1892 -1926:  Newark becomes home to a series of independent institutions of higher education: New Jersey College of Pharmacy, New Jersey Law School, Newark Institute of Arts and Sciences, and Mercer Beasley School of Law

1927:  New Jersey College of Pharmacy is incorporated into Rutgers University.

1929-1934:  The Seth Boyden School of Business and Dana College are created from the Pre-Legal Department of the New Jersey Law School; Rutgers University -- a private institution in New Brunswick -- opens University College in Newark, offering evening classes.  Newark Institute of Arts and Sciences and Mercer Beasley merge, forming the University of Newark.

1936:  The University of Newark merges with Dana College, Seth Boyden School of Business and the New Jersey Law School, under the name of the University of Newark.

1945-46:  Rutgers University is designated a New Jersey public university; the following year, the University of Newark, along with the Rutgers College of Pharmacy, becomes the Newark Colleges of Rutgers University.

1956:  The Rutgers College of Nursing is established, 14 years after nursing was added to the curriculum.

The 1960s: The modern campus takes shape with the construction of academic buildings, a library and a student center, and Seth Boyden School of Business is renamed the Graduate School of Business Administration.  A peaceful takeover of Conklin Hall leads to changes that impact the Newark campus and the entire University, transforming R-N from a mainly white institution, in a mainly non-white city, to a campus rated the most diverse national university campus in the United States by U.S. News & World Report in 1997.


  • Rutgers-Newark welcomes the School of Criminal Justice, and the Graduate School-Newark is established as a free-standing academic unit. However, the Rutgers College of Pharmacy moves to the New Brunswick campus.
  • The campus expands its facilities, constructing several academic buildings, the Golden Dome Athletic Center and Alumni Field, and its first residence hall, Talbott Apartments, and a parking deck.
  • The Graduate School of Business Administration is renamed the Graduate School of Management, and the faculties of the Newark College of Arts and Sciences, the graduate School  and the University College are merged to form the Faculty of Arts & Sciences-Newark.


  • In 1996 retired Professor George Walker becomes the first African-American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for music, for his work Lilacs. Walker had taught music, and been department chair, at Rutgers-Newark from 1969-1992.
  • The construction spurt continues, adding the campus’s first undergraduate residence hall, Woodward Hall, and Stonsby Commons, a dining facility;  the Aidekman Research Center, housing the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, and the Management Education Center, opens as do multi-million-dollar additions to Dana Library and Robeson Center. Construction of a $49-million Center for Law and Justice, then the largest building project in Rutgers history, is authorized.
  • Researcher Paula Tallal’s groundbreaking work on the neurobiology of speech, language and reading is used to develop computerized programs that help thousands of people overcome speech and learning disorders. By the early 21st century, the software is in use by more than 5,000 schools in the U.S.
  • An undergraduate School of Management is created; the Music, Theater Arts and Art and Design departments are merged into the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, now called the Department of Arts, Culture and Media. The Center for Global Change and Governance is founded, as is the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience.
  • 1997 marks the first year that Rutgers-Newark is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the most diverse national university campus in the country, a recognition it still retains.
  • Rutgers offers what is believed to be the world’s first Masters of Arts in Jazz History and Research, and the Honors Program is expanded into a four-year Honors College.

The 21st Century


  • The Center for Law and Justice opens its doors, and the Joseph P. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies, the Center for the Study of Public Security and the Police Institute are established.
  • The New Street Plaza opens, providing an oasis of green separating CLJ and Engelhard from MEC and Ackerson Hall.
  • The Faculty of Management and Graduate School of Management become the Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick, reflecting an administrative restructuring and an integration of resources.
  • The Prudential Business Ethics Center opens in 2002.
  • Campus total enrollment exceeds 10,000.
  • Major and minor in Portuguese and Lusophone Studies is established.
  • Norman Samuels steps down as provost after 20 years to return to teaching (after a short stint as acting RU president). His successor is Steven J. Diner, who had been dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences-Newark.
  • The main campus plaza is renamed the Norman Samuels Plaza.


  • The Life Sciences Center opens, as does a new residence hall, University Square.
  • The Documentation Center of Cambodia establishes an international archive center at R-N to collect and disseminate information on the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge era, with a particular emphasis on assisting the Cambodian North American community.
  • The Graduate Program in American Studies is established.
  • The newest school at Rutgers University, the School of Public Affairs and Administration, is established in 2006; two years later it offers the state’s first undergraduate major in public service.
  • Homecoming returns to Rutgers-Newark for the first time in decades, offering students and alumni a weekend of opportunities to connect, reminisce and have fun.
  • In 2006, Rutgers-Newark is awarded the Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, one of only 115 U.S. colleges and universities so designated.
  • The Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution, and Human Rights is established.
  • Renowned author Jayne Anne Phillips develops the campus’s Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing; a few months before classes begin in 2007, the program is proclaimed one of Five Up-and Coming Programs in Creative Writing in the U.S.
  •  In June 2008 Rutgers-Newark celebrates 100 years of higher education in Newark with a gala celebration, a keynote address by Newark Mayor Cory Booker, publication of an R-N history, A Century of Reaching Higher, and kick off of a scholarship fund.
  • The Rutgers Business School consolidates its Newark facilities into a new facility at 1 Washington Park in 2009.
  • History Professor Annette Gordon-Reed receives the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, which also was awarded the National Book Award and the George Washington Book Prize.
  • Rutgers-Newark is named one of the 25 “best neighbor schools” in the “Saviors of Our Cities: A Survey of Best College and University Civic Partnerships.” The survey recognizes colleges and universities that work to spur economic expansion, cultural renewal and other improvements in their host cities.

