The College of New Jersey
Seal of The College of New Jersey
|President||R. Barbara Gitenstein|
|821 (347 full time, 474 adjunct)|
|Location||Ewing, New Jersey, U.S.
|Campus||Suburban, 289 acres (1.2 km²)|
|Colors||TCNJ Blue & TCNJ Gold
|Athletics||NCAA Division III – NJAC|
|Mascot||Roscoe the Lion|
The College of New Jersey, abbreviated TCNJ, is a public, coeducational university in the Trenton suburb of Ewing Township, New Jersey, United States. TCNJ was established in 1855 by an act of the New Jersey Legislature. The institution was the first normal school in the state of New Jersey and the fifth in the United States. Originally located in Trenton proper, the college was moved to its present location in adjacent Ewing Township during the early to mid-1930s. Since its inception, TCNJ has undergone several name changes, the most recent being the 1996 change to its current name from Trenton State College.
TCNJ is a highly selective institution, with a stated mission to keep New Jersey's most talented students in-state for higher education. The college is recognized as one of the best public institutions in the United States, and is consistently ranked as the #1 public institution in New Jersey in its category; known for its programs in business, education, engineering, humanities, nursing and science. TCNJ aims to combine the best practices of private institutions with a public mission, resulting in an innovative and unique model for undergraduate education. The college encourages free inquiry and open exchange, offering a wide range of learning opportunities in its classrooms, laboratories, and studios, and throughout the campus, as well as at various off-campus locations.
The institution is organized into seven schools, all of which offer four-year bachelor's degree programs, and several of which offer targeted master's degree programs. Emphasis is placed on liberal arts education via the college's general education requirements. Much of TCNJ is built in Georgian colonial architecture style on 289 tree-lined acres.
- 1 History
- 2 Academics
- 3 Campus life
- 4 Notable alumni
- 5 Notable faculty
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The College of New Jersey was established on February 9, 1855, by an act of the New Jersey Legislature mandating the creation of a state normal school, making the New Jersey State Normal School the first teacher training institution in New Jersey and the ninth in the United States. Prior to this, then-Governor Rodman McCamley Price had actively promoted the notion of founding a training institute for New Jersey's teachers, and helped to mobilize support among influential state leaders:
I recommend the establishment of a school for the education of teachers, similar to the schools established in many of the states, which are deemed to exert a most useful and beneficial influence in the cause of education in public estimation.
For the first 73 years, the school was located in Trenton on Clinton Avenue. Beginning in 1925, the institution offered its first four-year baccalaureate degrees, and engaged on a transitional program of expansion. In 1928, a suburban tract of 210 acres (0.8 km²) was purchased in Ewing Township, New Jersey and preparations were underway to relocate the College. The first building erected on the new campus was Green Hall, built in traditional Georgian colonial style. The majority of buildings now on campus reflect Green Hall's architecture. In 1996, in a move spearheaded by Harold Eickhoff, The College of New Jersey adopted its current name.
Programs in graduate study were instituted in 1947, followed by accreditation from various national associations in the 1950s. The enactment of the Higher Education Act of 1966 paved the way for TCNJ to become a comprehensive institution by expanding its degree programs into a variety of fields aside from the education of teachers. By 1972, 70 percent of entering students were selecting non-education majors.
- Names over the years
- 1855 — New Jersey State Normal School
- 1908 — New Jersey State Normal School in Trenton
- 1929 — New Jersey State Teachers College and State Normal School at Trenton
- 1937 — New Jersey State Teachers College at Trenton
- 1958 — Trenton State College
- 1996 — The College of New Jersey
TCNJ has earned national recognition as a leading academic institution. According to U.S. News & World Report’s latest annual rankings, TCNJ found a place near the top of the list in Regional Universities category for the northern region of the country. The current edition ranked TCNJ as the #1 public institution in the Northeastern United States in the "Best Regional Universities" category. In terms of regional universities for the North, for both public and private institutions, TCNJ ranked 3rd in the current ranking. Forbes ranks TCNJ the best NJ public college. Kiplinger’s ranks TCNJ #1 Best Value Public College in New Jersey that combines outstanding education with economic value. Fiske Guide to Colleges ranks TCNJ the best public institution in New Jersey, with high academic excellence, talented student body, generous financial aid awards, beautiful campus setting, and excellent quality of life. TCNJ currently is ranked as one of the “Most Competitive” institutions in the nation by Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges. TCNJ has also earned recognition by the Princeton Review for having a world-class library, an excellent quality of life and highly selective medical program; ranking it one of the country’s best institutions for undergraduate education. According to Bloomberg Businessweek Survey of Best Undergraduate Business Schools, TCNJ School of Business is currently #1 in NJ, and #35 nationwide.
