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Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, commonly referred to as Rutgers University, Rutgers, or RU, is an American public research university and the largest institution for higher education in New Jersey.
Originally chartered as Queen's College on November 10, 1766, Rutgers is the eighth-oldest college in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution.The college was renamed Rutgers College in 1825 in honor of Colonel Henry Rutgers (1745–1830), a New York City landowner, philanthropist and former military officer, whose $5000 bond donation to the school allowed it to reopen after years of financial difficulty. For most of its existence, Rutgers was a privateliberal arts college affiliated with the Dutch Reformed Church. The college expanded its role in research and instruction in agriculture, engineering, and science when it was named as the state's sole land-grant college in 1864 under the Morrill Act of 1862. It gained university status in 1924 with the introduction of graduate education and further expansion. However, Rutgers evolved into a coeducational public research university after being designated "The State University of New Jersey" by the New Jersey Legislaturein laws enacted in 1945 and 1956. It is one of only two colonial colleges that later became public universities.Rutgers, however, remains something of a public-private hybrid, in particular retaining certain "private rights" against unilateral changes in its governance, name, and structure that the state might otherwise want to impose.
Rutgers has three campuses located throughout New Jersey: The New Brunswick campus in New Brunswick and adjacent Piscataway, the Newark campus and the Camden campus. The university has additional facilities elsewhere in New Jersey.Instruction is offered by 9,000 faculty members in 175 academic departments to over 45,000 undergraduate students and more than 20,000 graduate and professional students.
The university is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and is a member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance, the Association of American Universities and the Universities Research Association.
Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
The Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy prepares students for both public- and private-sector careers, teaching and research professions, and service at all levels of government. Students are trained and employed in the areas of land use, political processes, public health, employment and social policy, human services, transportation policy and planning, housing and real estate, urban redevelopment, and regional development and planning.
Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy
The Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy is recognized as providing one of the most challenging, dynamic, and satisfying programs of study leading to the doctor of pharmacy degree. In concert with a supportive faculty and staff, students at the school build a foundation for learning that continues long after graduation.
Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology
The Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology is committed to meeting the need for well-educated and well-trained professional psychologists. The school offers programs in clinical psychology and school psychology, with concentrations in community psychology and sport psychology. The school’s doctor of psychology degree programs are designed to provide doctoral training for students who wish to attain excellence as professional psychologists and offer services to the community in a wide variety of settings, especially those with underserved populations.
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences develops scientists who contribute new knowledge in the biomedical disciplines. The school offers a rigorous curriculum of coursework and research training in a range of degrees in such specialties as biochemistry, environmental exposure, infection, molecular genetics, neuroscience, pharmacology, physiology, and toxicology.
Graduate School of Education
The Graduate School of Education is dedicated to the study and improvement of educational institutions, processes, and agents to empower people to act as reflective, compassionate, and effective participants in a diverse and interconnected world. As a professional school within New Jersey’s flagship public university, the production and dissemination of knowledge about education is central to its mission.
Graduate School–New Brunswick
The Graduate School–New Brunswick has faculties in the academic arts and sciences, as well as several professional fields. The faculty is drawn from virtually all of the academic divisions of the university. Most graduate-degree programs offer instruction in small classes and seminars, provide for close association between students and faculty members, encourage independent study, and work with their students to create programs flexible enough to meet mutual interests and needs.
Mason Gross School of the Arts
As the arts conservatory of Rutgers, Mason Gross School of the Arts is a professional school offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in music, theater arts, visual arts, and dance. The school’s mission is to identify and nurture outstanding creative talent and to instill the insights and skills needed by future generations of arts professionals, enabling them to contribute to the creative and scholarly activity so essential to the vitality of our culture and society
Rutgers Business School–Newark and New Brunswick
Rutgers Business School–Newark and New Brunswick offers undergraduate and graduate programs, through its three degree-granting units, that equip graduates with the skills they need to function in today’s diverse global business environment. With a focus on teamwork, the curriculum brings an innovative and thoughtful approach to problem solving in real-world business settings. The school educates students at two main campuses in Newark and New Brunswick, as well as five satellite locations in New Jersey, China, and Singapore. Steeped in academic excellence, with a distinguished faculty and a corps of successful alumni, the school delivers the business, science, and technology credentials demanded by global corporations.
