Rowan University is a public university in Glassboro, New Jersey, USA with a satellite campus in Camden, New Jersey. The school was founded in 1923 as Glassboro Normal School on a twenty-five acre site donated by the town. The school became New Jersey State Teachers College at Glassboro in the 1930s, and Glassboro State College in 1958. Starting in the 1970s, it grew into a multi-purpose institution, adding programs in business, communications, and engineering.
It was renamed Rowan College of New Jersey in 1992, after Henry Rowan and his wife Betty gave the school $100 million, at the time the largest gift to a public college. It became Rowan University on March 21, 1997, when it won approval for university status from the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education. In the fall of 2012, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University opened in Camden; it was the first public medical school in New Jersey not associated with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. It later acquired the School of Osteopathic Medicine on July 1, 2013 and became only the second university in the United States to offer both an M.D. and a D.O. program.
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 (100,000Â m2) 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, over $116,000 in 2009 dollars) 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 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.
The Cold War Glassboro Summit Conference between U.S. President Lyndon Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin took place from June 23â"25, 1967, in Hollybush Mansion at 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 and despite the lack of preparation 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, despite opening the 1970-71 academic year with Black Sabbath's first US 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.
From the mid-1970s until 1991, many Glassboro administrators and employees were faulted for poor grammar and writing by Glassboro Professor Richard Mitchell, who produced the Underground Grammarian for 15 years. Most issues cited poor writing by one or more of the school's administrators, usually in documents meant for wide promulgation.
While not occurring on University grounds, a significant event occurred in 1986 at Glassboro High School, which is just on the outskirts of the campus. Ronald Reagan spoke at the Glassboro High School graduation. This was the first time in American history that a sitting President spoke at a high school graduation ceremony. In the speech, Reagan reflected on the Glassboro Summit Conference and offered an optimistic analysis of the future of the Cold War. The event brought a high level of media attention.
Riots took place during Spring Weekend 1986, primarily off campus (though dominated by students) around the Beau Rivage townhomes and the Crossings apartment complex. As a result, Glassboro State College was ranked 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 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 NJ 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. Needless to say, he sided with the student opinion on this issue. 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 M.I.T. 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, Engineering, and Business.
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.
Following Dr. James' resignation as president in 1998, Dr. Donald Farish was chosen to succeed him and began further expansion on the Glassboro campus, opening a new state of the art building for science 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 with Rowan promising to follow up with its own penalties.
On March 20, 2006, President Farish announced a joint venture between the university and Major League Soccer 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. 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.
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. Transportation between the two campuses will be provided with both shuttle service and improved bike paths, as well as improvements to Route 322 itself.
South Jersey Technology Park
Rowan University broke ground for the South Jersey Technology Park (SJTP) on April 10, 2006. The New Jersey 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. SJTP is planned to be a 188 acre (0.76 km2) 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. The first building, the Samuel H. Jones Innovation Center, has been leased completely out and the revenue will help build a second building. The first floor will be controlled by Rowan and will pay a lease to the Tech Park Corporation and is divided up among the Rohrer College of Business and separate lab space for the College of Engineering. The second floor will be occupied by the Educational Information and Resource Center, which formerly owned a building on Delsea Drive in Washington Township.
The Tech Park's first incubated business, SocialReach, has successfully graduated into their own offices in Philadelphia.
The second planned building will be approximately 66,000 gross square feet divided between research and technology labs and offices.
On October 27, 2007 (during Homecoming festivities) 19-year old sophomore Donald Farrell 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 University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) was not in a financial position to fund creation of the school, for which Rowan will issue $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 will be the only medical school in the state not affiliated with UMDNJ, and 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. The first class of students will now be recruited for the charter class beginning in the Fall semester of 2012.
Osteopathic medical school and proposed merger with Rutgers-Camden
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 plan 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), enacts the following: (1) Rowan University receives research university status.(2) Rowan University absorbs the University of Medicine and Dentistryâs (UMDNJ) Stratford-based School of Osteopathic Medicine. Rowan will join Michigan State University as the only institutions in the country to operate both a (DO) and an (MD) medical school.(3) There will be a joint Rowan/Rutgers-Camden governing board created to oversee the development and operation of collaborative programs, including a possible Rowan/Rutgers-Camden College of Health Sciences. This boardâs authority will be limited to that mission and the College, if established, would receive funding through designated state appropriations through both institutions.
The University is currently divided into ten schools: Rohrer College of Business, College of Communication & Creative Arts, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Humanities & Social Sciences, College of Performing Arts, College of Science & Mathematics, College of Graduate & Continuing Education (CGCE), School of Biomedical Sciences, and Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. Notable virtuoso concert organist Gordon Turk became professor of organ instruction at Rowan University in 2013.
Enrollment at Rowan from the fall semester of 2011 shows 10,438 undergraduates and 1,378 graduate students. Undergraduates submitting statistics for a data set in 2011 had scores of 1030 at the 25th percentile and 1170 at the 75th percentile (SAT reading/math scores only) and an average GPA of 3.46. The overall average SAT score is 1078. For the class of 2015, 58.19% of applicants were accepted.
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
U.S. News Best Colleges Rankings (2014): Regional Universities (North) #18; Top Public Schools (North) #3; Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (At schools where doctorate not offered): Total: #16 of 199; Chemical Engineering: #3 of 22; Mechanical Engineering: #8 of 118.
U.S. News Best Grad School Rankings (2012): Part-time M.B.A. #232.
