Fairleigh Dickinson University

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Fairleigh Dickinson University
Motto Fortiter et Suaviter
Motto in English
Literally translated from Latin to "Strongly and Gently" (shortening of: suaviter in modo, fortiter in re or "gently in manner, strongly in deed")
Established 1942
Type Private
Endowment $56,586,000 (2014)[1]
President Sheldon Drucker
Provost Christopher A. Capuano
Colors Blue and Red[2]
Athletics NCAA Division INEC and NCAA Division III - Middle Atlantic Conferences
Nickname Knights, Devils
Mascot Knights, Devils
Website www.fdu.edu
Dormitory at Florham campus

Fairleigh Dickinson University is a private, coeducational and nonsectarian university founded in 1942. Fairleigh Dickinson University is the first American university to own and operate an international campus and currently offers more than 100 individual degree programs to its students. The school has four campuses, two in New Jersey (United States), and one each in Canada and in the United Kingdom.

Fairleigh Dickinson University is New Jersey's largest private institution of higher education with 12,000+ students. The university has two campuses in New Jersey: the Florham Campus in Madison and Florham Park,[3] which is on the former estate of Florence Vanderbilt and Hamilton Twombly,[3] and the Metropolitan Campus, close to New York City and spanning the Hackensack River in Teaneck and Hackensack.

It also has two international campuses. Wroxton College is in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England and the Vancouver Campus in Vancouver, British Columbia which opened in 2007.[4]


Fairleigh Dickinson University was founded in 1942 as a junior college by Dr. Peter Sammartino and wife Sally, and was named after an early benefactor Colonel Fairleigh S. Dickinson, co-founder of Becton Dickinson.[5] By 1948, Fairleigh Dickinson College expanded its curriculum to offer a four-year program when the GI Bill and veterans' money encouraged it to redesignate itself. In that same year, the school received accreditation from the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. In 1958, the same year the University acquired the former Twombly-Vanderbilt estate in Madison and Florham,[3] the institution was recognized as Fairleigh Dickinson University by the New Jersey State Board of Education. Fairleigh Dickinson University is a member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.[6]

Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of Central Park, was also commissioned to design the landscape for the Twombly-Vanderbilt estate (now the Florham Campus). The main house of the Twombly-Vanderbilt estate, now Hennessy Hall, was designed by architectural firm McKim, Mead, and White in the Georgian Revival style. The mansion was completed in 1897 and was modeled after the wing of Hampton Court Palace designed by architect Sir Christopher Wren.[3] The Friends of Florham program, founded in 1990 by Emma Joy Dana, university librarian Dr. James Fraser, and a group of friends and colleagues works with the mission of advising and assisting the administration and board of trustees in the care, maintenance, and preservation of the Twombly Estate, known as "Florham".[7]

Presidents of Fairleigh Dickinson University

President Term
Peter Sammartino 1942–1968
J. Osborn Fuller 1968–1974
Jerome M. Pollack 1974–1983
Walter T. Savage* 1983–1984
Robert H. Donaldson 1984–1990
Francis J. Mertz 1990–1999
J. Michael Adams 1999–2012
Sheldon Drucker 2012–present[8]
  • Presidents who served only as an acting or interim president.


Fairleigh Dickinson University has four campuses, two in New Jersey (Madison/Florham Park[3] and Hackensack), one in Vancouver, British Columbia, and one in South East England.

Florham Campus

The Florham Campus is located in the suburban towns of Madison and Florham Park, New Jersey on the grounds of the former estate of Hamilton McKown Twombly (1849–1910) and Florence Adele Vanderbilt Twombly (1854–1952).[3]

The Florham Campus finished construction on the John and Joan Monninger Center for Learning and Research. It opened during the spring 2013 semester. Student enrollment at the Florham Campus consists of over 2,500 undergraduates coupled with 900 graduate students giving a total of 3,400 students. The full-time equivalence (FTE) for undergraduates on the campus is 2,354.8. The FTE for graduates on campus is 1086.1.[9]

The majority of students at the Florham Campus, as shown by this data, are full-time students on campus.[10] During the 2008–2009 academic year the Florham Campus celebrated a year-long celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of that campus.

