Queens College - American Education
An institution of higher education founded in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1771 by leaders of the Dutch Reformed Church in response to the founding of King’s College (now Columbia University) in New York City. King’s had been formed by a combined group of Dutch Reformed and Anglican ministers, and conservative Dutch Reformed ministers feared such unity would eventually see the Reformed Church reabsorbed by Anglicanism. To counter that possibility, a group of ministers and elders held a conference in 1755 and determined “to plant a university of seminary for young men for study in the learned languages and in the liberal arts and who are to be instructed in the philosophical sciences; also that it may be a school of the prophets in which young Levites and Nazarites of God may be prepared to enter upon the sacred ministerial office in the church of God.” After years of fund-raising and bickering over its purpose, the college finally opened in 1771, and its purpose broadened to “the education of youth in the learned languages, liberal and useful arts and sciences, and especially divinity; preparing them for the ministry, and other good offices.”
Finding itself in the middle of one of the strongest concentrations of British troops in the American colonies, the college moved eight miles west of New Brunswick during the Revolutionary War. In 1825, it changed its name to Rutgers College to honor the American colonial patriot and philanthropist Henry Rutgers (1745–1830), who had contributed generously to the college to help it rebuild following the Revolutionary War. Facing a gradual decline as a private, independent college, Rutgers became New Jersey’s state college in 1945. Officially renamed the State University of New Jersey, Rutgers, it subsequently expanded into a major institution of higher education, with 12 undergraduate and 10 graduate schools in New Brunswick, Newark and Camden offering hundreds of baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs.