for infrastructure upgrades required to handle increased traffic that would have come with an MLS team. The plan fell through and the stadium project was relocated to nearby Chester, Pennsylvania.[17]

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.[18] Transportation between the two campuses will be provided with both shuttle service and improved bike paths, as well as improvements to Route 322 itself.[19]

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.[20]

South Jersey Technology Park[edit]

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 along 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.[21] 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 price, 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.[22] The first building, the Samuel H. Jones Innovation Center, has been leased completely out and the revenue will help build a second building.[23]

The Tech Park's first incubated business, SocialReach, has successfully graduated into their own offices in Philadelphia.[24]

The second planned building will be approximately 66,000 square feet (6,100 m2) divided between research and technology labs and offices.[19]

Campus crimes[edit]

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.[25]

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.[26] A reward of $100,000 has been offered for information leading to the capture, arrest and conviction of the assailants.[27] 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.[28]

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.[29]

Cooper Medical School[edit]

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 University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) was not in a financial position to fund creation of the school, for which Rowan issued $100 million in bonds.[citation needed]

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,[30] Cooper Medical School of Rowan University was the only medical school in the state not affiliated with UMDNJ prior to their closing,[31] and was the first new medical school in New Jersey in at least 30 years.[30]

The Cooper Medical School of Rowan University was granted preliminary accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education on 10 June 2011.[32]

Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act[edit]

In January 2012, a state advisory committee proposed a plan [33] to merge Rowan with the Camden campus of Rutgers University (which would have been separated from Rutgers) under Rowan's name.[34] The plan was opposed by the Rutgers governing boards, faculty, students, and alumni, and by others in the state.[35][36][37] 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.[38] This legislation, the "New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act" (A3102 & S2063), enacted several important changes to Rowan:


Business Hall -- home of the Rohrer College of Business

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 professor of organ instruction at Rowan University in 2013.[40]


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 fall of 2016 the average accepted GPA was 3.46.[41]


University rankings
Forbes[42] 361
Times/WSJ[43] 334
U.S. News & World Report[44] 166
Washington Monthly[45] 166

Social Mobility Index rankings[edit]

Rowan was ranked the #2 school in the United States by the Social Mobility Index college rankings.[46]

U.S. News rankings[edit]

[47] Best Colleges Rankings (2020):

  • National Universities: 166 (tie);
  • Top Public Schools (National): 78 (tie);
  • Undergraduate Engineering Programs (where a doctorate degree is not offered): 21 (tie).
  • Undergraduate Electrical Engineering (where a doctorate degree 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.


The field of Rowan University's Coach Richard Wackar Stadium.

Rowan University has 16 sports teams (7 men's and 9 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 bowling, ice hockey, golf, men's rugby, ultimate frisbee, men's lacrosse, roller hockey, tennis, men's volleyball, dance, and wrestling.[citation needed]

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 and 2005. The Profs compete in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.[citation needed]

Student life[edit]

Student Center[edit]

Looking down at the Student Center's Marketplace Cafeteria before renovation in 2018

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, where students and staff can get their RowanCard ID.[48]


There are three main 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.[49] 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 completely by students.[50] 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[51] radio station, Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM, which began in 1964 on a $6,000 budget.[52] 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.[53]


Oak Hall

Rowan provides housing for over 3,600 students in 12 housing complexes scattered around campus. 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 period. After this, students must enter into a housing lottery.[54]

With the university's continued growth, housing at Rowan's main Glassboro campus has reached capacity. To counter this, the university offers incentives for freshman 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.[55] In addition to the tripling program, the university has moved to aggressively construct new housing.

Students who live on-campus are represented by the student-ran Residence Hall Association.[56] 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[edit]

North Halls[edit]

These buildings, located on the northeastern corner of the campus, feature shared "suite" type living arrangements sharing a common lounge and bathroom. Each building contains three floors and are considered freshmen-only. Chestnut Hall houses 390 students, while Magnolia Hall and Willow Hall house 210 students each.[citation needed]

Mimosa Hall is a four-story building with an adjoining 24/7 computer lab located between the North Halls and the Student Center. It houses 340 freshmen in suites made up of two to three rooms that share a common bathroom.[citation needed]

Holly Pointe Commons
Holly Pointe Commons[edit]

Holly Pointe Commons is a 1,400 bed housing complex including 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.[57] 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 theatre 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.[58]

South Halls[edit]

Evergreen Hall and Mullica Hall are adjacent to each other and house 240 students and 135 students respectively. Both buildings are 3 stories tall and use suites containing two rooms joined by a bathroom. Oak & Laurel Hall each house up to 65 students on three floors. They were the first residence halls on campus, and were used for classrooms for some time until they were renovated in 1999 and returned to living spaces. The suites share one or two bathrooms depending on configuration.[59] All four buildings are colloquially known as M.O.L.E., their mascot being the avocado.[citation needed]

Upperclassman housing[edit]

Edgewood Park Apartments[edit]

Edgewood Park Apartments is a complex of four identical buildings, each with three floors and 24 quad-occupancy apartments, housing 480 students.[citation needed]

Triad Apartments[edit]

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.[citation needed]

The Townhouse Apartments
The Townhouses[edit]

The Townhouse Complex was built in 2005 and has 113 apartment style living units that accommodate 464 students in single occupancy rooms.[60] 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.

The Rowan Boulevard Apartments
Rowan Blvd Apartments[edit]

Rowan Boulevard Apartments opened in September 2009 and is made up of 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 were completed for the 2009–2010 school year and the final building was completed the following year.[19]

Whitney Center[edit]

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 housing reserved for the Bantivoglio honors college.[citation needed]

220 Rowan Boulevard[edit]
220 Rowan Blvd at night

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 Ave, from Whitney Ave to Rowan Blvd. It then turns and runs along the midsection of Rowan Boulevard to Redmond Ave. The mixed use building is owned by the developer Nexus Properties. 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 Blvd. 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.[61]

Student organizations[edit]

The façade of Bunce Hall shows both the old and the new names of the school

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.[63]

Hollybush Mansion[edit]

Hollybush was originally the home of the Whitney family, and it was the first of its kind in South Jersey. It set a certain precedent with its Italianate architectural style, and its interior decorations attest to this precedent. Two of these significantly unique features of the house are the trompe de l'oeil ceilings in the parlor as well as the Summit Room, and the painted glass archway above and around the front door. The stone that was used in construction of Hollybush was New Jersey Ironstone, a sedimentary type stone that is found in the low hills and ridges of South Jersey.[citation needed]


The university is served by New Jersey Transit bus routes 313[64] and 412.[65] 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.[66]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°42′39.30″N 75°07′06.38″W / 39.7109167°N 75.1184389°W / 39.7109167; -75.1184389