School of Arts and Sciences
The School of Arts and Sciences is the undergraduate school for liberal arts and sciences. The study of the arts and sciences is the foundation of undergraduate education and academic excellence at Rutgers. With more than 800 faculty and more than 70 majors and minors in biological and physical sciences, humanities, mathematics, social and behavioral sciences, and interdisciplinary studies, the School of Arts and Sciences is the largest unit at the university, combining excellence in teaching with world-class research and service to the state.
School of Communication and Information
The School of Communication and Information is a leader in responding to the information revolution and the fast-paced changes occurring in the fields of communication, information, and media. The school is a community of scholars that enjoys and excels at educating individuals who make lasting contributions to the interdisciplinary study of communication, journalism and media studies, and library and information science.
School of Engineering
With a faculty known for research in areas such as bionic limbs and traffic safety, the School of Engineering is devoted to training the next generation of innovators and inventors. Departments of biomedical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and other disciplines allow students to gain the specialized knowledge demanded by 21st-century engineering projects and research. Additional learning opportunities are provided by the school’s research units, such as the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership. As a professional school within Rutgers, the School of Engineering offers the best of both worlds—a close-knit group of students and the eclectic offerings of a major public research institution.
School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
Located on Rutgers–New Brunswick’s George H. Cook Campus, the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences offers programs designed to promote the multidisciplinary study of areas covering the biological spectrum, from organisms to ecosystems, with an equal emphasis on the social and human dimensions. In line with Rutgers’ strong land-grant tradition, faculty members from the school pursue mission-based teaching, research, and outreach to address real-world problems and encourage students to adopt the same mission-based approach to their educational experience at Rutgers.
School of Health Professions
The School of Health Professions provides quality education for entry-level allied health professions and for health providers seeking specialty and advanced practice roles. With 35 programs ranging from post-high school to postdoctoral, the school serves approximately 1,500 students, one-third of whom learn online.
School of Management and Labor Relations
The School of Management and Labor Relations is a leading source of expertise on managing and representing workers, designing effective organizations, and building strong employment relationships. The school offers a variety of degree programs from the undergraduate through the doctoral level, including an undergraduate program in labor studies and employment relations and a Ph.D. program in industrial relations and human resources.
School of Nursing
With its world-class professors and emphasis on hands-on learning, the School of Nursing is recognized as one of the finest in the nation. With locations in Newark and New Brunswick and additional facilities in Blackwood, New Jersey, the school also offers extensive continuing education classes and is affiliated with more than 200 New Jersey health care and clinical practice sites. Degrees offered include a bachelor of science in nursing, second degree B.S.N., R.N. to B.S.N. program, a master of science in nursing leadership, doctor of nursing practice, and a Ph.D. program in nursing.
School of Public Health
School of Public Health programs are designed to accommodate working professionals and full-time students. The school offers master’s and doctoral degrees as well as dual degrees and postbaccalaureate certificates. Students participate in leading public health research and put education into practice through international health and community service projects.
School of Social Work
The School of Social Work has a distinguished record of instruction, research, and public service. The school offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs; holds classes at multiple locations; and is affiliated with more than 800 social service agencies throughout the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area.
