Happy Earth Day, Rutgers Alumni! Forty years ago, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson hatched an idea aimed to inspire awareness and appreciation of the planet we call home. The grassroots movement, founded by him but organized by many, started a wave of change and continues to gain the interest of thousands across the nation and the world. Today, Earth Day is celebrated in 175 countries and is coordinated by the nonprofit Earth Day Network.
Helping the planet certainly has inspired some Rutgers alumni, including Carl Safina GSNB'82, '87, Thomas Jeffries GSNB'75, and Lester Brown AG’55. Safina, an ecologist and marine conservationist, raises awareness on the dangers of overfishing and influences fishing practices worldwide. Jeffries, a research scientist, pursues the mysteries of P. stipitis, a type of yeast that may be extremely helpful in the production of alternative fuel. And Brown, a member of the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni and the “guru of the global environmental movement," (Calcutta Telegraph), stresses the ecological impact of our harmful actions by publishing books, founding organizations, giving speeches, and so much more.
These alumni are among the many people doing their share to help the Earth. You can help, too! For example, Rutgers–Newark has organized a gardening event today that will help feed the plethora of bird species that fly over Newark. This project, which started in 2005, attracts plenty of enthusiastic students, faculty, staff, and alumni that want to make the campus greener and more beautiful. Click here for more information
Whether it is by planting a tree, recycling more, walking more, or throwing out less waste, your actions aid the greater good. What are you doing today to help the planet?
Most people know Rutgers as Rutgers University or Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. However, that was not always our school's name. The original name was Queen’s College. On November 10, 1766, William Franklin, the last colonial governor of New Jersey, signed the charter that brought Queen's College into existence. So, how did Rutgers become Rutgers?
After the second closing of the college due to financial hardships, the university opened for good in November 1825. In December 1825, the trustees renamed the college in honor of Colonel Henry Rutgers, member of President Philip Milledoler's parish, president of its Board of Corporation, and a church elder.
Descended from an old New York Dutch family, Colonel Rutgers possessed valuable land holdings in the city. He graduated from King's College, was a Revolutionary War veteran, and held various posts of civic importance in New York.
In 1826, Colonel Henry Rutgers donated a $200 bell that is hung from the cupola of the Old Queens Building, the oldest building on the New Brunswick Campus. Later in the year, Colonel Rutgers donated the interest from a $5,000 bond. The interest paid on that bond kept struggling Rutgers open permanently.