Brewing bachelors: The history of the University of Newark

Harold S. Wechsler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Locating denominational colleges and state and land grant universities away from major American cities created a growing need for urban higher education institutions in the early twentieth century. Religious denominations, municipal authorities, and entrepreneurs opened colleges and professional schools in many US cities to meet the demand. The proprietary New Jersey Law School - opened in 1908 - added other divisions, shifted to non-profit status, relocated to a former brewery, and merged with competing local institutions to form the University of Newark in 1936. This "streetcar college" served thousands of working-class and immigrant students during its 37-year history. But, unlike other streetcar colleges, its politically left-of-centre administration and faculty took on local and regional power centres - a stance that harmed its economic viability. The University of Newark survived the Great Depression, but merged with Rutgers University, the state university of New Jersey, in 1945. Today's Rutgers-Newark inherited its predecessor's focus on promoting the aspirations of non-traditional student populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-249
Number of pages21
JournalPaedagogica Historica
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Feb 2010


  • Currier
  • Dana
  • Kingdon
  • Legal education
  • New York University
  • Newark
  • Newark Institute
  • Rutgers University
  • University of Newark
  • Winser

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • History


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