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. In the early 1900s, many New Jersey teachers lacked proper training because of a shortage of schools in the state that provided training. To counter the trend, the state decided to build a two-year training school for teachers, known then as a normal school, in Southern New Jersey.
The town of Glassboro was an early favorite because of its excellent rail system, harmonious blend of industry and agriculture, natural beauty and location in the heart of South Jersey.
Several towns in South Jersey competed to be the site of the new normal school because of the economic benefit and prestige such an institution would bring. In 1917, to sway the decision in their favor, 107 residents of Glassboro raised more than $7,000 to purchase 25 acres, which they offered to the state for free if they selected Glassboro as the site.
The land tract included the Whitney mansion and carriage house. Be...
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