|Type||Public liberal arts college|
|Endowment||$21.2 million (2020)|
|Colors||Maroon & White|
|Sports||NCAA Division III|
Ramapo College of New Jersey (RCNJ) is a public liberal arts college in Mahwah, New Jersey. It is part of New Jersey's public system of higher education. As of the spring 2018 semester, there were a total of 5,685 students enrolled at the college, including 483 graduate students.
In the late 19th century, the Ramapo Valley was developed for large estates by many wealthy families. Theodore Havemeyer and his family arrived in the area in the 1870s. Havemeyer, a founder of the American Sugar Company, purchased and renovated a home on the road that would become Route 202 and developed more than 1,000 acres surrounding the mansion into a farm. In 1889 he had a second mansion built on the property for one of his daughters. That mansion and about 700 acres of the original 1,000 were later purchased by Stephen Birch, president of the Kennecott Copper Company.
In 1968, the New Jersey Department of Higher Education authorized establishing a new state college in Bergen County, due to its increasing population and suburbanization. The criteria for the new college's location were sufficient land for the construction of current needs and future expansion, and proximity to at least one major highway. The locations of existing public and private institutions in the state were also taken into consideration. The college was planned to serve economically deprived students from urban and rural areas, in addition to a full range of middle-class families.
George Potter, an administrator at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, was appointed the first President of the college before a location had been determined. After many board meetings, it was decided that the former Birch Estate in Mahwah would be the location for the new college. Although the land was farther north than originally intended for the campus, its proximity to Route 17 and mountainous surroundings made it an attractive site. The architects drew up plans for an L-shaped, glass-walled facility consisting of five 2-story academic buildings connected by large entry spaces, with each building devoted to a particular department or division. The architects recommended this approach to allow for rapid construction of additional wings onto the various entry spaces, allowing quick expansion of the college.
The former Havemeyer mansion was adapted as the president's house, and the former Birch Mansion was renovated to be used as the administration building of the college. Rodney David Smith served as college's third president, from July 1, 2001, to June 30, 2004. He was succeeded by Dr. Peter Philip Mercer, who was succeeded by Cindy Jebb on July 6, 2021.
Ramapo College offers bachelor's degrees in the arts, business, the social and natural sciences, and the humanities, as well as in professional studies programs such as nursing and social work. Seven programs are offered leading to a master's degree: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Social Work (MSW), Master of Arts in Educational Leadership (MAEL), Master of Science in Educational Technology (MSET), Master of Arts in Special Education (MASE), Master of Science in Nursing Education (MSN), and a Master of Science in Accounting (MSAC). The college also offers a physician assistant (B.S./M.S.) and physical therapy (B.S./D.P.T.) with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; a B.A./Master's degree program in Art Therapy with Caldwell University; a B.S./Doctor of Chiropractic with New York Chiropractic College; a B.S./D.D.S. and a B.S./D.M.D. with the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine; a B.S./Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) with SUNY State College of Optometry; and a B.S./Doctor of Podiatric Medicine through New York College of Podiatric Medicine (NYCPM).
The five interdisciplinary schools include the Anisfield School of Business (Dean Edward Petkus), the School of Contemporary Arts (Interim Dean Peter Campbell), the School of Humanities and Global Studies (Interim Dean Susan Hangen), the School of Social Science and Human Services (Dean Aaron Lorenz), and the School of Theoretical and Applied Science (Interim Dean Edward Saiff).
Ramapo College was established in 1968 as a state-supported, co-educational, four-year College for liberal arts, sciences, and professional studies. Ramapo received accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in 1975. Individual programs also received accreditation. The Social Work Program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education, the Chemistry Program is approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Nursing Program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and the New Jersey Board of Nursing, the Teacher Certification program is approved by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and the State of New Jersey, and the Anisfield School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
Ramapo College is also a founding member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.
US News and World Report ranks Ramapo 37th among 196 "Regional Universities in the North" in its 2018 list.
