Timeline – ǧý University


Aerial view of campus at sunset


ǧý University Timeline

Photo of first graduating class
The New Jersey State Normal School at Montclair opens its doors. Governor John Franklin Fort attends the dedication of College Hall, the school’s first building.
The school’s first graduating class numbers just 45.
Russ Hall in 1915
Russ Hall, the college’s first dormitory, opens.
As it celebrates its 10th anniversary, the New Jersey State Normal School at Montclair has graduated a total of 1,464 teachers, more than 1,200 of whom teach in New Jersey.
The school’s yearbook, then called The Palatine, is printed for the first time. It’s named for “that highest pinnacle of Rome, from whose height could be seen the panorama of the ancient world of learning.”
Charles S. Chapin, the school’s first principal, expresses his concern about flapper influences on campus.
After Charles S. Chapin’s death, Harry Sprague becomes principal.
The school’s first student-run newspaper, The Montclairion, is launched. It changes its name to The Pelican in 1928.
The school is renamed ǧý Teachers College and offers a four-year teaching degree. Harry Sprague becomes president.
University seal
A second dorm, Chapin Hall, opens.
1928 varsity basketball team
The college’s first men’s sports teams are formed, going by the name “Big Red.” The football squad finishes the season with a 0-4 record, while the basketball team finishes with a 3-6 record.
One of Montclair’s first graduates, William O. Trapp, wins the Pulitzer Prize for Journalism.
The first men’s baseball team finishes its inaugural season with a 0-5 record.
The school’s first fraternity, called The Senate, is formed.
Montclair is authorized to grant master’s degrees. It soon offers a master of fine arts.
Students in the Amphitheater
With the help of students and faculty, the Amphitheater is constructed under the direction of the Works Progress Administration.
Sprague Field is dedicated during a football game against Hofstra University.
Aerial photo of campus in 1947
After the end of World War II, so many veterans enroll at ǧý that temporary classrooms are set up in wooden war-surplus buildings.
Coach Chet Pittser leads the football team to its first undefeated season. Pittser Field is later named in his honor.
Professor and student at the school of conservation site
The New Jersey School of Conservation is established.
A story in Life magazine reports on the nationwide college facilities shortage as GIs flock to college after World War II. ǧý’s Life Hall is dedicated to those who gave their lives serving their country.
E. DeAlton Partridge becomes ǧý’s third president.
Educational Television advertisement
The nation’s first educational television programs are broadcast from the ǧý campus. The studio is a converted bowling alley, with transmitters sending signals to New Jersey as well as parts of New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
ǧý’s men’s basketball team sets a record for points scored in a single game while knocking off Bloomfield College, 120-102.
ǧý College sign
After a merger with the Panzer School of Physical Education, ǧý College is born.
Aerial photo of the class of 1966
ǧý becomes a multi-purpose institution, admitting its first liberal arts students.
The college’s first women’s basketball team ends its debut season with an impressive 9-3 record.
Painted portrait of President Dickson
Dr. David W.D. Dickson is named president, becoming the first African American to lead a four-year college in New Jersey.
Men's wrestling match
The men’s wrestling team wins the national championship in 1976. It repeats that feat in 1986.
Women's basketball match
The women’s basketball team, led by Carol Blazejowski, reaches the Final Four. Blazejowski scores over 3,100 points—the most by any collegiate player, male or female—before her graduation.
For the 50th time, ǧý takes on Trenton State in the oldest active collegiate football rivalry in the state of New Jersey. More than 8,600 fans watch as ǧý wins its ninth New Jersey Athletic Conference championship with a 25-13 victory.
Donald E. Walters is named president.
ǧý receives two Governor’s Challenge Grants: in the arts and critical thinking. The Institute for Critical Thinking is established the following year.
ǧý’s baseball team captures its first NCAA crown. It will repeat the achievement in 1993 and 2000.
Richard A. Lynde is named Acting President
The athletic department changes its mascot to the Red Hawk.
Irvin D. Reid is named President
ǧý University entrance
ǧý College achieves university status and becomes ǧý University on April 27, 1994.
ǧý dedicates the Center of Pedagogy, the first of its kind in the nation.
Dr. Susan A. Cole
Gregory L. Waters is named Acting President
Dr. Susan A. Cole becomes ǧý’s eighth president and the first woman to lead the University.
ǧý receives approval from the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education to offer a doctor of education degree in pedagogy, the first doctoral program in its 90-year history.
