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Clockwise from top right: Glassblower Statue, Bunce Hall (Rowan University), glass bottles from area glassworks, Glassboro Municipal Building, Hollybush Mansion, panorama of the Rowan Boulevard downtown area, Glassboro Water Tower, and Historic West Jersey Depot (old train station).
What is now Glassboro was originally formed as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 11, 1878, from portions of Clayton Township. Portions of the township were taken to form Elk Township (April 17, 1891) and Pitman (May 24, 1905). Glassboro was incorporated as a borough on March 18, 1920, replacing Glassboro Township. The borough was named for its glass industry.
St. Thomas Episcopal Church, built in 1846, is one of the oldest buildings in the borough.
Glassboro's early history was built on the manufacturing of glass. The town was first established in 1779 by Solomon Stanger as "Glass Works in the Woods"; glass manufacturers over the years since include Heston-Carpenter Glass Works, Olive Glass Works, Harmony Glass Works, Temperanceville Glass Works, Whitney Brothers Glass Works, Owens Bottle Company, Owens Illinois Glass Company, and Anchor Hocking.
In 1958, due to 20 years of municipal neglect of the sanitary infrastructure of the predominantly Black neighborhoods of Elsmere and Lawns, a typhoid fever epidemic broke out.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 9.221 square miles (23.882 km2), including 9.184 square miles (23.787 km2) of land and 0.037 square miles (0.095 km2) of water (0.40%).
There were 6,158 households out of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.4% were married couples living together, 16.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.5% were non-families. 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the borough, the population was spread out with 19.4% under the age of 18, 26.4% from 18 to 24, 21.1% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 10.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28.4 years. For every 100 females there were 97.1 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 95.0 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $54,795 (with a margin of error of +/- $3,793) and the median family income was $67,171 (+/- $9,496). Males had a median income of $49,695 (+/- $4,361) versus $43,489 (+/- $2,608) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $23,108 (+/- $1,421). About 9.3% of families and 14.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.6% of those under age 18 and 5.0% of those age 65 or over.
There were 6,225 households out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.3% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.0% were non-families. 23.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.17.
In the borough the population was spread out with 22.1% under the age of 18, 25.6% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 16.6% from 45 to 64, and 9.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.3 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $44,992, and the median income for a family was $55,246. Males had a median income of $40,139 versus $30,358 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $18,113. About 8.5% of families and 15.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.6% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.
Glassboro is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used by Glassboro, the most common system used in the state, is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.
As of 2019[update], the Mayor of Glassboro is Democrat John E. Wallace, whose term of office ends December 31, 2021. Members of the Borough Council are Council President George P. Cossabone Sr. (D, 2019), Joe D'Alessandro (D, 2020), Edward A. Malandro (D, 2019), Anna Miller (D, 2021), and Andrew Halter (D, 2021).
Anna Miller was appointed by the borough council in March 2013 from among three candidates offered by the municipal Democratic committee to fill the vacant seat of George Cossabone.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 9,772 registered voters in Glassboro, of which 3,733 (38.2%) were registered as Democrats, 1,408 (14.4%) were registered as Republicans and 4,617 (47.2%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 14 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 63.7% of the vote (4,578 cast), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 34.6% (2,485 votes), and other candidates with 1.8% (128 votes), among the 7,252 ballots cast by the borough's 10,804 registered voters (61 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 67.1%. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 62.8% of the vote (4,516 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 35.4% (2,547 votes) and other candidates with 0.9% (62 votes), among the 7,195 ballots cast by the borough's 10,312 registered voters, for a turnout of 69.8%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 58.5% of the vote (3,930 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 40.1% (2,699 votes) and other candidates with 0.6% (60 votes), among the 6,723 ballots cast by the borough's 9,801 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 68.6.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 53.0% of the vote (2,106 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 45.0% (1,786 votes), and other candidates with 2.0% (80 votes), among the 4,074 ballots cast by the borough's 10,838 registered voters (102 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 37.6%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 51.7% of the vote (2,198 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 39.0% (1,659 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 6.7% (287 votes) and other candidates with 0.7% (29 votes), among the 4,255 ballots cast by the borough's 9,958 registered voters, yielding a 42.7% turnout.
Rowan University is a public university with an enrollment of 18,500 students in 2017-18. The university was founded in 1923 as Glassboro Normal School on a 25-acre (10 ha) site donated by the borough. The school became New Jersey State Teachers College at Glassboro in 1937 and Glassboro State College in 1958. Starting in the 1970s, it expanded into a multi-purpose institution, adding programs in business, communications, and engineering.Rowan Boulevard is a mixed-use development intended to provide a vibrant downtown district for Glassboro, incorporating university student life into its design, as part of an effort to accommodate a student body that is projected to grow to about 25,000 in 2023.
US 322 and Route 47 in Glassboro
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the borough had a total of 78.43 miles (126.22 km) of roadways, of which 57.61 miles (92.71 km) were maintained by the municipality, 13.29 miles (21.39 km) by Gloucester County and 7.53 miles (12.12 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Glassboro is crisscrossed by a number of major roads. CR 553, Route 47 and Route 55 (limited access) travel north-south, while US 322 (much of which is also Mullica Hill Rd) passes through east-west.
Walking is a popular form of transportation especially around the university where many underclassmen are not permitted to have cars. The Glassboro - Williamstown Trail (also known as the Monroe Township Bike Path) traverses the Glassboro State Wildlife Refuge before terminating at Delsea Dr. Future work will extend this trail along former railroad right of way from Delsea Dr. to Rowan U's Bunce Hall. Path links to Elmer and Pitman are also proposed.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Glassboro include:
^ abFrom Normal to Extraordinary: The History of Rowan University, Rowan University. Accessed July 21, 2015. "Rowan 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 university with a strong regional reputation.... The University received worldwide attention when it hosted a historic summit conference between President Lyndon Johnson and Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin in Hollybush."
^About, Borough of Glassboro. Accessed October 18, 2017.
^Sean F. Dalton Gloucester County Prosecutor, Gloucester County, New Jersey. Accessed October 26, 2017. "A Glassboro native, Sean Dalton graduated from Glassboro High School and is a member of the GHS Distinguished Hall of Fame."
^Clark, Jane Bennett. "Over 40? Say Ouch; You're working hard to stay fit, and therein lies the problem.", Kiplinger, December 31, 2007. Accessed July 19, 2017. "Cathe Friedrich, 42, may have been born at the tail end of the baby boom, but she got a jump on joint trouble. A fitness instructor who also makes exercise DVDs (www.cathe.com), she was demonstrating a kickboxing routine about a year ago when she felt a burning sensation in her knee. 'Wrong kick, wrong way -- boom!' says Friedrich of Glassboro, N.J."
^Odenbrett, Austin. "Minnesota Viking and Glassboro grad George Johnson holds football camp", South Jersey Times, July 2, 2013. Accessed October 18, 2017. "Minnesota Vikings defensive end George Johnson's career has taken him across country playing on the biggest stage, but the NFL veteran will never forget his roots in Glassboro. While he has yet to make an major impact as a professional, Johnson has more than made up for it in his off-the-field contributions, including his signature event giving back to his hometown community -- the annual George Johnson Youth Football Camp held at his alma mater, Glassboro High School."