This year is like no other at Rowan University. Marked by celebrations, a carnival, a 40-page special edition of the newspaper, lecture talks, and more. Rowan celebrates their centennial in grand style. On Sept. 4, 1923, this school – back when it was called Glassboro Normal School – opened its doors to its first class of students. Now, 100 years later, students and faculty have come together to acknowledge this monumental milestone.
What began as a school to train school teachers for South Jersey classrooms, has evolved into a successful public college, home to over 80 bachelor’s degree options and 60 master’s degree options. From an ever-evolving expansion plan from Bunce Hall to the Student Center expansion and to every new freshman class that passes through Rowan’s door enriches the history that has been made over these past 100 years.
The first official celebration was held on the university’s birthday on Monday, Sept. 4. The annual President’s Welcome was special this year since the incoming freshman class is the 100th class to step foot on University Green. The day was filled with activities and networking opportunities for freshmen alike. After completing their “victory lap” of the school, freshmen were directed to Bunce Hall to kick off their celebration. Student Government President Brianna Reagan enthusiastically welcomed students alongside Rowan President, Ali Houshmand.
By the end of the first week of school, students and faculty were invited to the annual Engineering Carnival that was held on Sunday, Sept. 10. Students showed off their talent to the 1,000-plus attendees that day. There were booths where students showcased their projects from 3D-printed items like mini capybaras to life-sized race cars and fun activities like a bull and a giant blow-up slide. And of course, there was free food!
A few days later, on Wednesday, Sept. 13, The Whit debuted its “Rowan Centennial Special Edition” at the Board of Trustees meeting. Editor-in-Chief, Victoria McGivern spoke about the importance of the project and journalism as a whole.
“What you hold now is a piece of history. Inside these pages are the lives, stories, and events that have shaped Rowan into what it is today,” McGivern said to the crowd.
The special edition was then delivered alongside the first issue of The Whit and continues to be distributed throughout the year to students, faculty and alumni. The Whit will also be distributing copies at special events such as Homecoming and Family Weekend.
In addition, Rowan is hosting its “Centennial Lecture Series.” Lectures are being led by big names such as Doug Tallamy, New York Times bestselling author, and David MacMillan, a Nobel laureate. The first to speak is Tallamy who will present on the biodiversity crisis and what steps citizens can take to better counteract it. The seminar is open to all and admission is free.
As the school year continues to move forward so will the events, celebrations, and products. There is much to come and a lot of “to be determined.” Although the school year comes and goes, The Whit staff believes that everyone, from students to staff, should take every day with grace in order to really enjoy this extraordinary year. Rowan’s centennial is about more than fun and flashy events. Right now, the entirety of the Rowan body from students to faculty to professional staff is at a unique point in time. This is Rowan’s history and we are lucky to be a part of it.
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