TCNJ admits a diverse class each year full of talented and ambitious students who graduate in the top of their class. Only those students who graduate on the top 10% of their high school class are usually admitted, which is the highest percentage in the Northeastern region of incoming freshmen for public institution. Since the 1990s, incoming students are required to participate in the TCNJ First Year Experience, a large component of the liberal arts curriculum at TCNJ. The college encourages students to build on their earlier education and plunge into new topics. The most successful admits are prepared to steer their own academic pursuits toward post-graduation goals of graduate school, professional training, or satisfying careers.
Prestigious graduate schools routinely welcome TCNJ alumni into their ranks. Sixty-four percent of TCNJ students who apply to medical school are accepted. Many top corporations recruit TCNJ graduates, providing avenues into excellent careers directly after graduation. Other barometers of student success include the 100% pass-rate of education majors taking the state teacher preparation test and the 85 percent three-year pass rate for nursing students going for their license. TCNJ has the highest average freshman retention rate among institutions in the northern region. The College distinguished itself by boasting one of the highest 4 year graduation rate in the nation.
Faculty at TCNJ have also put on a number of successful programs that have affected the scholarly and New Jersey communities. In 2005, English professors David Blake and Michael Robertson hosted a symposium celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. English Professor Lincoln Konkle hosted an International Thornton Wilder Conference at TCNJ in 2008.
More than 50 liberal arts and professional programs are offered through the College's seven schools: Arts and Communication; Business; Culture and Society; Education; Engineering; Nursing, Health & Exercise Science; and Science.
The College of New Jersey offers degrees in over 50 liberal arts and professional programs. TCNJ also offers a 7-year combined B.S./M.D. (Bachelor of Science/Doctor of Medicine) program for graduating high school students in conjunction with University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Admission into this program is highly selective. This program offers guaranteed admission to UMDNJ upon completion of three years of undergraduate study at TCNJ and the maintenance of a minimum GPA (currently set at 3.5).
These programs are organized into one of seven schools:
- School of Arts and Communication
- School of Business
- School of Humanities and Social Sciences
- School of Education
- School of Engineering
- School of Nursing, Health & Exercise Science
- School of Science
The College of New Jersey offers graduate programs in Education at a number of international locations. Currently students can complete a State of New Jersey Teacher Certification and earn a Master of Education degree while studying in Bangkok, Thailand, Majorca, Spain, or Johannesburg, South Africa. In addition to this, all TCNJ students are encouraged to study abroad after completing a year's worth of credits from the school. The student must also be in good academic standing. The TCNJ Center for Global Engagement works together with TCNJ faculty to offer undergraduate students a wide variety of programs, from short-term, faculty-led study abroad programs to semester- and year-long programs in dozens of countries. More than 400 students in 2012–2013 studied at universities in over twenty countries on six continents.
TCNJ also hosts Institute for ESL & American Studies, a language and culture immersion that brings international students to campus from all over the world to develop their English language skill and American culture. Students in this program earn 12 credits in the fall or spring semesters and 8 credits in the summer that can be transferred anywhere, learn in small classes of no more than 8 students, and take trips to New York City and Philadelphia. Graduate students can also take part in a non-credit seminar on teaching in American universities. Full-time TCNJ students have the chance to live with this cohort during the program, work with them as conversation partners, and help them learn to navigate campus life.
First-year students at TCNJ are either given a room assignment in Travers/Wolfe Tower, Centennial Hall, or any empty rooms in the Allen/Brewster/Ely Complex. Second-year students live in New Residence, Allen Hall, Brewster Hall, Ely Hall, Norsworthy Hall, Eickhoff Hall and Decker Hall. There are currently plans to construct another building specifically for second-year housing. Upperclassmen typically live in Townhouses South, East or West, or in one of the two newly constructed apartment complexes; Phelps Hall and Hausdoerffer Hall. Upperclassmen may also live in one of the various College Houses that surrounds the campus. While 95 percent of first-year students live on campus, only 50 percent of upperclassmen live on campus, instead choosing to live in homes and apartments surrounding the College.
