Rah, Rah, Shish-Koom-Bah!
I don’t know if you feel this way, but I just don’t have EVEN CLOSE to the same level of pride for Rutgers as my graduate school institution as I did and do for my alma mater. Maybe it’s because I’m older or maybe it’s because it doesn’t have that magic something that my undergraduate institution had…
I’m a Cavalier…
But, I just don’t feel like a Scarlet Knight…
It just doesn’t feel the same. Even though I participate in university events and spend 99% of my time on campus through my live-in internship, I just don’t find myself feeling much (if any…) Rutgers pride.
But, many of the undergraduates do. Especially leading up to the Rutgers v. Louisville football game last week, it was pretty clear that a significant amount of the student population has school spirit…until they lost the game, but that’s an entirely different story.
As grad students, it’s a little bit harder to really latch onto school pride. There’s just something different about being an undergraduate. If you’re a grad student like me, you’re wondering how to develop school spirit.
Well, I think learning more about the institution is a good first step. After all, it’s not all about football… History, tradition, and notoriety are huge factors in creating a culture of school spirit and pride. So, let’s learn more about what makes Rutgers special.
1) We’re Old! 246-years to be exact: Did you know that Rutgers is the only university in the nation that is a colonial college, a land-grant institution, and a leading public research university?? Did you know that this makes Rutgers the 8th oldest school in the nation and one of only 9 pre-American Revolution institutions?! Now you do!
2) Calling all Sports Fans: Rutgers is also acclaimed as the birthplace of college football…pretty cool, eh?
3) Prestige: Rutgers is a member of the Association of American Universities, which comprises the 62 top research universities in the nation. That’s not too shabby at all!
4) Our Rankings: Among many accolades, Rutgers ranks #1 in the nation in U.S.News & World Report for Best Graduate programs in School Library Services/Media and Women’s History. We also rank #1 for most Diverse Campus in Rutgers-Newark. See more about how Rutgers measures up here.
5) We’re Big! And, so are the opportunities: Rutgers has 28 schools and college that offer over 100 undergraduate majors and more than 100 graduate degree and professional programs. Our undergrad/grad population numbers over 58,000. Whoa…
6) Our History in Song: Rutgers has a very long history in the form of song dating back to 1873. Check out these songs here & learn the lyrics.
Here’s a clip of holiday lights synced to the Rutgers fight song to help get you more in the spirit…
7) Famous Degree Holders: Rutgers was home to countless notable alumni. To name a few…Natalie Morales RC’94 (TV Journalist, NBC’s Today), Eugene M. O’Hara UCN’62 (CFO, Prudential), Gary Brackett CC’03
Linebacker and Captain, Indianapolis Colts, & (soon) YOU! (;
8) Beautiful and Historic Buildings: With age comes wisdom and interesting architecture, and Rutgers has both. Each campus has some interesting gems. Old Queens on College Ave was declared a historical landmark by the US Department of the Interior. Check out some of Rutgers’ oldest and most historic buildings.
9) There’s a Campus for Everyone: Not to sound like an admissions brochure, but there really is a campus for everyone. Each of our five campuses has a vastly different feel and culture. From the farms on Cook to the rich women’s tradition on Douglass, the sports culture on Busch, the up-and-coming nature of Livingston, to the urban environment of College Ave, a piece of Rutgers appeals to all.
10) We “R” THE State University of NJ: That’s right. We’re the flagship. The big cheese. When people think NJ schools, they think Rutgers.
So, if you’re a grad student like me who struggles to feel the magic as a grad student at Rutgers, maybe it’s time to start looking around. Put down the books for a minute, and go for a walk on a different campus. Take a campus tour. Maybe even take in a performance at Mason Gross or a sporting event. Get acquainted with the history and tradition. Just ’cause we’re not undergrads anymore doesn’t mean we can’t show school spirit!