U.S. News Top Online Programs Rankings (2012): Top Online Business Programs: Faculty Credentials and Training #31; Student Engagement and Accreditation #31; Student Services and Technology #134; Top Online Education Programs: Admissions Selectivity #22; Student Engagement and Accreditation #28; Student Services and Technology #128; Top Online Engineering Programs: Student Engagement and Accreditation #19; Student Services and Technology #19.
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, men's rugby, ultimate frisbee, men's lacrosse, roller hockey, tennis, men's volleyball, dance, 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 and 2005. The Profs compete in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
The Rowan University Men's Rugby Football Club has gone undefeated (8-0) in their conference for division 3 in 2011. They made it to the quarterfinals of the National Tournament that year as well. The following year they moved into division 2 and once again went undefeated (8-0) in their conference. They made it to the elite 8 in the division 2 national tournament, falling just short to the eventual national champions.
The Chamberlain Student Center is a welcoming environment for both students who live on campus and commuting students. The center is the main location for dining on campus. Dining options include the Owl's Nest (formal dining), Jazzman's (cafe, on-the-go), Marketplace (buffet), Prof's Place (lounge area, seating, on-the-go), Food Court (game room, seating, on-the-go), and the Marketbasket (convenience store). It is encouraged that students pick up a Rowan Card. This card allows students to make purchases anywhere on campus without having to worry about carrying cash. The Student Center is also where the mailroom and laundry room are located. A new feature to the center is the Digital Signage. Televisions are placed throughout the center, scrolling advertisements and information about the events on campus. Anyone can apply to have their message displayed on the screens. The Chamberlain Student Center is the social hub for student life at Rowan University.
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. 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. 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 3600 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 also guaranteed on-campus housing only during this time period.
There are plans to expand the current housing facilities. Plans include building an 800-bed freshman housing complex with its own dining facilities on the location of the old Mansion Park Apartments. Also proposed are a new building opposite Linden Hall, conversion of Linden to residential use (or demolition and rebuilding) and adding new residence halls around the Bunce circle. Bunce construction would only begin after a new administration building is completed to replace Bole Hall and Bole Annex. There will be infill buildings added to Edgewood Park Apartments and Triad Apartments. It has also been outlined that any additional housing after these infill projects will be provided by new development on Rowan Boulevard.
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.
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.
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.
Edgewood Park Apartments is a complex of four identical buildings, each with three floors and 24 quad-occupancy apartments, housing 480 students. Mansion Park Apartments were acquired by the University in 1978 from the town and consisted of seven buildings with several different apartment layouts; it housed 260 students in total and has since been demolished.
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 central air conditioning. It holds 378 students.
The Townhouse Complex was built in 2005 and has 113 living units that accommodate 464 students in single occupancy rooms. There is a three story parking garage to accommodate its residents.
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.
The Whitney Center located on Rowan Boulevard is a five-floor building with the top four used for student apartments. The bottom floor contains businesses such as Green Zebra, Pizza Hut, and 7-Eleven.
Downtown Freshman Housing - Two buildings planned to accommodate over 800 students, faculty-in-residence apartments and a full-service dining hall are planned for the current site of Mansion Park Apartments along the northern side of the Route 322 and Main Street intersection.
There are more than 100 clubs and organizations at Rowan University; along with more than 20 Greek organizations on campus.
Other chartered clubs report to the Student Government Association including national award-winning programs such as the local PRSSA, the Rowan Democratic Club, and The Student University Programmers (SUP). Cinema Workshop, the University's student film club, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2007.
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.
The university is served by New Jersey Transit bus routes 313 and 412. It is a planned stop on the Glassboroâ"Camden Line, an 18-mile (28.97Â km) diesel multiple unit (DMU) light rail system projected for completion in 2019.
- Jessica Boyington, Miss New Jersey USA 2006
- Betty Castor, Florida politician and former president of the University of South Florida
- Adam Chazen, Emmy Award winner for Visual Effects on HBO's Game of Thrones
- Jack Collins, college basketball coach and Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly
- Jim Cook Jr., (B.A. 2010), journalist, playwright, United States Army specialist.
- Julie Ann Dawson, horror fiction writer and small press publisher
- Scott DePace (B.A., Communications, 1991) TV director, The Howard Stern Show
- Steve Dildarian, creator of HBO animated series The Life & Times of Tim
- Ric Edelman (1980), nationally known financial planner and radio host
- Stink Fisher, football player and actor in movies such as Invincible and The Longest Yard
- Jamie Ginn, Miss Delaware 2006
- Dino Hall, American football player
- Robert Hegyes, actor and former co-star of Welcome Back, Kotter known for his role as Juan Epstein. Robert was a professor at his alma mater in the early to mid-1990s.
- Allen Helbig, artist, animator, photographer, body painter, and web designer
- Ken Lacovara, explorer and paleontologist, known for discovering new species of dinosaurs (2004 Rowan Alumnus of the Year)
- Trymaine Lee (B.A. 2003), Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter
- Fred H. Madden (born 1954), New Jersey State Senator and former superintendent of the New Jersey State Police
- Marilyn Marshall, R&B, jazz, recording artist
- Tim Marshall, radio host, R&B Music Hall of Fame 2013 Inaugural Inductee
- Soraida Martinez, painter, creator of Verdadism art
- Lindsey Petrosh (B.A. 2011), Miss New Jersey USA 2012
- Mary Previte (born 1932), author of Hungry Ghosts, served in the New Jersey General Assembly representing the 6th legislative district from 1998 to 2006.
- Patti Smith, American musician, singer, and poet, member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- Shaun T, American fitness trainer and choreographer, host of Insanity, Asylum, Hip Hop Abs
- James L. Usry (M.A., 1971), first African American Mayor of Atlantic City, New Jersey
- Official website
- Official athletics website