Historic Highlights

Year Event
1908 Georgian Court College founded by the Sisters of Mercy in North Plainfield, New Jersey, under the title Mount Saint Mary’s College and accredited by the State of New Jersey
1911 College destroyed by fire and immediately rebuilt
1912 First class graduated
1922 Accredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education
1924 George Jay Gould estate, bordering Lake Carasaljo in Lakewood, New Jersey, purchased as the new site for the campus to house a growing student body. The original name of Georgian Court was maintained as a stipulation of the purchase agreement. The estate included the Mansion, Raymond Hall, the Casino, and the Gatekeeper’s Lodge, along with the gardens, fountains, and woodlands.
1925 Mercedes Hall, a Lakewood residence, along with the original parish church of the town (now the McAuley Heritage Chapel) moved across the fields of Lakewood to campus.
1929 Hamilton Hall purchased; our first building “outside the gates”
1931 Kingscote acquired
1940 Kearney House added, first called the Campus Club, then the Music Center, then the Lake House
1951 Farley Memorial Library constructed to house The Court’s growing scholarly collection
1961 The State of New Jersey approved Georgian Court’s teacher education program
1961 Saint Joseph Hall built in response to burgeoning college resident population
1964 Arts and Science Center completed
1967 Maria Hall, our second residence hall, opened
1974 New wing doubled the capacity of Farley Memorial Library
1976 First year for the Master of Arts in Education program
1978 Master of Arts degrees first conferred on 41 students
1978 Entire campus entered into the National Register of Historic Places and the New Jersey Register
1979 Coeducational Undergraduate Program instituted
1982 Approval of Master of Arts in Special Education
1985 Entire campus designated a National Historic Landmark
1988 Completion of Mercy Center
1989 Approval of Master of Arts in Education with teaching certification
The Sister Mary Grace Burns Arboretum, comprising the entire campus, founded
1993 Completion of new library and student lounge complex
1993 Approval of Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and school psychologist certification
1995 Approval of Master of Business Administration
1997 Approval of Master of Arts in Theology
1999 The library named in honor of Sister Mary Joseph Cunningham, former treasurer of the college
2001 Approval of Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies
2003 Women in Leadership Development program instituted
2004 Georgian Court College received university status from the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education
Completion of Mercy Hall and St. Catherine Hall, two new residence halls
2005 Dorothy Marron University Community Chapel completed
Completion of two-story Audrey Birish George Science Center
Purchase of the Eighth Street House on Lakewood Avenue
2006 Completion of expansion of the Court Café (now the Café at GCU)
2007 Purchase of the Ninth Street house
Approval of three new undergraduate majors in dance; tourism, hospitality, and recreation management; and exercise science, wellness, and sports
2008 Completion of the Wellness Center
Approval of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Launch of GCU’s year-long Centennial celebration
2009 Accreditation of teacher education and school leadership programs by the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC)
2010 Approval of undergraduate and graduate programs in early childhood (P–3) education
2011 Launch of M.S. in Homeland Security (now M.A. in Criminal Justice and Human Rights), M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis, and B.A. in Latino/a and Business Studies (now B.A. in Latino Business Studies)
2012 Approval of B.A. in Digital Design and B.F.A. in Graphic Design and Multimedia; launch of GCU’s 100% online master’s program in Holistic Health Studies (now M.A. in Integrative Health)
2013 GCU becomes fully coeducational, opening all classes and student life programs to men, and adds men’s track and field (indoor and outdoor), basketball, and soccer
The GCU-Meridian Health School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Entering freshman class of 275 students outpaces 2009 record of 253 freshmen
The university secures $8.4 million in state bond funding to upgrade and renovate campus buildings and classrooms
2014 GCU-Brookdale Community College Guaranteed Admissions Initiative is announced
The International Collaboration Center opens in Farley Center, allowing GCU to conduct asynchronous lectures, projects, and presentations worldwide
Faculty and students visit 29 countries through GCU’s growing global education program
After 14 years as president, Sister Rosemary E. Jeffries announces plans to step down at the end of the 2014–2015 academic year
2015 GCU renames the Arts and Science Center, GCU’s largest academic building, Jeffries Hall, in honor of President Emerita Rosemary E. Jeffries
A new minor in social media marketing begins, and a new postbaccalaureate online certificate in Mercy spirituality is approved for launch
GCU wins a Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award for sustainability efforts
GCU Lions add men’s lacrosse, with competition beginning in 2016
Money magazine names GCU among its Best Colleges for Your Money and Washington Monthly magazine adds GCU graduate programs to its list of Best Bangs for the Buck
The GCU Board of Trustees announces Joseph R. Marbach, Ph.D., as GCU’s next president, beginning July 1
2016 The GCU School of Business and Digital Media changes its name to reflect new marketplace emphasis on digital technology
The university’s new Applied Behavior Analysis Clinic, an outgrowth of the ABA graduate psychology program, launches and offers services to the general public
GCU partners with the K–12 Alliance (KTA) on select graduate education programs, positioning GCU for growth at off-site locations in Monmouth, Union, Essex, and Ocean counties.