The Florham Campus was acquired by FDU in 1958 from the Esso Research and Engineering Company. This purchase included 187 acres of property, including Hennessy Hall (The Mansion) and related buildings for the Florham Campus which opened the fall of that year. The Mansion is a 100-room Georgian-style summer home for Hamilton McKown Twombly and his wife Florence Adele Vanderbilt Twombly, a prominent member of the Vanderbilt family.[11] It was designed in the 1890s by Stanford White, and replicates a wing in Henry VIII's Hampton Court. Most of its interior decorations (such as staircases and fireplaces) are in Italian marble, done by Italian craftsman. Hennessy also holds the chestnut-panelled Hartman Lounge (the former billiard room) and Lenfell Hall, then a ballroom and drawing room, now used for meetings and special events.[12] Florham's period architecture has stood the test of time. In 2001, Ron Howard's movie A Beautiful Mind was partly filmed at the Florham Campus.[13]

Metropolitan Campus

The Metropolitan Campus, close to New York City and spanning the Hackensack River in Teaneck and Hackensack, has a greater focus on business and professional majors compared to the Florham Campus, although it does have a number of similar science and health care programs. The Metropolitan Campus has 4,114 undergraduates and 2,350 graduate students, with an undergraduate full-time equivalence (FTE) of 3,744.1.[10] 21% of Metropolitan Campus students are minority and international students. Three out of every four undergraduates commute to class from home or a nearby apartment.[14] The undergraduate studies at the Metropolitan campus are offered through three separate colleges: University College,[15] the Silberman College of Business,[16] and the Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies.[17]

Wroxton College

File:Wroxton College Logo.png
The crest for Fairleigh Dickinson's Wroxton College

Farleigh Dickinson University’s Wroxton College is located in Wroxton, Oxfordshire in South East England.

It is located in a fully modernized 17th century Jacobean mansion that was once the home of Lord North, England’s prime minister during the American Revolution.

The village of Wroxton is located about three miles west of Banbury, and Wroxton College's campus is close to Oxford and Stratford-upon-Avon.

When Fairleigh Dickinson University acquired Wroxton Abbey in 1965, FDU became the first American university to own and operate a campus, Wroxton College, outside of the United States.[18][19]

Vancouver Campus

FDU's Vancouver Campus is located at 842 Cambie Street, Vancouver, British Columbia. It offers undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to earn an American degree while studying in Canada. The university’s newest campus, it opened in 2007.

Former campuses

In addition to the present campuses, Fairleigh Dickinson University previously operated campuses in Rutherford, New Jersey (where the University was founded in 1942) and in Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Operations on the Rutherford Campus were merged with the Metropolitan Campus in 1993 and the Rutherford Campus was later sold to Felician College. The West Indies Laboratory which opened in 1972 was damaged beyond repair during Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and was closed shortly afterwards in 1990.[20]

Student housing

Both primary Fairleigh Dickinson campuses offer a variety of forms of housing for students. The Metropolitan Campus offers a much more urban setting with only a short distance between it and New York City, and about half of the students that attend this campus are commuters. The Florham Campus is primarily a residential campus.

Florham Campus

The Florham Campus has four main residences: Florence and Hamilton Twombly Halls, The Village, Rutherford Hall, and the Park Avenue Residence Hall. Florence and Hamilton are traditionally dormitories used for incoming freshman, and have standard double and triple occupancy rooms with common bathrooms within the halls. The Village is actually nine separate buildings with suite-style living arrangements. The suites themselves have common rooms, and three other rooms for double occupancy as well as a suite-shared bathroom. Rutherford Hall is a building specifically for upperclassmen. It features double occupancy dorms, and each room has its own bathroom. The building is a three hundred bed building, and each room is climate controlled. Rutherford is often more desired than the Village, so "priority points" are required to get placed in the room over other students. The Park Avenue Building contains seventy-three four person apartments, each with two dorms on either side and a common area with a fully equipped kitchen. Park Avenue dormitories can also be "wet" (alcohol is permitted) if all members of a dorm or suite are of age.[21] The Florham Campus has the capacity to house 1,528 students, and occupancy percentages for the past six semesters (fall 2010 – spring 2013) vary from 86.7% to 96.7%.[22]

