Stockton Continues Growth and Earns University Status: Main Galloway Campus Covers 2,000 Acres in Pinelands Preserve
Stockton celebrated its new designation as Stockton University on Feb. 18, 2015, a classification for which it had met the requirements for over five years. The name change recognizes Stockton’s remarkable growth, from academic achievements and new programs, to major new facilities.
“Stockton is committed to New Jersey’s economic, educational and cultural success,” said President Herman Saatkamp. “Our facilities and our geographic reach have expanded since our beginnings, as has our mission to provide academic excellence, research and community partnerships.”
The university’s growth has transformed the main Galloway campus, located on over 2,000 acres in the Pinelands National Reserve.
The 154,000-square-foot Campus Center opened in 2011, with an event room, a theater, a food court, two fireplaces, a coffeehouse and a game room. The U.S. Green Building Council awarded the center a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification in recognition of responsible energy use, lighting, water consumption and materials used, all of which save money on utilities over time.
The 66,350-square-foot Unified Science Center opened in 2013, expanding the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, which graduates over 22 percent of all the math and science majors in New Jersey - more than any other state college or university.
Two new facilities are planned to open on the main campus in 2017.
Gov. Chris Christie helped break ground in 2014 for a $28.6 million expansion of the Unified Science Center. Construction will be supported by $21.465 million in funding from the Building Our Future Bond Act approved by voters in 2012. The Unified Science Center 2 will include labs for teaching and research, a greenhouse, computer labs, faculty offices and a vivarium.
An $18 million additional classroom building will receive $13.5 million in funding from the bond issue. The facility will include 24 classrooms, 20 offices and teaching space for the Schools of Business, Education, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Arts and Humanities, General Studies, Health Sciences and Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
Stockton also has increased its geographic reach, providing more access to classes at instructional sites in Ocean and Cape May counties, at the Carnegie Center in Atlantic City, and in Hammonton in western Atlantic County.
A move to open an Island Campus in the former Showboat casino hotel in Atlantic City stalled in late March, due to legal issues involving a 1988 covenant that required the property to be used as a casino hotel. The matter was still being negotiated.
The historic Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club offers student residences and opportunities for internships in hospitality and tourism overlooking Reeds Bay in Galloway. A premier destination resort for golfing, conferences and celebratory events, Stockton Seaview hosts the ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer, which draws the world’s top female players and their fans to the area in May.
The university has many other facets, such as the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy and the Stockton Polling Institute.
Ambassador William J. Hughes dedicated his personal memorabilia, including awards, correspondence and photographs chronicling his 23 years of public service in the U.S. House of Representatives and as the United States Ambassador to Panama, to the center located on the main Galloway campus. The Hughes Center provides research and serves as a forum for public debate on economic and policy issues.
Other university centers and community resources include the Stockton Center for Community Engagement, the Center for Academic Advising, Center for Public Safety and Security, Coastal Research Center, Interdisciplinary Center for Hellenic Studies, Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism, the Sara and Sam Schoffer Holocaust Resource Center, Small Business Development Center, Southern Regional Institute and Educational Technology Training Center, Stockton Center for Community Schools, Stockton Center for Economic and Financial Literacy, and the Stockton Center on Successful Aging.
Along with its facilities, Stockton’s academic achievements and enrollment continue to expand.
Stockton’s graduate programs have grown to 13 since the first master’s degree program, the Master of Physical Therapy, was approved in 1994. The first doctoral program, the Doctor of Physical Therapy was approved in 2006.
Stockton is among the Top 10 public Regional Universities of the North, ranked at #9 by U.S. News & World Report in its 2015 edition of “America’s Best Colleges.” Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s ranked Stockton as among the top 100 best values in public colleges for 2015. The rating cites four-year schools that combine outstanding academics with affordable cost.
All this is attracting many more applicants eager for a distinctive Stockton education. This year 8,570 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled, including the largest incoming freshman class in the school’s history, with 1,191 students beginning in fall 2014.
Research is an important feature of Stockton University. Many first-year students have the opportunity to start working on research with faculty, a very unusual experience in higher education.
The Coastal Research Center is nationally known for its work on coastal zone management. The CRC monitors the shoreline, providing data for federal, state and municipal governments.
The university and the Stockton Aviation Research and Technology Park (SARTP) are key members of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP), designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as an Unmanned Aircraft System test site.
With estimates of more than 20,000 unmanned aircraft flying along with manned aircraft, the test site will support research, testing and evaluation, sensor integration, and flight operations testing over New Jersey. The ultimate goal of the test site is to bring New Jersey economic growth and jobs from an industry estimated to bring over $80 billion and 100,000 jobs to the United States.
There have been many changes since its founding in 1969, but Stockton University’s commitment remains: excellence in teaching, dedication to learning, and a tradition of community service.