In 2013 groundbreaking began for The Campus Town complex. Consisting of seven buildings —Campus Town Clock Tower, apartments and recreation space — Campus Town will be built by PRC Campus Centers LLC, on 12 acres of property located on the TCNJ campus, which has businesses clamoring for space in the 80,000 square feet of ground-level commercial space.
The Campus Town complex will have space to house 446 juniors and seniors in one-, two- and four-bedroom apartments. Each apartment will have a living room/dining area, separate bedrooms, one or two bathrooms depending upon the unit, a full kitchen with a dishwasher and a full-sized washer and dryer. The complex will have 500 parking spots.
The Campus Town complex will also have an 11,500-square-foot fitness center that will replace the college’s 4,000-square-foot gym. The apartments and the fitness center will only be open to the students, but the complex’s retail stores will be open to the public. Barnes & Noble will be an anchor tenant, with a brand-new 14,000-square-foot store, and leasing is underway with many others, including a yogurt shop, sushi restaurant, convenience store and brewpub.
In addition to having an installed customer base from the college, two front entrances give Campus Town incredible access, and the site has visibility from Route 31 (Pennington Road) with more than 15,000 cars passing by each day – a trifecta for any retailer. The main entrance is on Route 31 (Pennington Road), along with a secondary entrance leading to public retail parking. Private, student-only parking is accessed from Metzger Drive, located on campus. Route 31 will be expanded to four lanes with a new traffic light at the main entrance to Campus Town.
There are currently seven dining facilities on the TCNJ campus as well as a convenience store and bookstore (where convenience store-like food and beverages are sold). Eickhoff hall houses the convenience store and the main dining hall, where students pay a door price and have access to buffet style food. There are several different sections within this dining hall, providing students with a variety of food and beverage choices. The late night dining hall is located between the Travers and Wolfe towers (freshman housing) and looks rather like a large diner. Flatscreen TVs are mounted among the couches and tables to provide entertainment while students eat.
A café serving Starbucks coffee is located on the main level of the TCNJ library. Sandwiches, bagels, and other items are served in addition to beverages. Many students choose the café as a late-night study area. A similar café, known as the "Kineticart" is located in Armstrong Hall, the main engineering building. Breakfast foods and some lunch items are served here. It is located in the center of Armstrong Hall, and among the tables and chairs various engineering and science exhibits can be viewed.
The Brower Student Center is home to three different dining facilities. The "Fairgrounds" is located near one of the main entrances and is the smallest of the three. Because there are various couches and benches of the students center surrounding it, it does not have seating of its own. The Rathskellar or "Rat" is a restaurant and bar, where students can sit down to order meals from servers, including the famous "Kesselburger" (chili-cheese burger). Alcoholic beverages are served, and IDs are always checked. Also within the "Rat" is a stage where bands perform on various nights. Often there are special shows on the weekends, featuring different acts. On weekends there is also karaoke. The last dining facility is the student center food court and is colloquially referred to as "The Lion's Den". Students can get food and other items at various stations, which they then bring to one of the registers to purchase. "The Lion's Den" has the second largest quantity of seating out of the dining facilities (the first being Eickhoff). Movies are also screened here on certain nights.
In the mid-2000s, TCNJ began to put a more concentrated effort on student entrepreneurship. Administrative resources were put toward counselling and workshops for students. The Mayo Business Plan Competition in April 2012 saw numerous student groups competing for $12,000 to launch their start-up businesses. The school has also held entrepreneurship events for local high school students.
Nearby metropolitan areas such as Philadelphia and New York City are an hour and a half or less away by train. Surveys of the student population indicate, however, that 80% of residential students remain on-campus for at least 3 weekends per month. TCNJ also has over 180 student organizations managed by the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development. The Signal has been the college's newspaper since 1885 and wins awards almost annually. The Lion's Eye is the literary magazine on campus, distributed each semester and funded by the Student Activity Fee. Lions Television (LTV), founded in the spring of 2008, is TCNJ's first television network.
