A Little NJ Background
New Jersey is one of the smallest states in the United States of America, specifically the third smallest, but it boasts a variety of landmarks and resources with respect to its land mass. There are a number of tourist attractions for people of many different tastes and fancies. Nature lovers will find themselves right at home in places like the Skylands region, located in the Northwest, which is home to the New Jersey Botanical Gardens and the Columbia Trail. The southern part of New Jersey, or the Shore, offers magnificent vistas of the ocean and marshland as well. Those interested in more metropolitan activities can find theatre in Newark and the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood. One of the most important resources New Jersey has, however, is that of education. New Jersey is home to an Ivy League university with a very prestigious background, Princeton University.
Origins of Princeton University
Princeton University’s beginnings are rooted in the search for religious freedom and spreading gospel. The New Light Presbyterians founded the College of New Jersey at Elizabeth in 1746 to train ministers that would be vigilant in their adherence to the views of the group. Ten years later, the College relocated to Nassau Hall in Princeton. Nassau Hall was named in honor of King William III who was of the house of Nassau. After the untimely deaths of its first five presidents, the school saw a long period of stable leadership during 1768-1794 under Reverend John Witherspoon.
Witherspoon changed the educational style of the school from a college dedicated to training ministers to a college committed to moral philosophy, science, and other disciplines that prepared students to become ‘leaders of the revolutionary generation’. These roots prevailed as James McCosh, president of the college, became the first American religious leader to publicly endorse Darwin’s theory of evolution.
In 1896, as part of its sesquicentennial celebration, the College of New Jersey changed its name to Princeton University and the keynote speech was given by current professor and future president Woodrow Wilson. Six years later Wilson became president of the college and finalized plans for building a Graduate College. This marked the transition from college to full-fledged university.
Current Conditions of Princeton University
Princeton University is considered to be one of the best universities in the United States of America and the world. It was ranked first or second in the nation by U.S. News & World Report through 2001 to 2010. Due to the prestige associated with Princeton University, its admissions process is highly selective, admitting 8.39 percent of applicants for the Class of 2015. Those who do enter Princeton University, however, are provided with incredible financial aid packages. In 2001, the university became the first school to eliminate loans for students that qualify for financial aid. As a result of this Princeton graduates leave with “about one fifth the average debt of students who borrow at all private schools.” Princeton University, while being highly regarded, does not have schools of medicine, law, or business within its curriculum.