Centenary College’s President Dr. Barbara-Jayne Lewthwaite and the Board of Trustees have announced that Centenary College has been granted university status by New Jersey’s Secretary of Higher Education. This designation comes at a significant time in Centenary’s history as the institution will celebrate its 150th anniversary this coming year.
This approval comes approximately 45 days before she steps down as president of Centenary and hands over the reins to Dr. David Haney.
“I was very determined that this goal came to fruition before I completed my tenure as Centenary President,” says Lewthwaite. “Centenary has been functioning as a university for many years. The state’s approval has made this designation official. Being re-named Centenary University is reflective of Centenary’s continued progress and excellence. I would like to recognize the leadership roles that our Provost, Dr. James G. Patterson, and Dr. Deirdre Letson, dean for the School of Professional and Graduate Studies, played in this process. We could not have done this without them.”
The decision to seek university status is based on a close examination of Centenary College’s evolution from a tiny United Methodist college established in Hackettstown in 1867 into a bachelor and graduate degree-granting institution with approximately 2,200 students in four locations. The graduate programs are housed in four departments and the School of Professional Studies in the Parsippany and Iselin. Moreover, the Education Department has added an EdD in Educational Leadership to its graduate curriculum and the Psychology and Counseling Department is exploring the feasibility of offering a PhD in Counseling.
“Centenary College has continued to reinvent itself, demonstrating remarkable resilience in the face of various challenges as it meets the higher education needs of the surrounding area and the State,” says Wolfgang Gstattenbauer ‘84/13, chair of the Board of Trustees. “As the only bachelor’s and graduate degree-granting institution for three-and-a-half counties in northwestern New Jersey, our mission is indeed special.”
Although Centenary will begin operations as Centenary University immediately, there will be a six month to a year transition period to launch Centenary’s new brand and website.
Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary College’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix is designed to provide an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world.
Centenary College’s main campus is located in Hackettstown.