Campus attempts at providing non-alcohol-related social events for students are numerous, including both on and off-campus activities such as musical and comedic performances. The College Union Board (CUB) sponsors visits by celebrities as well as movie showings, all of which are funded by the Student Finance Board. To help kick off each new fall semester, "LollaNoBooza" is held. This is a large carnival-like affair meant to be an alternative to a night of partying. In April 2011, the College Union Board, Student Finance Board, and Student Government held their first annual Spring Carnival entitled "fun.ival" (fun.ival was named after live performers, fun.).
Greek life has a foothold at TCNJ, with roughly 20% of the student population belonging to a fraternity or sorority. The Greek organizations are governed by the Inter-Greek Council, whose purpose is to unite the members of the Greek community in spirit of mutual interest. It organizes and governs activities, highlights goals and opens lines of communication between the members of the organizations and the rest of the campus community. In order to join any Greek organization, students must have at least one semester's worth of TCNJ credits and be in good academic standing with a GPA of at least 2.2. The Inter-Greek Council recognizes 30 organizations; 16 sororities, 12 fraternities, and 2 coed organizations.
The recognized Greek organizations at TCNJ are:
Brower Student Center
The Brower Student Center (BSC) is the student center on the campus. The BSC was originally built in 1976 and has continued to serve the students through the present day. The Brower Student Center seeks to provide on-campus activities for all the students of TCNJ as well as maintain partnerships within the community that accentuate the student and community experience. A game room is also located in the student center, complete with multiple pool tables, TVs with wiis connected, ping pong and other games.
The building is home to all of the student organizations on campus, as well as the dining facilities that are run by Sodexo Incorporated and a campus bookstore. All recognized student organizations have an office or cubicle, or at least a meeting area. Most of these are located on the second level, but there are a handful located elsewhere. The student-run newspaper, for example, has both its business office and production room in the basement.
The building was named after former president Clayton R. Brower, who served as president during the time that TCNJ was referred to as Trenton State College. His wife, Dorothy Brower, was an active volunteer in the surrounding community.
Renovations for the new Brower Student Center began in April 2015 and are expected to be finished in 2017.
Museums and exhibits
The College of New Jersey is home to the David Sarnoff Museum, formerly located at Princeton Junction. The collection detailing the life of NBC founder David Sarnoff is now located in Roscoe L. West Hall. Various art exhibits can be found in galleries at Holman Hall and the Art and IMM building. The exhibits feature the work of student artists, professional artists and local artists. The exhibits are updated regularly.
The Signal has been The College of New Jersey's student-run newspaper since 1855. It has won numerous awards, and has placed first many times in the General Excellence category (the highest category) for collegiate news publications at the New Jersey Press Association awards. The Seal is TCNJ's yearbook, which has been in publication since 1911. Both The Signal and The Seal are run almost entirely out of offices located in the Brower Student Center basement. TCNJ Magazine is another publication, covering both current campus life and alumni affairs. The Perspective, an openly left-leaning student news booklet, is the school's newest publication having been first published in 2009. The Perspective received funding from the Student Finance Board, but so far has no established publishing schedule (as opposed to other campus publications). On the literary side, The Lion's Eye and The Siren are both student-made magazines filled with poetry, prose and artwork by students.
The College of New Jersey is affiliated with the National Collegiate Athletic Association and participates in athletics events as a Division III school. It is a member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC). The mascot is "Roscoe the Lion".
TCNJ's varsity teams are the top combined first- and second-place finishers of all 424 Division-III schools in the nation over more than 25 years.
The main athletic facility, Lions Stadium, holds 6,000 spectators and is home to the football, field hockey, lacrosse, and intramural teams. The stadium opened in the fall of 1984 and featured the first North American installation of AstroTurf's vertical-drainage system. This system prevents the "duck-pond effect" commonly seen with other artificial surfaces. In 2008, reports indicated that the turf contained higher-than-acceptable levels of lead and was subsequently removed. Now, the stadium is furnished with Tiger Turf, which is the first installation of the Trophy Turf in the United States. The stadium has hosted multiple NCAA tournaments and championship games, as well as the annual Special Olympics New Jersey and the annual USSBA Central Jersey Regional marching band competition.
