Born This Way: The Origin Story of Rutgers University–Newark

 

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In 1936, the University of Newark was born from the merger of five local higher education institutions within the city of Newark. In 1946, through a merger with Rutgers University, it became Rutgers–Newark.

Although the University of Newark ended 75 years ago, much of its distinctive character and spirit persist in today’s Rutgers–Newark. It referred to itself in terms of public service and promoting democratic values and activism. It was dedicated to the local citizenry of Newark as an anchor institution. Its students were predominantly from low- and middle-income backgrounds in Newark and many other towns in northern New Jersey. In the late 1930s, its mission was educating men and women, regardless of race, color, or creed. The University of Newark even had its own John Cotton Dana Library.

Many people today within and beyond New Jersey assume that Rutgers–Newark originated from Rutgers in New Brunswick. In fact and in spirit, this campus has instead long been its own distinctive “Newark–Rutgers,” a Rutgers institution and community originating from the life and history of Newark.

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