Metropolitan Campus

The Metropolitan Campus has three different main residence areas: the Linden Complex, Northpointe, and University Court. The Linden Complex is similar to the Florham Campus' village; it is eight separate three-story buildings, each building accommodating from fifty to sixty-six students in six-person suites. Northpointe is a three-hundred bed, hotel style hall. Each bedroom is a double, and each dorm has a bathroom to be shared between its residents. There are also mailboxes and a common kitchen available to the residents of Northpointe. University Court is an eleven building complex consisting of small residences, each having a common living area equipped with a microwave oven and television with cable, four bathrooms and several double and triple bedrooms. Some buildings are also equipped with a shared kitchen.[21] The Metropolitan Campus offers over 100 social organizations, according to the office of Student Life.

Wroxton College

Although Wroxton College dates to the 13th century, the housing has been modernized.

Fraternities and Sororities

A large percentage of fraternities and sororities are differentiated by gender, but some are honors societies that are distinguished by an area of study, and others may be identified by their own cultural history. The Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) and Inter-Greek Council (IGC) are the Greek governing bodies responsible for setting standards for Greek organizations.

Sororities Florham Campus

Metropolitan Campus

1 Traditionally Latina Organizations

2 Member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council

3 Sorority proclaimed "Multicultural"


Florham Campus

Metropolitan Campus

1Traditionally Latino Organization

2Member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council


Greek Honors Societies - Organizations with educationally-based missions


Fairleigh Dickinson’s national student body consists of a total 12,247 students, 9,199 of whom are undergraduates and the remaining 3,048 are graduate students with a full-time equivalence (FTE) of 8,165.4, making it the largest private institution in the state of New Jersey.[10] FDU also has over 1,200 international students from over 85 countries around the world ranking it 15th nationally among their Carnegie peer group.[23] The majority of international students attend the Metropolitan Campus and FDU Vancouver which was founded primarily to educate international students.[24] FDU Vancouver is the first American owned and operated institution in British Columbia to receive University status.[25]

The University is ranked 69th by U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2014 Regional University rankings (North).[26] The University has had long-standing connections with the UN, offering qualified students opportunities for internships with the UN and its associated agencies.[27] Fairleigh Dickinson University is formally recognized as an NGO by the UN Department of Public Information.[28] In 2009, the university became the first college to receive special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).[29] Since 2002 the University has hosted more than 150 United Nations ambassadors and officials as part of their U.N. Pathways Forum.[30]

Between the three libraries and one archive located at FDU's Florham Campus and Metropolitan campuses the university library system holds over 340,000 titles. The Florham Campus library is part of the John and Joan Monninger Center for Learning and Research. A portion of the library is housed in the old Orangerie of the Twombly-Vanderbilt estate which was built in the 1890s by McKim, Mead, and White. The Metropolitan campus features the Giovatto Library, the Business Reference Library in Dickinson Hall, and the North Jersey Heritage Center (an archival collection of New Jersey books, documents, maps, newspapers and reference material, as well as FDU history). The New Jersey collection began in 1961 when FDU became one of the earliest participants in the New Jersey Document Program listed as 4th in precedence out of 80 depositories behind the Council of State Government, Rutgers University and the NJ State Library.[31][32] The Giovatto Library holds the Columbia Pictures Archive, a collection of over 230 movies from the Columbia Pictures Studios on 16mm film. The archive was given by Columbia in the 1980s to FDU through the work of Jack Kells, FDU alum and former Columbia executive.[33]

