College History

Read Rutgers magazine's history of Livingston College, Great Expectations, published in spring 2012.

Help us fill in the Livingston history timeline.  Review the timeline and send your comments and suggestions to

Livingston College handball wallLivingston College was founded in 1969 at Rutgers University's Kilmer Campus (renamed as Livingston Campus in 1991) in Piscataway, New Jersey.  It had a mission to bring together a diverse group of students, faculty and staff in a shared-learning community committed to the pursuit of academic innovation and excellence. Livingston College had the distinction of being Rutgers-New Brunswick's first coeducational undergraduate residential college for the liberal arts.

In fall 2007 Rutgers' New Brunswick-area liberal arts undergraduate colleges, including Livingston College, merged into one School of Arts and Sciences. Livingston's final commencement as a separate college was held in 2010.

The Livingston Campus remains a thriving component of Rutgers University, boasting some of the university's best traditions and innovations in academics (including the Social Justice Living Learning Communities and the New Brunswick home of the Rutgers Business School), student life (including an expanded student center that opened in 2010, a new dining commons that opened in 2011, a new apartment complex that opened in 2012), and energy innovation (serving as the home for a large solar panel installation). Livingston Campus is also home to the Louis Brown Athletic Center, known as the "RAC," which opened in 1977 and is the home of Rutgers' men's and women's basketball teams, concerts, graduations and other large events held by Rutgers and surrounding communities. A retail complex, boasting restaurants, a movie theater and a "Jersey diner," opened in 2013.

Livingston College's mission eventually was embraced by the entire university,  honoring the college's distinction of community building through leadership and understanding.

Dedicated to expanding opportunities for its students, the college fulfilled its mission through its core curriculum, its minor in organizational leadership, its internship programs, and its student life activities. Livingston offered students the personal attention of a small college community within a major research institution.

Its original motto, "Strength through Diversity," came to life in the college's signature lecture series, the Global Futures Symposia. Livingston College offered an undergraduate education that prepared students to think critically and to act responsibly in the contemporary world. The college offered the broadest possible choice at the university of more than 60 majors, with an academic program designed to give students an excellent foundation in the liberal arts and an in-depth understanding of their chosen fields of interest. Courses in fulfillment of distribution requirements gave students experience in the humanities, natural and social sciences, and quantitative and analytical studies. Livingston College students were also introduced to the diversity of world cultures as they developed insight into the origins and character of contemporary national and global issues.

Livingston offered a unique minor in organizational leadership. Unifying the theoretical and practical elements of organizational dynamics, the minor ensured that the student's academic background included a component immediately recognizable as valuable by potential employers. The program complemented instruction offered in Rutgers' professional schools and offered important curricular options to students pursuing degrees in arts and sciences. The college was committed to providing an open forum where ideas and values were examined and restructured in the light of knowledge acquired within and beyond the classroom.

    Updated January 9, 2015

Great Expectations: Livingston College History article from Rutgers magazine (Spring 2012, PDF)1.08 MB