Saint Peter's College, the Jesuit College of New Jersey, was founded as a liberal arts college for men in 1872. When classes first started in Jersey City on September 2, 1878 seventy-one students originally enrolled in the Preparatory Department. That number grew to one hundred and twenty-three by year's end. They aged from ten to fifteen, and thus none of them were doing college-level work. As more students arrived work began on a new school building on Grand Street in 1899.
By 1900 the College had granted 63 Bachelor degrees and 26 Master's degrees. Five years later, the College and Saint Peter's High School, though located in the same building, were distinct academic institutions. From 1918 to 1930, the College closed down because of World War I and because Jesuit superiors wanted to concentrate their manpower in other colleges on the East Coast. As noted in the College yearbook, "The classrooms went empty. The faculty closed their markbooks, and left for the battlefields."
It reopened in 1930 on the fourth floor of the Chamber of Commerce Building in downtown Jersey City, and women were admitted...
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