According to Forbes, as of 2018, Ramapo College of New Jersey was rated #370 in Top Colleges, #127 in Public Colleges, and #143 in the Northeast region. However, in 2019, Forbes ranked Ramapo College at #341 in Top Colleges, #116 in Public Colleges, and #133 in the Northeast region, and ranked Ramapo at #206 in America's Best Value Colleges of 2019.
Praised for its accessibility and modernity which is juxtaposed by the picturesque outdoors, Ramapo College, which lies at the foothills of the Ramapo Mountains, was named by CondeNast Traveler as one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America in 2020.
The 300-acre campus includes modern academic buildings, the Robert A. Scott Student Center (which houses student offices, the Birch Tree Inn and Atrium cafeterias, and J. Lee's student lounge); entertainment and meeting rooms; a library with electronic research facilities; the Ramapo Spiritual Center, an administration building; athletic playing fields and 12 lighted tennis courts.
The Angelica and Russ Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts houses performance theaters, art galleries and specialized spaces devoted to fine arts, computer art, photography, theater, dance and music. The Berrie Center includes a number of art galleries that are aligned with the School of Contemporary Arts and display a wide variety of art including faculty artwork and international collections. The visual arts faculty uses the exhibitions as an educational tool to illustrate the creative process to students. The art galleries include the Kresge Gallery, Pascal Gallery, Selden Rodman Gallery, Potter Library Gallery, and the Photo Lounge Gallery. The Potter Library Galleries showcase regional artists and student work.
A campus-wide building program during recent years has resulted in the completion of the Anisfield School of Business, designed by local firm SNS Architects & Engineers, which opened in Fall 2007 and the Bill Bradley Sports and Recreation center with its 2,200-seat arena, fitness center, climbing wall, dance/aerobics studio, gymnasium and indoor swimming pool. The center has also been used for live music. A new synthetic outdoor running track was laid down in the summer of 2008, and further refurbishments to the main athletic stadium are ongoing. Five residence halls, Mackin Hall, Bischoff Hall, Overlook Hall, Laurel Hall, as well as the Village, an apartment-style complex, were also completed. Restoration of the College Park Apartments, built during the late 1970s, is also underway, reaching Phase II of the project. As per the other residence halls, they are relatively modern, with Pine Hall being completed in 1986 and Linden Hall completed in 1990. Bischoff Hall opened in 1999, followed by Mackin Hall in 2000, the Village apartments in 2002, the distinctively designed Overlook Hall in 2004, and Laurel Hall in 2005. The Salameno Spiritual Center is now open. The Adler Center for Nursing Excellence opened in the fall of 2015 and houses both undergraduate and graduate nursing programs, featuring three simulation rooms where students work with computer-simulated patients, in addition to a nursing skills lab and a laboratory for anatomy and physiology.
The school has an independent FM radio station, WRPR, 90.3 FM, a free-form station featuring numerous genres and talk shows.
The Roukema Center for International Education is located in the Anisfield School of Business. Here, advisement is given for those students who want to study abroad. There are more than 50 countries in Ramapo's study abroad program, which includes a variety of faculty-led trips to international destinations such as China, Cuba, Ghana, India, Japan, Spain, Peru, and Portugal.
Ramapo College currently has 8 men's teams and 12 women's teams, and participates in NCAA Division III sports. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country running, soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Women's athletic teams at Ramapo College consist of basketball, cheerleading, cross country running, dance, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Ramapo also offers a club DIII ice hockey team.
The men's basketball team won the 2017 New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III playoffs. However, Ramapo was eliminated after the second round of playoff competition.
The hockey team won the Metropolitan Collegiate Hockey Conference title for 2016-2017 season.
Student supporters of Ramapo College's athletic teams are known as the Ramapo Rowdies.
Upon graduation from Maranda, Hon. Ojode proceeded to Ramapo State College of The University System Of New Jersey, in Mahwah, New Jersey, United States. When he graduated from Ramapo State in 1991, Hon. Ojode returned to Kenya.
Jeff Phillips, 1968 Veteran soap actor Jeff Phillips was raised in Hillsdale and went to Pascack Valley High School and Ramapo College.
A graduate of Ramapo College, he booked his first big job - a one-shot gig on Saturday Night Live - in 2000.