Fairleigh Dickinson University publishes its own quarterly literary journal called The Literary Review which was founded in 1957. The journal is published through the Fairleigh Dickinson University Press which was founded in 1967. The FDU University Press has independently published more than 1500 books since its founding. FDU Press was a founding member of Associated University Presses and continued to be until 2010 when the company ceased publishing new titles. In 2010, the FDU Press began printing titles in conjunction with Rowman & Littlefield.[34]

The entire university has a freshman to sophomore retention rate of 81.5%, and a six-year graduation rate of 53.1%. The average SAT score for the university is 1516 (on the 2400 point scale), and 33.0% of the student body was in the top 20% of their high school class. Both New Jersey campuses offer a wide variety of courses and programs. FDU’s yield rate (the percentage of accepted students who choose to attend the university) is 40.3%.[10] The Florham Campus emphasizes liberal arts and sciences, including pre-professional studies such as pre-law and pre-medicine, while The Metropolitan Campus offers both liberal arts and sciences yet places more emphasis on professional study including engineering, nursing, and criminal justice. The Metropolitan Campus, while it has residence halls, is more of a commuter campus, and has a significant international student population. Both New Jersey campuses are home to the QUEST program, in which students can study any major and combine their bachelor's degree with a master's in education.

Demographics of Student Body as of Fall 2012[10]
African-American Asian-American Caucasian Hispanic Female
Undergraduate 13.5% 7.8% 57.0% 21.7% 58.6%
Graduate 13.6% 7.7% 67.9% 10.8% 63.1%
Total 13.5% 7.8% 59.5% 19.2% 59.7%

Undergraduate studies

Fairleigh Dickinson consists of four academic colleges: Becton College of Arts and Sciences (based at the Florham Campus), University College of Arts, Sciences and Professional Studies (based primarily on the Metropolitan Campus), Silberman College of Business, and Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies. The Silberman College of Business also makes up the core offering for FDU Vancouver with bachelor's and master's degrees. The Silberman College entrepreneurial studies program has been rated as one of the best in the U.S.[35] In 2006, The Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship was ranked the 7th undergraduate entrepreneurial school in the nation by Entrepreneur Magazine and The Princeton Review.[36]

Becton College of Arts and Sciences

Fairleigh Dickinson's Becton College offers just over sixty undergraduate majors to its full and part-time students. The College's mission is "to develop the intellectual, creative and career potential of our diverse, multicultural student body by offering a demanding curriculum, with an emphasis on honors programs, in a caring and supportive environment".[37] The College is headed by its Dean, Dr. Geoffrey Weinman and the department is located on the Florham Campus.[38]

FDU School of Pharmacy

Fairleigh Dickinson recently opened New Jersey's first school of pharmacy associated with a private higher education institution at the Florham Campus. It is the second pharmacy school in New Jersey and the first to open in the state in over 120 years.[39][40] FDU's School of Pharmacy is currently headed by a dean, Michael J. Avaltroni. The School of Pharmacy has its own PharmD program, as well as numerous paths to other master's degrees, including Pharmaceutical Management, Regulatory Sciences, Pharmaceutical Science, and Health Communication, among several others.

Silberman College of Business

The Silberman College of Business is a tri-campus college of Fairleigh Dickinson University. It offers graduate and undergraduate degrees at the Florham Campus, the Metropolitan campus, and offers bachelor's degree studies in Business Management and Information Technology at the FDU-Vancouver campus.

FDU offers AACSB-accredited graduate and undergraduate business degrees through its Silberman College of Business.[41] Fairleigh Dickinson's Silberman College of Business was ranked as one of the top 295 business schools in the country for 2014 by The Princeton Review.[42] The College has also been recognized as an "Excellent Business School" according to a 2011 Eduniversal survey which ranks the top 1,000 business schools worldwide; Eduniversal is an international university ranking consulting company that specializes in higher education.[43] The Silberman College of business received "three palmes" (a multi-colored palme is used in place of stars as a representation of Eduniversal's logo), an indication of excellence, national strength, and international links.

Fairleigh Dickinson University's International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management features the US national headquarters of the international gastronomic society Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs located at the Chaîne House on the Florham Campus.[44]

Graduate studies

Out of the 12,000 plus students who are currently enrolled at Fairleigh Dickinson University, about 4,000 of them partake in the school's graduate program. While the majority of FDU's graduate students hail from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, the University also maintains a large number of international students in keeping with its theme of global education. Graduate courses are held at all four of Fairleigh Dickinson's campuses, as well as at a satellite graduate extension center at Fort Monmouth in Eatontown, New Jersey. There are also five graduate degrees offered completely through online classes.


In intercollegiate athletics, the Metropolitan Campus competes in NCAA Division I, while the Florham Campus competes in Division III, making it one of only a few schools in the United States to field both Division I and Division III teams. The teams at the Metropolitan Campus are known as the Knights, while the Florham Campus teams are known as the Devils.

Metropolitan Campus – NCAA Division I

Athletically, the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights compete in the NCAA's Northeast Conference and Division I. Their mascot is Nitro (sometimes spelled Knightro) the Knight.

Knights Division I Athletics

Men Women
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Bowling
Cross Country Cross Country
Golf Fencing
Soccer Soccer
Tennis Softball
Track Tennis

Both the men and women's Knights basketball teams play in Stratis Arena in Hackensack, NJ in the Rothman Center. A notable achievement for the Knights men's basketball team was in the 2005 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament where they made the NCAA Tournament as a sixteenth seed and gave the top seeded Illinois Fighting Illini a huge scare. Being only down 1 at the half, the Knights played well and held their own for a while. However, in the second half the Illini pulled away from FDU and won the game by 12.

Fairleigh Dickinson University's women's bowling team has made it to the Final Four every year but one (2007). In 2010, it captured its 2nd National Championship (the first being in 2006). The Knights managed to upset the defending National Champion Nebraska Cornhuskers. Fairleigh Dickinson prevailed with a 4 games to 3 victory. The title game was held at the Brunswick Zone Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick, NJ. They followed up in 2011 as both NEC tournament and regular season champions repeating the latter in 2012.

The women's golf team had won 4 straight NEC conference championships between 2008–2011.

Florham Campus – NCAA Division III

The FDU Florham Campus sports teams are called the Devils. They are in NCAA Division III and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and they compete in the Middle Atlantic Conferences' (MAC) Freedom Conference.

Devils Division III Athletics

Men's Women's
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross Country
Cross Country Field Hockey
Football Golf
Golf Lacrosse
Lacrosse Soccer
Soccer Softball
Swimming Swimming
Tennis Tennis

The Roberta Chiaviello Ferguson and Thomas G. Ferguson Recreation Center, also known as Ferguson Recreation Center is the Florham Campus home to the Devils. Constructed in 1995, the building contains a gymnasium with three full-size basketball courts and an elevated jogging track, two individual racquetball courts, and a weight-training room with an Olympic weight training area. Also housed in the Ferguson Recreation Center is a competition-sized swimming pool with eight twenty-five yard lanes, as well as the Rutherford Room for meetings and seminars and the Athletic's department offices.

The Florham Campus also has an intramural program that offers sports such as basketball, flag football, softball, volleyball, and others to non student-athletes.


Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind is an independent research group that conducts public opinion polling and other research on politics, society, popular culture, consumer behavior and economic trends.[45] PublicMind associates undertake scientific survey research for corporations, non-profits, and government agencies as well as for the public interest, as well as information regarding the FDU community as a whole.[46] FDU's PublicMind has conducted research on:

Notable faculty and alumni


. "About 200 people gathered at Fairleigh Dickinson University on Wednesday to celebrate the university's largest-ever gift and the renaming of one of its schools. Alumnus and trustee Gregory Olsen, the world's third civilian astronaut and the founder of two fiber-optics companies, was greeted with a standing ovation..."


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External links

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