History of Rutgers
Two decades after the College of New Jersey (now known as Princeton University) was established in 1746 by the New Light Presbyterians, ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church, seeking autonomy in ecclesiastical affairs in the American colonies, sought to establish a college to train those who wanted to become ministers within the church. Through several years of effort by the Rev. Theodorus Jacobus Frelinghuysen (1691–1747) and Rev. Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh (1736–1790), later the college's first president, Queen's College received its charter on November 10, 1766 from New Jersey's last Royal Governor, William Franklin (1730–1813), the illegitimate son of Founding Father Benjamin Franklin. The original charter established the college under the corporate name the trustees of Queen's College, in New-Jersey, named in honor of King George III's Queen consort, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1744–1818), and created both the college and the Queen's College Grammar School, intended to be a preparatory school affiliated and governed by the college. The Grammar School, today the private Rutgers Preparatory School, was a part of the college community until 1959. The location of New Brunswick was chosen over Hackensack because the New Brunswick Dutch had the support of the Anglican population as well, making the royal charter easier to obtain.
The original purpose of Queen's College was to "educate the youth in language, liberal, the divinity, and useful arts and sciences" and for the training of future ministers for the Dutch Reformed Church. The college admitted its first students in 1771—a single sophomore and a handful of first-year students taught by a lone instructor—and granted its first degree in 1774, to Matthew Leydt. Despite the religious nature of the early college, the first classes were held at a tavern called the Sign of the Red Lion. When the Revolutionary War broke out and taverns were suspected by the British as being hotbeds of rebel activity, the college abandoned the tavern and held classes in private homes.
Financial troubles and a benefactor
In its early years, due to a lack of funds, Queen's College was closed for two extended periods. Early trustees considered merging the college with the College of New Jersey, in Princeton (the measure failed by one vote) and later considered relocating to New York City. In 1808, after raising $12,000, the college was temporarily reopened and broke ground on a building of its own, affectionately called "Old Queens", designed by architect John McComb, Jr. The college's third president, the Rev. Ira Condict, laid the cornerstone on April 27, 1809. Shortly after, the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, founded in 1784, relocated from Brooklyn, New York, to New Brunswick, and shared facilities with Queen's College (and the Queen's College Grammar School, as all three institutions were then overseen by the Reformed Church in America). During those formative years, all three institutions fit into Old Queens. In 1830, the Queen's College Grammar School moved across the street, and in 1856, the Seminary relocated to a seven-acre (28,000 m2) tract less than one-half miles (800 m) away.
After several years of closure resulting from an economic depression after the War of 1812, Queen's College reopened in 1825 and was renamed Rutgers College in honor of American Revolutionary War hero Colonel Henry Rutgers (1745–1830). According to the Board of Trustees, Colonel Rutgers was honored because he epitomized Christian values. A year after the school was renamed, it received 2 donations from its namesake: a $200 bell still hanging from the cupola of Old Queen's and a $5,000 bond (equivalent to $105,000 in 2015) which placed the college on sound financial footing.
Rutgers College became the land-grant college of New Jersey in 1864 under the Morrill Act of 1862, resulting in the establishment of the Rutgers Scientific School, featuring departments of agriculture, engineering, and chemistry. The Rutgers Scientific School would expand over the years to grow into the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (1880) and divide into the College of Engineering (1914) and the College of Agriculture (1921). Rutgers created the New Jersey College for Women in 1918, and the School of Education in 1924. With the development of graduate education, and the continued expansion of the institution, the collection of schools became Rutgers University in 1924. Rutgers College continued as a liberal arts college within the university. Later, University College(1945) was founded to serve part-time, commuting students and Livingston College (1969) was created by the Rutgers Trustees, ensuring that the interests of ethnically diverse New Jersey students were met.
Rutgers was designated the State University of New Jersey by acts of the New Jersey Legislature in 1945 and 1956. Shortly after, the University of Newark (1935) was merged with Rutgers in 1946, as were the College of South Jersey and South Jersey Law School, in 1950. These two institutions became Rutgers University–Newark and Rutgers University–Camden, respectively. On September 10, 1970, after much debate, the Board of Governors voted to admit women into Rutgers College.
