Rutgers’ 250th birthday on November 10, 2016, was a time of celebration as the Rutgers community and friends joined in a day of festivities, including fireworks, birthday cupcakes, activities, and more at our campuses in Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick.
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Dozens of Rutgers alumni returned to our campuses for A Day of Revolutionary Thinking on November 10, 2016. Designated as our Rutgers 250 Fellows—these individuals, all experts from diverse fields, shared new ideas, discoveries, and practices that are shaping our world. Dinner galas and fireworks displays capped birthday celebrations on our campuses in Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick.
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Our Rutgers 250 celebration continued this summer with a variety of events. The anniversary celebration went on tour this summer—visiting New Jersey county fairs and hosting neighborhood health screenings. Rutgers also welcomed thousands of educators from across the country for the International Association for College Admission Counseling.
Rutgers’ yearlong 250th Anniversary celebration continued throughout the spring semester with an engaging roster of events at our universities in New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden and at the State House in Trenton, Lincoln Center in New York City, and the United States Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. In April, Rutgers Day attracted a record-breaking 100,000 visitors, and in May at University Commencement we made history as President Barack Obama chose Rutgers to deliver the penultimate commencement address of his presidency.
From Rutgers’ earliest days, its scientists and students have been out in fields, forests, rivers, and oceans, exploring and understanding nature, harnessing its power for the greater good, and ultimately appreciating how its thoughtful stewardship is essential to the future of life on Earth. Rutgers Scientific School and New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station were early adopters of a scientific approach to studying natural resources and agriculture. The work of their faculty would become the seedbed for Rutgers’ eventual rise as a leading research university. Today, Rutgers people in the field—close to home and across the globe—tackle problems, profound and pressing, from crop development and infectious disease to world hunger and climate change.
As dusk fell over the lawn at Old Queens on November 10, 2015, the glowing kettle fires lit the chilly, damp night air as the Rutgers community and friends gathered to commence the yearlong celebration of Rutgers 250th Anniversary. Despite rainy weather, hundreds of revelers strolled among the tents that dotted the lawn, meeting figures from Rutgers' past, playing historical trivia, and snacking on chili and cupcakes. The sound of the fife-and-drum corps, bell choir, and Rutgers Marching Band were heard throughout the event.
Highlights of the celebration included premiere screenings of the short film Our Revolutionary Spirit; the unveiling of the Revolutionary monument and the announcement of a Donate a Photo scholarship program, gifts from long-time neighbor Johnson & Johnson; the signing of a commemorative scroll; and a community bell ringing that marked the official start of the anniversary year.
On November 6–7, 2015, in honor of Rutgers' 250 Anniversary, nearly 450 people including students, faculty, alumni, and guests attended the Black on the Banks: African-American Students in the 1960s Conference. Professor Douglas Greenberg welcomed attendees, many of whom participated in the five panel discussions held over the two-day conference. Faculty including Mia Bay, Carolyn Brown, Cheryl A. Wall, Edward Ramsamy, and Deborah Gray White moderated the discussions with panelists of alumni from Douglass College and Rutgers College from the Classes of 1964 through 1974. The conversations were candid and illuminating, and offered a first-hand account of the struggle for access in higher education and the experiences of African-American students during the 1960s and 70s. See the archive of the conference program. The event video will be available soon.