GCU is named in the top 10 percent of the value-added college rankings of The Economist given higher-than-expected median earnings of $45,700 for GCU graduates in the first decade after college
GCU strengthens its ties to Catholic education by launching the Catholic Schools Initiative; the effort includes additional scholarship funding and book awards for area Catholic high school students
GCU’s partnership with Brookdale Community College is expanded, giving students the option of earning undergraduate English, education, and psychology degrees from GCU@Hazlet
Approval of new business majors in finance, management, and marketing
2017 GCU graduates its first fully coeducational undergraduate class with nearly 400 students
The U.S. Department of Education awards $1.99 million to GCU for "Chart the Course" to improve retention and graduation rates
GCU’s Catholic partnerships expand to Trenton Catholic Academy, Holy Spirit High School, Union Catholic, Donovan Catholic, St. John Vianney, and others
GCU@Hazlet adds business and interdisciplinary studies programs. GCU enters an agreement with Cumberland County College, now Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus (RCSJ–Cumberland), to offer the Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) via GCU@Cumberland
2018 GCU adds partnerships with Raritan Valley Community College (RVCC), Middlesex County College, Immaculata High School (Somerville), and Cathedral High School (Manhattan)
GCU is the Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce’s Nonprofit Partner of the Year
Approval of B.S. in Health Sciences and B.A. in Health Profession Studies
GCU is named to Phi Theta Kappa’s 2018 Transfer Honor Roll and recognized by Abound as one of the nation’s top colleges for adult learners
At #39, GCU is in the top 15 percent of regional college and university rankings in the Best Bang for the Buck Colleges list by Washington Monthly
GCU student-athletes take first place among all NCAA Division II teams nationwide in Helper Helper community service competition
Faculty, students, and staff invest 120,704 hours in volunteer activities
After more than two years of preparation and serious self-examination, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) re-affirmed that Georgian Court University meets all of the standards for being accredited
His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, plays the historic game of court tennis at GCU. The visit, promoting the Duke of Edinburgh’s leadership program for young adults, generates an advertising value equivalency of $4.8 million in media coverage
2019 Launch of The Strategic Compass . . . for an Even Better Tomorrow, which focuses on academic excellence, the student experience, revenue generation and diversification, and efficiencies
Approval of Psy.D. in School Psychology, the university’s first doctoral degree
Approval of M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration and M.S. in Communication and Digital Marketing
Approval of five new undergraduate student learning goals, based on GCU’s Bridge General Education program
Launch of Apollo Fountain restoration project with two gifts of $50,000 each; full plan is created to repair and upgrade the iconic fountain
First B.S.W. students graduate from GCU@Cumberland’s (now RCSJ–Cumberland)
The GCU Lions rake in seven conference championships for women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, men’s indoor and outdoor track and field, men’s and women’s lacrosse, and volleyball
2020 Launch of Center for Professional Studies, with courses for enrichment, professional development, and corporate training
GCU climbs 30 points in U.S. News & World Report rankings due, in part, to high student retention and graduation rates; also named a Top Performer on Social Mobility
In its 2019–20 College Financial Health Grades, Forbes Magazine ranks GCU as the third-healthiest private institution in New Jersey
Approval of B.A. in Political Science, ABSN (accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing), and re-introduction of the B.A. in Computer Information Systems
New 3+1 program between GCU and Brookdale Community College creates new, affordable pathway to a bachelor’s degree
GCU listed in the top 25% for lifetime return on investment, according to the Georgetown University Center on Workforce and Education
Georgian Court is shuttered by COVID-19, the global pandemic that shifted nearly all classes 100 percent online. Faculty, students, and staff successfully adapt to remote learning and business operations
GCU freezes undergraduate tuition to assist families strained by the economic impact of COVID-19
GCU hosts first-ever virtual celebration and Apollo Fountain drive-by salute to graduates
2021 University fund-raising reaches a five-year high in corporate and foundation funding and in major gifts
GCU marks Commencement with four ceremonies, including one recognizing 90-year-old graduate as the university’s oldest degree recipient; attracts national news coverage
President Joseph R. Marbach introduces Renew GCU, focused on the myriad projects reflecting the spiritual, intellectual, physical, and operational renewal of Georgian Court
GCU is upgraded by Standard & Poor’s in its annual bond rating review
The university lands a five-year, $1.69 million TRIO–SSS grant from the U.S. Department of Education, sustaining the program at GCU for 40 years
2022 Georgian Court University sells 42 mostly unused, undeveloped acres to Beth Medrash Govoha. Proceeds from the sale are to be used to expedite the campus master plan that includes a new academic building focused on nursing and health sciences, Casino modernization for a new student center, and improvements to student housing and the Mansion.
Approval of B.S. in Sport Management, DE MSN (Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing), and MSW (Master of Social Work)
NCAA recognizes GCU with the Presidents' Award for Academic Excellence, ranking in the top 15% of member schools for academic performance
GCU rises in U.S. News & World Report rankings, climbing eight positions to 101st in the Best Regional Universities North category
Georgian Court becomes a 100% smoke-free and tobacco-free campus, encouraging healthy habits for all students, employees, and campus visitors
GCU's Brookdale Partnership programs move from Hazlet to the Brookdale Community College main campus in Lincroft
Georgian Court - Hackensack Meridian Health School of Nursing becomes the Hackensack Meridian Health School of Nursing & Wellness at Georgian Court, with the addition of the Departments of Integrative Health & Exercise Science, and Department of Social Work, to the Department of Nursing
2023 Approval of B.S. in Dance Science
School of Business & Digital Media launches inaugural Lion's Den pitch & innovation competition
GCU hosts the 19th Annual Undergraduate Research Colloquium of the New Jersey Women and Gender Studies Consortium
Five GCU students are awarded NASA NJ Space Grants for undergraduate research for the 2022-2023 academic school year
GCU renames Mercy Center as Scully Registration and Finance Center, in honor of Mother Mary Cecilia Scully, the first president of Georgian Court, who served in that role from 1908-1940
Georgian Court receives the NCAA Team Works Community Service Competition award, recognizing student-athletes' service to their respective communities through divisional competitions
GCU Lions add women's acrobatics and tumbling