Growth of the University was not without setbacks. In 1967, the Rutgers Physics Department had a Centers of Excellence Grant from the NSF which allowed the Physics Department to hire several faculty each year and become a more prominent institution. These faculty were to be paid by the grant for three years, but after that time any faculty hired with the Associate or Full Professor designation would become tenured. The Governor and the Chancellor forced Rutgers to lose this grant by rejecting these faculty as tenured.
In 1970, the newly formed Rutgers Medical School hired major faculty members from other institutions. In 1971, the Governor's Office separated Rutgers Medical School from Rutgers University and made it part of New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry, and many faculty left the Medical School, including the dean of the Medical School, Dr. Dewitt Stetten, who later became the Director of the National Institutes of Health. As a result of the separation of the Medical School from Rutgers University, graduate PhD programs that had been started in the medical center were lost, and students had to seek other institutions to finish their degrees.
Prior to 1982, separate liberal arts faculties existed in the several separate "residential colleges" (Rutgers, Douglass, Livingston, University, and Cook colleges) at Rutgers–New Brunswick. In 1982, under president Edward J. Bloustein, the liberal arts faculties of these five institutions were centralized into one college, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which itself had no students. The separate residential colleges persisted for students, and while instructors for classes were now drawn from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, separate standards for admission, good standing, and graduation still continued for students, depending on which residential college they were enrolled in. Finally in the fall of 2007, Rutgers, Douglass, Livingston, and University Colleges, along with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences were merged into the new School of Arts and Sciences with one set of admissions criteria, curriculum and graduation requirements. At this time, the liberal arts components of Cook College were absorbed into the School of Arts and Sciences as well, while the other aspects of the college remained, but with the new name of the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. These changes in 2007 ended the 241-year history of Rutgers College as a distinct institution.
In 2013, most of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey was integrated with Rutgers University and, along with several existing Rutgers units, was reformed as Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. This merger attached both the New Jersey Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson Medical School to Rutgers University.
On June 20, 2012, the outgoing president of Rutgers University, Richard L. McCormick announced that Rutgers will "...integrate five acres along George Street between Seminary Place and Bishop Place into the College Avenue Campus.". Most of the block had been occupied by the New Brunswick Theological Seminary. Rutgers agreed to rebuild the seminary in exchange for the land it gave up.
In 2013, Rutgers changed part of its alma mater, "On the Banks of the Old Raritan." Where the lyrics had formerly stated, "My father sent me to old Rutgers, and resolved that I should be a man," now they state, "From far and near we came to Rutgers, and resolved to learn all that we can."
Rutgers celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2016. On May 15 President Barack Obama became first sitting president to speak at the university’s commencement. The university held a variety of celebrations, academic programs, and commemorative events which culminated on the 250th anniversary date, November 10, 2016.
- Institutional Accreditation or Recognition - Middle States Commission on Higher Education
- Year of first Accreditation - 1921
- The university was ranked 48th in the United States and 96th worldwide in the 2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities(ARWU), while ranking 24th nationwide and 33rd in the world in the 2014 Center for World University Rankings.
- In the 2016 U.S. News & World Report ranking of American national universities (public and private), Rutgers is tied for 72nd and among public universities ranked 28th.
- The same ranking placed Rutgers in the top 25 among all U.S. universities for the following graduate school programs: Library Science (6th), English (17th), History (20th) (with the subspecialties of Women's History ranked 1st and African-American History ranked 8th), and Mathematics (23rd).
- It also ranked Rutgers University–New Brunswick 25th in the world for Arts and Humanities.
- In 2003, the Wall Street Journal conducted a study of the undergraduate institutions that most frequently feed students placements at elite professional and graduate programs, such as Columbia, Yale and Harvard; Rutgers was ranked 20th in the rankings they compiled for state universities.
- On a side note, Forbes ranked Rutgers as being the 20th best public university in the United States for "getting rich", as judged by its students' median salaries upon graduation.
