Moments in Rutgers’ History
Enjoy these historical highlights from Rutgers' past excerpted from our timeline Rutgers Through the Years. Check back as we continue to add updates.
Rutgers College is chosen over Princeton to become the state land-grant school, a feat largely attributable to Professor George H. Cook, the assistant state geologist who knew the state better than anyone at Princeton. Rutgers Scientific School is soon launched as the land-grant unit at Rutgers.
Kirkpatrick Chapel, which will also serve as library and classroom space for many years, is dedicated in 1873. Four chapel windows are from the 19th-century studios of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Excerpts from a Rutgers-produced video, left, highlight the chapel's painstaking restoration in 2012.
The New Jersey College for Women, today's Douglass Residential College, has been preparing women for leadership since 1918. The college originally offers two curricula: liberal arts and home economics.
Animal Life in the Antarctic is a Rutgers-produced film made by Professor Earle B. Perkins, one of four biologists on the Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition of 1933–1934. An excerpt from the film is shown here. Perkins Glacier on the coast of Antarctica's Marie Byrd Land is named for him.
The Rutgers tomato, developed by professor L.G. Schermerhorn, debuts in 1934 and becomes the dominant commercial tomato of the mid-20th century. A 1955 Campbell's Soup ad touts "The Tomato that went to college."
Rutgers played a major role in World War II, with the service of its students, alumni, and faculty. In total, more than 1,700 undergrads drop out from 1941 to 1945 to fight, and one-third of all living alumni at the time serve, including nearly 200 women (alumnae and students).
Selman A. Waksman (RC1915,'16) and his students, including graduate students Albert Schatz (AG'42,'45) and Elizabeth Bugie (DC'42, GSNB'44), culminate nearly 30 years of research in soil microbiology in the discovery of streptomycin, the first cure for tuberculosis and the first antimicrobial agent developed after penicillin. Waksman coins the word "antibiotic" and founds Rutgers' Waksman Institute for Microbiology.
Listen to the Rutgers University Glee Club sing “Nobody Ever Died for Dear Old Rutgers” from the 1947 musical High Button Shoes, set in New Brunswick, New Jersey, which refers to Rutgers legend Frank “Pop” Grant, who broke his leg in an 1892 football game against Princeton, and was rumored to say, “I'd die for dear old Rutgers” as he was carried off the field.
The first broadcast of the student-run WRSU radio station debuts April 26, 1948 featuring "five dramatic presentations each week, semi-classical musical programs, popular musical programs, news broadcasts, and features", as reported in the Newark News. Watch early directors of WRSU gather in the studio and listen to their 1959 station identification jingle.
The first intercollegiate Ultimate Frisbee game ever is played at Rutgers behind the College Avenue Gym on the approximate location where the first football game was played exactly 103 years earlier.
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey achieves the National Cancer Institute's highest designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center. Watch an excerpt from a 2014 NCI video that explains the role and importance of the NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers.
The football team thrills Rutgers and the nation after a stunning 28–25 victory over Louisville, considered the biggest win in school history. Fans stream onto the field of Rutgers Stadium in celebration. Hear Rutgers Radio Network's Chris Carlin make the iconic "Pandemonium in Piscataway" call.
The Rutgers University Glee Club holds a joint concert with SV Hucbald's choir at Utrecht University in the Netherlands in honor of Rutgers' 250th anniversary and commemorates Rutgers' Dutch roots and long affiliation with Utrecht.