- Total Students 19052
- Total Programs 278
- Established year1923
- Institution TypeUniversity
owan University has evolved from its humble beginning in 1923 as a normal school, with a mission to train teachers for South Jersey classrooms, to a comprehensive public research university with a strong regional reputation.
In the early 1900s, many aspiring New Jersey teachers lacked proper training because of a shortage of schools in the state that provided such an education. To address the problem in South Jersey, the state decided to build a two-year training school for teachers, known then as a normal school.
The town of Glassboro was an early favorite because of its excellent rail system, harmonious blend of industry and agriculture, natural beauty and location in the heart of South Jersey. Several towns in the region competed to be the site of the new normal school because of the economic benefit and prestige such an institution would bring.
In 1917, to sway the decision in their favor, 107 Glassboro residents raised more than $7,000 to purchase 25 acres, which they offered to the state for free if the borough were selected as the site. The tract of land included the Whitney mansion (now known as Hollybush) and carriage house. Before the purchase, the entire property belonged to the Whitney family, prominent owners of the Whitney Glass Works during the 1800s. This show of support, along with the site's natural beauty, convinced the selection committee that Glassboro was the perfect location.