- Eleven of Rutgers' graduate departments are ranked by the National Research Council in the top 25 among all universities: Philosophy (2nd), Geology Ranked 9th Nationally based on NSF funding 9th, Geography (13th), Statistics (17th), English (17th), Mathematics (19th), Art History (20th), Physics(20th), History (20th) Comparative Literature (22nd), French (22nd), and Materials Science Engineering (25th).
- The Rutgers Business School is ranked 39th in the Wall Street Journal's Ranking of Top Business Schools.
- The full-time Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is ranked 48th in United States according to U.S. News and World Report,with speciality at Pharma, Biotech and Healthcare industries. The Master of Quantitative Finance (M.Q.F.) program at Rutgers Business School and Master of Mathematical Finance (M.S.M.F) program at the department of Mathematics, is ranked 7th in the United States.
- The Philosophy Department was ranked tied for first in 2002–04, and second in 2004–06 in the Philosophical Gourmet's biennial report on Philosophy programs in the English-speaking world.
- The Division of Global Affairs (DGA) Ph.D. program at Rutgers University-Newark was ranked fifth in the nation in the Benchmarking Academic Excellence survey of Top Universities in Social and Behavioral Sciences Disciplines in the combined category of International Affairs and Development for 2006–07.
- On September 13, 2010, the Wall Street Journal ranked Rutgers University #21 in schools whose graduates are top-rated by recruiters.
- On June 28, 2012 the New Jersey state legislature passed the New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act that will dissolve the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and merge most of its schools, including Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Jersey Medical School and New Jersey Dental School, with Rutgers University forming a new Rutgers School of Biomedical and Health Sciences by July 1, 2013. Members of the Rutgers Board of Governors estimated that the takeover of UMDNJ could "elevate Rutgers’ status to among the top 25 most elite research universities in America."
Student life @Rutgers
Rutgers University offers a variety of housing options. On the New Brunswick-Piscataway campus, students are given the option of on-campus housing in both traditional dorms or apartments. Freshman students, however, are allowed only a dorm, while upperclassmen have a wider array of on-campus housing choices, like apartments, but must apply for on-campus housing through the Rutgers online lottery process. Despite some overcrowding, most students seeking on-campus housing will be accommodated with a space, yet in 2008/2009 students were placed in a nearby hotel. Currently Rutgers University is undergoing a series of constructions to expand residence life. Many Rutgers students opt to rent apartments or houses off-campus within the city of New Brunswick. Similar setups are to be found in Rutgers–Newark and Rutgers–Camden, however a substantial portion of the students on those campuses commute and/or are enrolled on a part-time basis.
Rutgers University's four campuses are in the culturally-diverse, redeveloping urban areas (Newark, Camden, and New Brunswick) with convenient access to New York City and Philadelphia by either automobile, Amtrak or New Jersey Transit. US News & World Reportranked Rutgers–Newark the most diverse university campus in the United States. Because the area of Rutgers' New Brunswick-Piscataway campus—which is composed of several constituent colleges and professional schools—is sprawled across six municipalities, the individual campuses are connected by an inter-campus bus system. The Rutgers bus system is the second largest bus service in New Jersey, and one of the largest in the country.
Security and emergency services
Services provided by the university include Rutgers Police, Emergency Medical Services, an emergency management office, bus and shuttle service, inter- and intra-campus mail, and occupational and environmental health and safety.
Student organizations and activities
Rutgers University has a student government which controls funding to student groups. The student government is made up of campus councils and professional school councils. Those councils then send representatives to the student assembly as well as the university senate. An example of these campus councils is the University College Council, which represents adult, part-time, and military veteran students.
