PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, PRINCETON NEW JERSEY
Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, as the College of New Jersey, the university moved to Newark in 1747, then to Princeton in 1756 and was renamed Princeton University in 1896. (The present-day The College of New Jersey in nearby Ewing, New Jersey, is an unrelated institution.)
Princeton provides undergraduate and graduate instruction in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Princeton does not offer professional schooling generally, but it does offer professional master’s degrees (mostly through the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs) and doctoral programs.
Princeton was the fourth institution of higher education in the U.S. to conduct classes. Princeton’s crest states “Dei sub numine viget,” which is Latin for “Under God she flourishes.” While it once had close ties to the Presbyterian Church, it makes no spiritual demands of its students. The university has ties with the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
The oldest building on campus is Nassau Hall, built in 1754, and situated on the northern edge of campus facing Nassau Street. Designed originally by Robert Smith, the building was subsequently remodeled by notable American architects Benjamin Latrobe and John Notman. Stanhope Hall (once a library, now home of the University’s Center for African-American Studies) and East and West College, both dormitories, followed. Major buildings in the late 19th Century were built in brownish stone in a Victorian Gothic style influenced by the Richardsonian Romanesque, many designed by William Appleton Potter, including the Chancellor Green Library and Alexander Hall.
Nassau Hall is the oldest building on campus, and the original building of the College of New Jersey. Built in 1754, it was the first seat of the New Jersey Legislature in 1776, was involved in the battle of Princeton in 1777, and was the seat of the Congress of the Confederation (successor to the Continental Congress) from 30 June 1783 to 4 November 1783. It now houses the office of the university president and other administrative office, and remains the symbolic center of the campus. Graduation ceremonies are held each year on the front lawn of Nassau Hall in good weather.