The women's lacrosse team has played in the championship game 16 out of 20 possible times, winning 11 (though the 1992 title was later vacated) and qualifying for the NCAA tournament 21 consecutive times through 2005, highlighted by a 93–1 record from 1991 to 1996. The women's field hockey team has won 10 Division III crowns in 14 championship appearances (both twice as many as any other school).
The TCNJ wrestling team hosts the NCAA championships regularly and has placed in the top 20 nationally for 30 consecutive years, including 5 national championships (1979, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1987), 5 runner-up finishes, and numerous finishes in the top 5.
The TCNJ track and field teams have also dominated the New Jersey Athletic Conference. Since the NJAC title was first contested in 1997, TCNJ has won the title — both indoor and outdoor — each year.
Politics and government
- Christopher J. Brown, Republican Party politician who served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 2012 to 2016, representing the 8th legislative district.
- Jim Florio (B.A., 1962), Governor of New Jersey, 1990–1994.
- Joe Howarth (B.S.), politician who has represented the 8th Legislative District in the New Jersey General Assembly since 2016.
- Dick LaRossa, Republican Party politician who served two terms in the New Jersey Senate, from 1994 to 2000, where he represented the 15th Legislative District.
- Gerald Luongo (B.A., M.A.), Republican Party politician who has served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1998 to 2000.
- Joseph R. Malone, Republican Party politician who served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1993 until 2012, representing the 30th legislative district.
- Joseph A. Mussomeli (B.A., 1975), is an American diplomat. Current Ambassador to Slovenia as well as former Ambassador to Cambodia and the Philippines.
- Christopher Smith (B.S., 1975), United States Congressman representing New Jersey's 4th congressional district.
- William A. Stevens, jurist and Republican Party politician who served as President of the New Jersey Senate and New Jersey Attorney General.
- Connie Wagner, Democratic Party politician, who has served in the New Jersey General Assembly since January 8, 2008, where she represents the 38th legislative district.
- Madaline A. Williams, first African American woman elected to the New Jersey Legislature.
Arts and entertainment
- Holly Black (B.A. in English, 1994), author of The Spiderwick Chronicles series: Valiant : A Modern Tale of Faerie; Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale; and Ironside: A Modern Faery's Tale, among others.
- Jay Black, stand-up comic and screenwriter,
- Sheila Callaghan (B.A. in English, 1995), award-winning playwright and screenwriter.
- Stephen Dadaian, electric and classical guitarist.
- Jeff Feuerzeig, film director and screenwriter best known for The Devil and Daniel Johnston.
- Tom Kraeutler, home improvement broadcast journalist and author.
- Geraldine Clinton Little, poet
- The Lucas Bros, comedians, writers, actors best known for 22 Jump Street, Arrested Development and Lucas Bros Moving Co.
- Adam Mamawala, stand-up comic
- Tom Scharpling, producer and radio host.
- Richard Sterban (born 1943), member of The Oak Ridge Boys.
- Ty Treadway, One Life to Live soap star and host of Soap Talk on Soapnet cable channel.
- Michael Vega, actor
- Terry Bradway, General Manager of the New York Jets from 2001–2006.
- Melanie Balcomb, is the Head Women's Basketball Coach at Vanderbilt University.
- John E. Beake, General Manager of the Denver Broncos from 1984–98.
- Greg Grant, former NBA player.
- Eric Hamilton, American football coach.
- Gene Hart (B.A., 1952), Hockey Hall of Fame broadcaster and former play-by-play voice of the Philadelphia Flyers.
- Tom McCarthy, radio play-by-play voice of the Philadelphia Phillies.
- David L. Richards, Associate Professor of Political Science and Human Rights at the University of Connecticut.
- Richard A. Swanson, organizational theorist and Distinguished Research Professor of Human Resource Development and the Sam Lindsey Chair at the University of Texas at Tyler, known for his synthesis work on the financial research related to human resource development.
- Geralyn Wolf (M.A., 1971), Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island.
- Julianna White, holds the title of Miss New Jersey USA 2011.
- Juda Bennett – English
- Roy A. Clouser – Philosophy
- Ellen G. Friedman – English and Women's & Gender Studies
- James A. Graham – Psychology
- Jean Graham – English
- Xinru Liu – History
- Catie Rosemurgy – Creative Writing
- Jess Row – English
- Donna Shaw – Journalism
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