Rutgers hosts over 700 student organizations; among the first student groups was the first college newspaper in the United States of America. The Political Intelligencer and New Jersey Adviser began publication at Queen's College in 1783, and ceased operation in 1785. Continuing this tradition is the university's current college newspaper, The Daily Targum, established in 1869, which is the second-oldest college newspaper currently published in the United States, after The Dartmouth (1843). Both poet Joyce Kilmer and economist Milton Friedman served as editors. Also included are The Medium, Rutgers Entertainment Weekly, Rutgers Centurion, a conservative newspaper, the Rutgers University Glee Club, a male choral singing group established in 1872 (among the oldest in the country). More recently there has been increased national exposure among Rutgers a cappella groups as they have routinely placed well in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, including 2010 when The OrphanSporks placed second in the semifinals. Governed by the Rutgers University Student Assembly and funded by student fees, students can organize groups for practically any political ideology or issue, ethnic or religious affiliation, academic subject, activity, or hobby.
Rutgers University is home to chapters of many Greek organizations, and a significant percentage of the undergraduate student body is active in Greek life. Several fraternities and sororities maintain houses for their chapters in the area of Union Street (known familiarly as "Frat Row") in New Brunswick, within blocks of Rutgers' College Avenue Campus. Chapters of Zeta Psi and Delta Phi organized at Rutgers as early as 1845. The Alpha Rho chapter of Chi Psi fraternity, founded at Rutgers College in 1879, was the first fraternity at Rutgers to own a fraternity house, or "Lodge", purchased in 1887. The fraternity today still owns and occupies the same property at 114 College Avenue. Today, there are over 50 fraternities and sororities on the New Brunswick-Piscataway campus, ranging from traditional to historically African-American, Hispanic, Multicultural, and Asian interest organizations. The New Brunswick campus of Rutgers University has a chapter of the only active co-ed pre-medical fraternity, Phi Delta Epsilon, as of 2008. Greek organizations are governed by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs. Twelve organizations maintain chapters in New Brunswick without sanction by the University's administration. Students involved in Greek Life must meet academic eligibility requirements including maintaining a cumulative 2.5 GPA, completion of 12 credits, and be a currently enrolled full-time student. Some individual organizations hold a higher GPA requirement.
Many Greek Organizations hold fundraising events specific to their philanthropy. However, it's Rutgers tradition that our students participate in one of the largest student-run philanthropic events in New Jersey. All proceeds go to the non-profit organization, Embrace Kids Foundation. This foundation advocates for children with cancer and blood disorders. Dance Marathon includes over 400 dancers pledging to stay away and stand for 32 hours with the support and help of 500 volunteers. Dance Marathon 2015 collected a record breaking $692,046.67.
In the late 19th century, the University banned fraternities because of their unusual hazing practices. This caused them to go underground as secret societies. It also sparked the interest of some students to create their own societies. Cap and Skull was founded at Rutgers before the turn of the 20th century.
Today, Rutgers is well known for four of its vocal ensembles: Voorhees Choir (the university's women's ensemble), Kirkpatrick Choir (the university's most selective coed ensemble), Glee Club (the university's most esteemed male ensemble), and University Choir (a larger mixed choir).
In 2011, The Iota Psi chapter of Sigma Chi raised a national Greek record of $167,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network with the help of seven sororities: Alpha Chi Omega, Delta Gamma, Gamma Phi Beta, Phi Sigma Sigma, Sigma Delta Tau, Sigma Kappa, and Zeta Tau Alpha.
The Grease Trucks are a group of truck-based food vendors located on the College Avenue Campus. They serve traditional grill fare, Middle-Eastern specialties, and are especially well known for serving "Fat Sandwiches," a sub roll containing various ingredients such as cheesesteak, burgers, pork roll, chicken fingers, French fries, mozzarella sticks, eggs, bacon, gyro meat, marinara sauce, etc. The Rutgers Grease Trucks were located in a designated lot for nearly two decades until August 2013. Truck owners were forced to relocate due to the construction of a $84 million student apartment complex. Three trucks remain on the College Avenue Campus, while the remaining two were moved to the Cook/Douglass Campus.