  • Rutgers-Newark serves as a national case study in diversity and leadership, for the American Council on Education spring fellowship program, 2009.
  • Rutgers University in Newark is chosen to lead a $5 million, five-year, multiple-school program to substantially increase the number of underrepresented minority students pursuing majors in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, also known as STEM fields. The Garden State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (GS-LSAMP) is funded by the National Science Foundation.
  • The Center for Urban and Public Service at 111 Washington St. becomes the new home of  the School of Public Affairs and Administration. 
  • In fall 2010 Washington Monthly ranks Rutgers, Newark, at # 18 in the nation among National Universities for its contributions to public good, in its 2010 College Rankings issue.
  • In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Marion Thompson Wright Lectures Series, Clement Price establishes the Clement A. Price Endowment for the Humanities to ensure the continuation of the lectures series. Price, Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of History and founding director of R-N’s Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, gives the university a $100,000 gift to establish the endowment.
  • Science research on campus continues to gain global as well as national recognition in the 21st Century.  Neuroscientist Gyorgy Buzsaki’s years of pioneering research at Rutgers-Newark were rewarded in 2011 when he was named co-recipient of the European Brain Prize, awarded by the Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Foundation, the most prestigious recognition for neuroscience research.
  • Dr. Mauricio Delgado is one of only 85 researchers nationwide selected by President Barack Obama to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
  • Rutgers School of Law–Newark is rated third in the nation for its emphasis on the value of public service and the use of the law to advance the cause of social justice, in the Winter 2011 issue of prelaw Magazine’s “Best Law Schools for Public Interest.”
  • Rutgers-Newark opens its first-ever on-campus child care center.
  • The International Institute for Peace is established.
  • Rutgers-Newark opens the Rutgers University Brain Imaging Center (RUBIC), under the direction of Dr. Steven Hanson, with a $1.82 million grant from the National Science Foundation. RUBIC offers the latest functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner technology, available to researchers on all four Rutgers campuses, as well as other institutions, for a wide range of studies.
  • A five-student team fielded by the Economics Department comes in second in the nation at the national finals of the College Fed Challenge, bested only by the team from Harvard University.  The feat marks the third time an R-N team places in the top three national teams.
  • Chancellor Steven Diner steps down in December after nearly 10 years in office; Interim Chancellor Philip Yeagle takes the reins.
  • In 2012, total enrollment exceeds 12,000 and Rutgers in Newark awards a record 70 PhDs.
  • Dan Morgenstern retires in early 2012 after directing the Institute of Jazz Studies, the world’s largest jazz archives, for 36 years.
  • The 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers is awarded to Dr. Nihal Altan-Bonnet, biology department.
  • The New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame names Rutgers Board of Governors Professor of Neuroscience Dr. Paula Tallal an “Inventor of the Year” in 2012 for her development of FastForward, a series of software programs that strengthen the neural networks for language development in individuals and has helped to bring positive change to more than three million people with language and literacy challenges.
  • With the fall 2012 election of Elizabeth Warren as the first female U.S. senator from Massachusetts, Rutgers School of Law-Newark gains a second distinguished graduate in the Senate. Robert Menendez, a member of the Senate from New Jersey since 2006, is a 1979 alumnus of the Rutgers School of Law-Newark.  Warren earned her JD in 1976.  She has been named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

  • In July 2013, Nancy Cantor is named Chancellor of the Rutgers-Newark campus, effective Jan. 1, 2014.  Todd Clear, dean of the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice, is named interim chancellor through Dec. 31, 2013.  Over the course of a distinguished 35-year career, Cantor had been chancellor and president of Syracuse University (2004 -2013); chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan; and dean of Michigan’s Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies and vice provost for academic affairs.
  • In FY2013 Rutgers-Newark brings in a record $33 million in external funding. Grants received through the RU-N Research Office totaled $33,112,210 in external funding for research, education, outreach and training, an increase of $6 million, or 22 percent, from the previous year.
  • The City of Newark gains a second Rutgers campus: the Rutgers Health Sciences campus at Newark, part of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBS), which came into existence in July 2013 when the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) merged with Rutgers University. The College of Nursing becomes part of RBHS but remains housed at R-N.  The merger increases Rutgers' total presence in New Jersey's largest city to more than 15,000 students, both graduate and undergraduate; more than1,200 fulltime faculty; and 49 buildings on 103 acres. R-N continues to be a center of high-quality liberal arts and non-medical professional education, as well as top-level research institution.  But R-N, which has long worked collaboratively with UMDNJ, now faces a future filled with new academic and research possibilities, as well as expanded opportunities for studying and improving human health and health care.

