On November 10, 1766, William Franklin, the last colonial governor of New Jersey, granted the charter that brought Queen’s College into existence. In 1825 the school was renamed to honor Colonel Henry Rutgers, a Revolutionary War veteran.
Revolutionary for 250 Years
Kirkpatrick Chapel’s stained glass window depicting the signing of the charter
Founded in 1766, Rutgers marked its 250th anniversary with various commemorative events. Highlights include: the university commencement address delivered by President Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, a visit from United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and the presentations of I Am Robeson Week and the 250th Anniversary Presidential Symposia on Higher Education. The yearlong festivities culminated with A Day of Revolutionary Thinking on Charter Day, November 10, 2016.
Examples of celebratory events include:
- showcasing the RevolUtionary Monument throughout the state;
- releasing special Rutgers 250 editions of the Journal of the Rutgers University Libraries and Rutgers Magazine;
- spotlighting new Rutgers 250 All-Star Breeds of vegetables, fruits, trees, nuts, and grasses in nurseries and county fairs;
- hosting the Black on the Banks and International Association for College Admission Counseling conferences;
- publishing several books, including Rutgers Since 1945 by Professor Paul Clemens and Rutgers: A 250th Anniversary Portrait, the winner of a Gold Award for excellence;
- offering the Rutgers 250: A Taste of Culinary History seminar and the Rutgers at 250 Years online history course;
- holding photo contests and exhibits with Donate A Photo and HereNow: Rutgers 250;
- broadcasting Rutgers 250: Rutgers Around the World, a three-hour live special on RU-tv;
- expanding Rutgers Day programming to Rutgers University—Camden, Rutgers University—New Brunswick, and Rutgers University—Newark for the first time; and
- exhibiting university artifacts in the Zimmerli Art Museum and Rutgers University Libraries.
For more Rutgers 250th information, please visit