Why is Rutgers not NJU?

How come the state university of New Jersey is called Rutgers?

And is it true that University of Pennsylvania (Penn) is not a state university, but a private school?

Tradition, mostly. Rutgers has been around for a long, long time - since the 18th century. It’s sometimes regarded on an even academic footing with Ivy League schools, but I think that’s more Rutgers’ opinion than anyone else’s. :wink:

U of Penn is not a state school - Penn State, however, is.

Definitely tradition in the case of Rutgers (I’m the only one in my family that didn’t gp there at any time). Why would they want to be New Jersey State, sounding like a lot of state universities, and obscuring its own pre-Revolutionary history, rather than the stately Rutgers?

Also, when Rutgers was founded (some time in the 1760’s), there already was a small but distinguished “College of New Jersey” – which later changed its name to Princeton.

Actually, as far as I can remember… the official name is “Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey”. That extra bit is not a slogan, it is actually the school’s name. Why not change it? It’s been Rutgers for a long time, since the early 1800’s I believe. (Prior to that it was Queen’s College, founded in 1766). A few years ago, Trenton State College changed their name to The College of NJ…my mom, an alumnus, was not happy.

I tried to find some more info about Rutgers, but all I could come up with was the Ask Colonel Henry website, where if you’re so inclined, you can post your question and see what they say!


Rutgers sounds uppercrust and you can almost pretend it’s not in NJ.

That’s why I chose Rutgers. I like it’s crazy name.

People who go or went to Rutgers don’t particularly want people to know it’s in New Jersey (or a state school). OTOH, the state politicians who spend all that money on the school do want everyone to know both of those facts. That’s why they got that “The State University of New Jersey” part of the name added. That seemed to appease them for a few years, but every so often some little fish in Trenton starts making waves again.

Personally, I would be very unhappy if they changed it.

I’d be unhappy, too. They changed Glassboro to Rowan …

In any event, it really is a prestigious school.

Someone did manage to buy (for $5 million) the name of the Rutgers School of Pharmacy though. Oh, I’m sorry, that’s the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy.