Inauguration of Dr. Harvey Kesselman

Inauguration of Dr. Harvey Kesselman

outside classroom session from the pastHistory

Stockton University was founded in 1969 as Richard Stockton State College, a public four-year college within the New Jersey system of higher education. A residential institution with students drawn from across the state, Stockton is located at the edge of the New Jersey Pinelands, 12 miles northwest of Atlantic City and 50 miles southeast of Philadelphia. The largest campus in New Jersey, Stockton’s award-winning buildings are set within 2,000+ acres of forest, streams, and lakes.

The University first offered instruction in 1971 and currently offers distinctive baccalaureate programs in liberal arts, professional studies, and general education as well as masters and doctoral degree programs designed to stimulate and challenge students intellectually. Stockton is strongly committed to preparing graduates for careers and advanced education, a commitment that encompasses helping students acquire interest in lifelong learning and in contributing to society. Learn more.

About Stockton

Stockton University, New Jersey’s Distinctive Public University, is among the Top 15 public Regional Universities of the North, ranked at #12 by U.S. News & World Report in its 2016 edition of “America’s Best Colleges" and is one of The Princeton Review's Best Northeastern Colleges.

Stockton has grown geographically as well as academically in recent years. The university now includes the main campus in the pristine Pinelands National Reserve and the nearby Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club, which together comprise 2,000 acres, as well as instructional sites in Atlantic, Cape May and Ocean counties.

Enrollment reached 8,674 in the fall of 2015, a new record. Stockton offers small classes and boasts over 320 full-time faculty members - over 90 percent of whom hold the highest degree in their fields.

A $28.62 million expansion of Stockton’s world-class science facilities is in the works on the main Galloway campus, along with a new classroom building.

Fast Facts


Past Presidents

Richard E. Bjork

Richard E. Bjork

1969-1978

Peter M. Mitchell

Peter M. Mitchell

1979-1983

Vera King Farris

Vera King Farris

1983-2003

Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr.

Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr.

2003-2015


Traditions

Harvey Kesselman wearing the Presidential Medallion at CommencementPresidential Medallion

Stockton's Presidential Medallion pictures the University Seal cast in bronze with a satin gold finish. The six smaller medallions picture the components of the University seal. The banner components of the Presidential Medallion list the names and dates of service of Stockton's four presidents: Richard E. Bjork, 1969-1978; Peter M. Mitchell, 1979-1983; Vera King Farris, 1983-2003; and Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr., 2003-2015. The first Presidential Medallion of the then Richard Stockton College of New Jersey was presented to Stockton's third president, Dr. Farris, and worn for the first time at the Spring 1990 Commencement.

The Seal of Stockton University

Original Logo

Original Logo

The original official logo of Stockton State College as approved by the first Board of Trustees. The ribbon highlights the year in which the college was established.

Rampant Lion

Rampant Lion

Adopted from the Richard Stockton family crest, this represents courage and strength.

Book & Candle

Book & Candle

This is a symbol of the enlightenment to be gained through lifelong learning.

Tree

Tree

This image characterizes the Pinelands locale of Stockton's campus.

Osprey

Osprey

Stockton's official mascot, native to our region and saved from extinction through the efforts of Stockton faculty, now names our renowned athletic teams.

Stockton's Mace

Mace

The origins of the mace can be traced to the Middle Ages when knights wielded maces as weapons. As knighthood became obsolete, the mace became symbolic of power. It is now a traditional symbol of authority in churches, government and colleges.

The mace, which is carried by the Faculty Grand Marshal at the Stockton commencement, is the work of Ned Gerber, Port Republic woodcarver who served on the founding committee of the University. The three-foot shaft of the Stockton mace is crafted from walnut and holly, woods which are indigenous to southern New Jersey. The walnut is from a century-old tree hewn by Tom Lang of the Stockton staff. Pewter, the metal employed in our mace, was a popular and practical metal here in colonial times.

Stockton's mace is crowned with the flame of knowledge, carved in holly, to denote mission. At the foot is a carved acorn which indicates growth. Below the flame of knowledge is a triad of Stockton logos, each a twin-treed symbol of environmental concern. Linked edge-to-edge and inlaid with holly, these symbols represent the three elements of the university community: students, faculty, and staff. The Great Seal of New Jersey, cast in pewter, signifies Stockton's aegis and sponsorship. A fluted section of walnut below the State Seal suggests the orderly plan each student chooses in pursuit of his degree and the self-discipline necessary for achievement. Next is a pewter cylinder engraved with the names of Stockton's five presidents. Finally, an engraved pewter nameplate ring identifies "Richard Stockton State College founded 1969."

faculty in regalia at commencementAcademic Regalia

Academic garb dates back to medieval times, when heavy gowns, hoods, and caps were worn by students to protect them against the cold, dank, and drafty corridors of their universities. In the Middle Ages, Europeans wore clothing of distinctive colors to indicate their status or profession. It was only natural, therefore, that when monks and students began to don distinctive costume for bachelor’s (apprentices), master’s (teachers), and doctor’s (teachers who completed postgraduate study) degrees, the most conspicuous distinctions appeared on the hood.

The academic gowns of the past have been replaced by gowns made of lighter fabric, as students no longer wear them to keep warm and since most commencement ceremonies today take place in the late spring and early summer. Typically, commencement gowns are black, although some institutions have adopted gowns in school colors.

The bachelor’s gown, comparatively simple in design, usually has no adornment other than its characteristic long, pointed sleeves. The master’s gown has oblong sleeves, which are open at the wrist. The doctor’s gown differs from the bachelor’s and master’s gowns because it sports velvet panels down the front and around the neck and three velvet bands across round, open sleeves.

The bachelor’s and master’s caps are traditional mortarboard while some doctor’s degree caps are a soft, large beret. The tassel, which is usually black for bachelor’s and master’s degrees, occasionally comes in a color representing the student’s field of study and may be gold for doctors and presidents. Prior to conferral of a degree, the tassel falls to the right; upon conferral, students switch the tassel ceremoniously to the left.

The hood, as the most distinctive and symbolic piece of the academic costume, indicates the level of the degree, the field of study, and the institution conferring the degree. The length of the hood denotes the degree; bachelor’s hoods are three feet, master’s three and a half feet, and doctor’s four feet long. There are also similar variations in the length of the velvet trimming. This trimming denotes the field of study for which the degree was awarded. The lining of the hood represents the color or colors of the institution conferring the degree. Some of the colors of the trimming are as follows:

  • Arts, Letters, Humanities, White
  • Accountancy, Business, Commerce, Drab
  • Agriculture, Maize
  • Dentistry, Lilac
  • Economics, Copper
  • Education, Light Blue
  • Engineering,  Orange
  • Fine Arts, Brown
  • Forestry, Russet
  • Journalism,  Crimson
  • Law, Purple
  • Library Science, Lemon
  • Medicine, Green 
  • Music, Pink
  • Nursing, Apricot
  • Occupational Therapy, Slate Blue
  • Optometry, Sea Foam Green
  • Oratory (Speech), Silver Gray
  • Pharmacy, Olive Green
  • Philosophy, Dark Blue
  • Physical Education, Sage Green
  • Physical Therapy, Teal
  • Podiatry-Chiroprody, Nile Green
  • Public Administration, Peacock Blue
  • Public Health, Salmon Pink
  • Science, Golden Yellow
  • Social Science, Cream
  • Social Work, Citron
  • Theology/Divinity, Scarlet
  • Veterinary Science, Gray