Science Halls opens with 11 labs, three greenhouses and a student annex.
MSU Softball Stadium, hailed as one of the finest on-campus softball facilities in the Northeast, opens its doors.
Alexander Kasser Theater
The 500-seat Alexander Kasser Theater – a multi-use facility for performances of drama, musical theater, dance, orchestral concerts, solo recitals and chamber opera – opens to great applause.
The John J. Cali School of Music is established.
With much fanfare, ǧý University celebrates its centennial.
Forbes magazine names Montclair the “Best Public University in New Jersey.”
The University launches a $650 million campus master plan. New facilities will include a School of Business, a Center for Environmental and Life Sciences, a Communication and Media Studies Center, and a Visual Arts and Design Center.
The Heights, a state-of-the-art, 2,000-bed residential facility, opens at the north end of campus. Built through a public-private partnership, it is the largest university residence in New Jersey.
Renovated Finley Hall is renamed in honor of alumnus benefactor Conrad J. Schmitt.
Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health is established.
The U.S. Department of State recognizes Montclair as a top producer of U.S. Fulbright Scholars.
World’s first Center for Quantitative Obesity Research is established.
Nation’s first Guy Fieri on Campus restaurant opens in Blanton Hall food court.
School of Communication and Media is established.
The Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship is established with a $1 million gift from Mimi and Edwin Feliciano.
Field Hockey wins the NJAC Championship and Men’s Soccer is NJAC Regular-Season Champions.
Women’s Basketball is NJAC Champion and go onto the NCAA Sweet 16 for the first time in the history of the University, and set the school record for most wins in one season finishing the season 26-0.
Softball is NJAC Champion and NCAA Regional Champion.
Students in laboratory
Feliciano School of Business
Ground is broken for two new academic facilities: a new School of Business building and the Center for Environmental and Life Sciences.
Women’s Basketball is NJAC Champion and advances to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Championship Tournament for the first time in University history.
ǧý becomes the first public university in New Jersey to adopt an SAT/ACT Optional policy for undergraduate admissions.
The University receives a $20 million anonymous gift – the largest in its history – in support of the School of Business.
Women’s Basketball is NJAC Champion and advances to the Final Four of the NCAA Championship Tournament, finishing third in the nation.
The University opens two new buildings, the Center for Environmental and Life Sciences and the facility housing the School of Business, which is renamed the Feliciano School of Business in honor of longtime supporters and benefactors Mimi and Edwin Feliciano.
two students in science lab use pipettes to move samples to and from petri dishes
For the first time, the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education recognizes Montclair as a Research Doctoral University.
The School of Nursing is established.
Student ambassador sepaking at Hispanic Student College Institute
Montclair is designated a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education.
Montclair is designated a Public Research Institution by the State of New Jersey.
University opens new School of Communication and Media building, one of the nation’s most technologically advanced university media production facilities.
Mallory Hall was transformed into the new Center for Computing and Information Science, with a dynamic mix of rooms designed specifically to support research, teaching labs and instruction.
ǧý University earned R2 Designation from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, recognizing it as a high-research activity university.
University responds to global COVID-19 pandemic by pivoting to all online classes in the spring, returning to campus in the fall in a limited capacity and offering in-person, online and hybrid classes.
Campus safely celebrates graduation with 21 in-person, socially distanced Commencement  ceremonies on Sprague Field in July.
President Koppell in front of Cole Hall
After 23 years at the helm, President Susan A. Cole retires. Jonathan GS Koppell becomes the ninth president of ǧý University.
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) names  Montclair as a Fulbright Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Leader, one of only 35 colleges and universities in the country to earn the federal designation.
Montclair celebrates the first year and the Investiture of President Jonathan GS Koppell, who outlines plans for the future, which include continuing to build on the University’s history of public service to become the premier public service university in the nation.