The Dance Marathon is a student-run organization that consists of a year-long series of fundraisers and culminates with the annual Marathon on April 5–6 in the College Avenue Gym. At the Marathon over 400 dancers pledge to raise funds and remain standing for 32 hours without sleeping. The 'Dancers', along with over 500 volunteers and countless visitors, are entertained by live bands, comedians, prize giveaways, games, sports, a mechanical bull, computer and internet access, various theme hours and much more. Rutgers has held this tradition since 1999 and to date has raised in excess of $1.3 million for the Embrace Kids Foundation. In the seventies the Dance Marathon raised funds for the American Cancer Society. In the Eighties it was the Rutger Cancer Research Association.
RutgersFest was a day-long cultural event staged variously on either Livingston Campus or Busch Campus. It was designed to promote college spirit through student organization participation with activities and entertainment throughout the day, culminating with a free concert and fireworks at night. The event was free to all students and guests and was funded as part of an elected programming fee paid by all students as part tuition. Past musical guests have included: Kanye West, Everclear, Sugar Ray, Guster, Goldfinger, Ludacris, Reel Big Fish, Method Man and Redman, Fuel, Third Eye Blind, Hawthorne Heights, NAS, SR-71, Ok Go, N.E.R.D and Pitbull. The event would feature carnival attractions such as bungee bull, bouncy boxing, moon walk, electronic basketball, a recording studio and more. Attendance for the annual event was about 40,000–50,000, topping out at an estimated 65,000 in 2004 at the event which featured Kanye West and Sugar Ray. The event was staged by the Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA), formerly known as the Rutgers College Programming Committee (RCPC), as a year-end celebration before the start of the final examination period.
During its final year in 2011, the festival was held on Busch Campus. Invited musical guests included Yelawolf, Pitbull, and 3OH!3. Several violent incidents that year lead to the indefinite cancelation of the event. President Richard McCormick, in a letter to the Rutgers community, commented: "The problems that occur following Rutgersfest have grown beyond our capacity to manage them, and the only responsible course of action is to cancel the event."
Colors, mottos and mascots
Rutgers University's only school color is scarlet. Initially, students sought to make orange the school color, citing Rutgers' Dutch heritage and in reference to the Prince of Orange. The Rutgers student publication "Targum" (which would go on to become the Daily Targum) first proposed that scarlet be adopted in May 1869, claiming that it was a striking color and because scarlet ribbon was easily obtained. During the first intercollegiate football game with Princeton on November 6, 1869, the players from Rutgers wore scarlet-colored turbans and handkerchiefs to distinguish them as a team from the Princeton players. The Board of Trustees officially made scarlet the school color in 1900.
In its early days, Rutgers athletes were known informally as "The Scarlet" in reference to the school color, or as "Queensmen" in reference to the institution's first name, Queen's College. In 1925, the mascot was changed to Chanticleer, a fighting rooster from the medieval fable Reynard the Fox (Le Roman de Renart) which was used by Geoffrey Chaucer's in the Canterbury Tales. At the time, the student humour magazine at Rutgers was called Chanticleer, and one of its early arts editors, Ozzie Nelson (later of The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet fame) was quarterback of the Rutgers team from 1924 to 1926. The Chanticleer mascot was unveiled at a football game against Lafayette College, in which Lafayette was also introducing a new mascot, a leopard. However, the choice of Chanticleer as a mascot was often the subject of ridicule because of its association with "being chicken." In 1955, the mascot was changed to the Scarlet Knight after a campus-wide election, beating out other contenders such as "Queensmen", the "Scarlet", the "Red Lions", the "Redmen" and the "Flying Dutchmen." Earlier proposed nicknames included "Pioneers" and "Cannoneers". When Harvey Harman, then coach of the football team, was asked why he supported changing the Rutgers mascot, he was quoted as saying, "You can call it the Chanticleer, you can call it a fighting cock, you can call it any damn thing you want, but everybody knows it's a chicken." Harman later is said to have bought the first "Scarlet Knight" mascot costume for the 1955 season, which was to be his final season as football coach at Rutgers.