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.
Rutgers University–New Brunswick is where it all started 250 years ago. The historic home of Rutgers began as a small, private college educating young men for the ministry and has developed into a premier public research university with more than 41,000 students studying in hundreds of fields of endeavor. Its research and scholarship are recognized worldwide, and it is the only public institution in New Jersey represented in the prestigious Association of American Universities, a highly selective organization comprising the top 62 research universities in North America. Rutgers University–New Brunswick is also a member of the Big Ten Conference and its academic counterpart, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, a consortium of 15 world-class research universities.
Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) is New Jersey’s leader in academic health care with a widespread presence throughout the state. Established in 2013 when most of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey was integrated with Rutgers, RBHS is aligned academically with Rutgers University–New Brunswick and collaborates universitywide. RBHS educates the next generation of health care providers with more than 7,900 students enrolled in its eight schools; provides health care and community service; and conducts basic science, public health, and clinical research.
Rutgers University–Newark dates back to 1908 when the New Jersey Law School first opened. That law school, along with four other educational institutions in Newark—Dana College, the Newark Institute of Arts & Sciences, the Seth Boyden School of Business, and the Mercer Beasley School of Law—formed a series of alliances. In 1936, they merged establishing the University of Newark. A decade later, the New Jersey State Legislature voted to make the University of Newark part of Rutgers University. Today Rutgers University–Newark is a world-class research and teaching institution with more than 12,000 students, and is rated as the most diverse national campus by U.S. News & World Report.
Rutgers University–Camden had its beginnings in the 1920s in the South Jersey Law School and the College of South Jersey. In 1950, the New Jersey State Legislature voted unanimously to place both schools under Rutgers University. Today Rutgers University–Camden is a rising lead institution among urban public research universities with more than 6,000 students and in 2015 ranked #2 as the "Best Bang for the Buck" among all northeast colleges and universities by Washington Monthly.
In honor of the school's original name, Queen's College, the early athletic teams were referred to as the Queensmen. Beginning in 1925, the mascot figure for football was a giant, colorfully felt-covered, costumed representation of the "Chanticleer." The chanticleer remained as the nickname for some 30 years.
In the early 1950s, in the hope of spurring the all-around good athletic promise and the RU fighting spirit, a campuswide selection process changed the mascot to that of a Knight. By 1955, the Scarlet Knight had become the official Rutgers University–New Brunswick mascot.