  • The Faculty of Arts and Sciences-Newark adds a new multidisciplinary program in Peace and Conflict Studies, offered through its Department of Sociology and Anthropology.
  • Jan Lewis is named dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.


  • Nancy Cantor becomes the first female chancellor of RU-N, effective Jan. 1.  She launches an inclusive, comprehensive strategic visioning process that results in the campuswide strategic plan, Rutgers University–Newark: Where Opportunity Meets Excellence. The plan sets priorities to invest resources to build the university’s strengths in merging excellence and opportunity, and in the words of Cantor, to reinvigorate RU–N’s abiding “commitment to pushing forward ambitiously and assertively to be that diverse urban research institution that leaves no stone unturned in its impact — on scholarship, social mobility, urban civic life.”
  • Todd Clear, who had been interim chancellor and dean of Rutgers School of Criminal Justice, is named RU-N provost.  Shadd Maruna takes his place as dean of criminal justice.
  • The Rutgers Board of Governors approves “Express Newark: A University - Community Collaboratory,” a bold plan to re-purpose the iconic former Hahnes department store building as an arts collaborator. Express Newark will cultivate artistic expression locally that resonates globally by facilitating public scholarship and community engagement among Rutgers University ‒ Newark (RU-N) faculty, staff, and students with community partners and residents of Greater Newark.
  • Rutgers mourns the loss of Dr. Clement Alexander Price, 69,  Rutgers Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of History, founding director of the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture and the Modern Experience, the City of Newark’s official historian, and a towering, nationally respected figure in the humanities and the arts, one of New Jersey’s leading public intellectuals. His institute is renamed in his honor in 2015.
  • The Center on Migration and the Global City embarks on a multiyear project called “Newest Americans: Stories From the Global City,” a multimedia and multidisciplinary collaboration between journalists, artists, research faculty and students that is documenting unique stories from RU-N. 
  • The Rutgers University-Newark Urban Teacher Education Program (UTEP) anounces far-reaching curriculum revisions designed to improve the way UTEP trains teachers, and especially how it prepares future teachers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.  The curriculum, called Excite and Ignite: Building the Next Generation of Teachers, includes innovative partnerships with the Liberty Science Center and the Jersey City Public Schools.


  • The City of Newark begins a four-year partnership with Rutgers University–Newark and its School of Public Affairs and Administration to develop and maintain “My Newark,” an official mobile application, as well as establish an official Open Data repository of non-sensitive city data and an analytics team of graduate students from the Rutgers Center for Information Management, Integration and Connectivity.
  • Rutgers University–Newark joins with more than 60 organizations  to establish the Newark City of Learning Collaborative (NCLC), a citywide network charged with increasing by 2025 the number of Newark residents with post-secondary degrees, from 17% of the city’s current population to 25%. NCLC’s composition includes higher education institutions, the City of Newark, the Newark Workforce Investment Board, the Newark Housing Authority, the private sector, philanthropic organizations, college attainment programs, and community-based organizations.
  • The School of Criminal Justice celebrates its 40th anniversary with a gala reception and a commemorative publication, Looking Back and Forward.
  • Dr. April Benasich, professor of neuroscience and the director of the Infancy Studies Laboratory at the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience,  is named the first holder of the Elizabeth H. Solomon Chair in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. The Solomon Chair will support research focused on understanding early brain development, the multiple factors that may contribute to language learning disorders and the particular strategies that help facilitate optimal organization of the brain as it develops, the focuses of Benasich’s research.
  • The merger of Rutgers’ two law schools into one unified Rutgers Law School, with two distinct locations in Newark and Camden, is approved by the Rutgers Board of Governors and the American Bar Association.  The new school is propelled by one of the nation’s largest faculties with wide-ranging expertise, and offers expansive courses that utilize cutting-edge immersive technology to connect the two locations and bring great legal scholars and students together in real time.  Ronald Chen and John Oberdiek are named co-deans.
  • Jerome Williams assumes the role of RU-N provost on Sept. 1. Williams -- Distinguished Professor and Prudential Chair in Business, an internationally esteemed scholar, teacher, and leader in business education -- had served in key leadership roles at Rutgers Business School since 2010, including Ph.D. program director and research director of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. Todd Clear, who had been provost, returns to the faculty of the School of Criminal Justice and his leadership and advisory roles in key local projects focused on building stronger, healthier, and safer communities in Greater Newark.
  • July 1st sees the launch of Newest Americans , a unique multi-media digital publication dedicated to storytelling from global perspectives.  Newest Americans is a collaboration between RU–N, Talking Eyes production company, and VII Photo, and draws from the diverse global populations of Newark.