Montclair State University opened its doors in 1908 as New Jersey State Normal School at Montclair, housed entirely in a single building, College Hall, now a newly renovated campus centerpiece. In the decades since, the institution has served generations of students, many the first in their families to achieve a higher education.
The University has grown and flourished in ways that would have been hard to imagine 112 years ago. From the first class of 187 students, it now serves 21,000 graduate and undergraduate students in 300 programs offered by 10 schools and colleges. Montclair State employs more than 4,000 faculty and staff members and is New Jersey’s second-largest university.
The 23-year tenure of Dr. Susan A. Cole has been a time of remarkable growth and transformation during which the University has grown stronger, larger and more complex, rising from a well-respected regional master’s institution with an almost entirely commuter student population to become a doctoral research university with a sizable residential student population and a growing national reputation.
Under President Cole’s leadership, the University hired hundreds of new faculty, opened four new schools and colleges, constructed extensive new academic space, built housing for some 5,000 students, reconstructed the entire energy infrastructure of the 252-acre campus, modernized facilities to support 21st-century teaching, learning and research, and added a train station providing direct access to midtown Manhattan.
Earlier this year, the University completed the most successful development campaign in its history, raising $82 million from 20,000 alumni, friends, and corporate and foundation donors. This funding will sustain student scholarships, support faculty research and provide the next president with a strong foundation on which to build.
Across all the decades and amidst all the growth, however, Montclair State has always remained true to the ideals on which it was founded: providing a rigorous, affordable education that is accessible to all students, regardless of their means, and which prepares them to serve society and to lead lives of purpose and meaning.