Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
, was chartered on November 10
as "Queen's College," in honor of King George III's consort, Charlotte. The original purpose of Queen's College was the education of future ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church
. (Ironically, given the tenets of Christianity, the college first met at a tavern called the Sign of the Red Lion, on what is today the grounds of the Johnson & Johnson Corporation
corporate headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey
.) It admitted its first students in 1771 and granted its first degree in 1774, to Matthew Leydt
. When the American Revolution broke out, the college abandoned the tavern and held classes in private houses, in and near New Brunswick. Queen's College closed in 1795, due to a lack of money, and reopened in 1808. The next year, the college got a building of its own, which is now called "Old Queen's" (and which still stands).
However, this was not enough to prevent Queen's College from closing down a second time, in 1812
. In 1825
, Queen's College was reopened, and its name was changed to "Rutgers College" in honor of American Revolutionary War
hero Colonel Henry Rutgers (1745-1830).
Rutgers now has a total of nearly 50,000 students on its three campuses: Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick/Piscataway. It comprises 12 undergraduate colleges, 11 graduate schools, and 3 schools that grant both undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Its alma mater, or anthem, is "On the Banks", and features the line "For has she not stood / Since the time of the Flood / On the banks of the old Raritan".
The Raritan River, to which the song alludes, flows between the New Brunswick and Piscataway portions of the New Brunswick/Piscataway campus. The Raritan last flooded in 1999, during Hurricane Floyd, closing the campus for two days due to the blockage of bridges over the river.
(Technically, the lyrics have been practically incorrect since the 1950s, when three riverside dorms and a student center were built in New Brunswick, and the 1980s, when a riverside park built over a new highway behind the dorms.)