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Centenary University

Centenary University
Centenary University logo.svg
TypePrivate Liberal Arts College
AffiliationUnited Methodist Church
Endowment$10.7 million (2016)[1]
PresidentDr. Bruce Murphy [2]
Academic staff
73 full-time[citation needed]
Undergraduates1,708[citation needed]
Location, ,
Campus42 acres (Main Campus),
65 acres (Equestrian Center)
ColorsCentenary Blue and Grey
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division III
Centenary Collegiate Institute
Area4.3 acres (1.7 ha)
ArchitectOscar Schutte Teale
Architectural styleRenaissance, Beaux Arts, Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals
NRHP reference No.97000564[3]
NJRHP No.3496[4]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJune 13, 1997
Designated NJRHPApril 21, 1997

Centenary University is a private liberal arts university in Hackettstown, New Jersey. Founded in 1867 [5] by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary has evolved from a coeducational preparatory school to a girls' preparatory school (1910), a junior college for women (1940), a four-year women's college (1976), a coeducational baccalaureate-degree-granting institution (1988) a master-degree-granting institution (1995), and most recently a university (2016).[6] With the 2016 change, the institution went from being "Centenary College of New Jersey" to "Centenary University."[7] In 1999, Centenary founded the Center for Adult and Professional Studies (CAPS) program. In 2011, the program was renamed the School of Professional Studies (SPS). Centenary's main campus is located in Hackettstown.


Centenary was founded as the Centenary Collegiate Institute by the Newark Methodist Episcopal Church in 1867. It was built at a cost of $200,000. George H. Whitney, D.D., was president from 1869 to 1895.[8]

Tillie Smith Monument to Chastity

In 1886, a 19 year old kitchen worker named Tillie Smith was "outraged" and murdered in a field just off campus. A janitor named James Titus was convicted of the crime based on circumstantial evidence strongly influenced by yellow journalism. Authors and historians generally consider this to be a false conviction but debate over the facts continue perennially through dark tourism ghost tours, theatrical performances, books and Weird NJ magazine articles.[9][10][11][12][13][14]

On Halloween night, 1899, the original Centenary Collegiate Institute building, where the Seay Administration building is now, burned to the ground in a fire.[15]


Centenary offers undergraduate and graduate studies. In 2016, Centenary reported enrollment of 1,238 traditional full-time and 110 part-time undergraduate students, and 1,126 adult accelerated and graduate students. Centenary was the first college in the State of New Jersey to require service education as a condition of graduation.

Centenary is located in a suburban setting in Warren County, New Jersey, 52 miles west of New York City, 35 miles southeast of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, and 26 miles northeast of Easton, Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.


Centenary University is a member of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Centenary is also accredited by the National Association of State Directors for Teacher Education and Certification.[16] Centenary has fully accredited status from the Teacher Education Accreditation Council,[17] full accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education, and specialized accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education.

Main campus and learning centers

Centenary University Main campus is located in Hackettstown, New Jersey. The Centenary Equestrian Center located in Long Valley provides riding and education facilities for its Equine Studies Department.[18] The college also operates two satellite learning centers located in Parsippany[19] and Edison, New Jersey[20] to service its adult student programs.

Hackettstown Campus

The main campus of Centenary University is home to most of Centenary's academic, administrative, athletic and collegiate activities, as well as housing for its undergraduate students. It consists of ten main buildings and eight residence buildings.[21]

Seay Administration Building


  • Seay Building – Classrooms, Whitney Chapel, Student Activities Center: Career Development Center, #theVibe, Student Life Suite; Little Theater,[22] Main College Offices: Admissions, Alumni Affairs, Bursar, Campus Life, College Relations, Financial Aid, Health Services, Human Resources, Information Technology, President's Office
  • Brotherton Hall – Professor offices, Classrooms
  • Ferry Building – Classrooms and small music hall
  • Harris & Betts Smith Learning Center – Academic Success Center, Student Veterans Organization, Disabilities Services Office, Classrooms
  • Littell Technology Center – Classrooms, Graphics Department, ENACTUS office
  • Lackland Center – Classrooms, Dance Studio, Dining Center, Theaters, TV studio, WNTI Radio station[22]
  • Reeves Gymnasium – Athletics Department, Gym, Pool, Weight Room, Wrestling Center
  • Smith Hall – International Studies Department
  • Taylor Memorial Library – Library, Print Shop[23]
  • Trevorrow – Science and Fine Art Building; Classrooms, Labs, Fashion Department, Science Department

Residence halls

  • Anderson – Co-ed (Co-ed floors, male only and female only rooms)
  • Bennett-Smith – Apartments (Co-ed floors, male or female only suites)
  • Founders – Apartments (Co-ed floors, choice of male only, female only, or Co-ed suites)
  • Lotte – Co-ed (male only and female only rooms)
  • Reeves – Co-ed Freshmen only (1st and 2nd floor male only and female only rooms, 3rd floor female only)
  • Smith – Co-ed International & Freshmen only (1st floor international, 2nd and 3rd floor male only and female only rooms)
  • Van Winkle – Co-ed (Male only and female only rooms)
  • Washabaugh – Co-ed (Male and female only floors: 1st floor: male, 2nd floor: female)

Equestrian Center

The Equestrian Center is located in Long Valley, New Jersey. It consists of several large paddocks, an outdoor eventing course, two indoor arenas and one outdoor arena. The Equestrian Center sits on 65 acres (260,000 m2) of land.

In 2007 and 2012 Centenary Equestrian Center hosted the American National Riding Commission Championships, Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Zone Finals, and the Intercollegiate Dressage Association Championships.[24]

Parsippany Center

The Parsippany campus is home to Centenary's School of Professional Studies faculty and staff. This location boasts a small cafe, offices for staff, a student computer lab, a student workroom, and 13 classrooms operating with a broadband WiFi network. Classes take place in the evening for the benefit of working professionals.

Edison Center

The Edison office serves as a satellite location for the Centenary School of Professional Studies. This location consists of six classrooms, two offices, a small conference room, a small dinette, a student work room, and a wireless broadband network. The building complex hosts a cafeteria and ample parking.


Centenary University teams participate in eight NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports. The Cyclones joined the Colonial States Athletic Conference for the 2007–08 season, after having been a member of the Skyline Conference. Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, equestrian, golf, lacrosse, soccer and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, equestrian, lacrosse, soccer, softball and volleyball. Students enrolled in the college's Equine programs may participate in competitions through intercollegiate organizations such as the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, the Intercollegiate Dressage Association, or with the Hunter/Jumper's Club.

Noted athletic achievements

In 2009 Centenary's Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team won the National Championships in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Lindsay Clark, a Centenary Student, also won the USEF/Cacchione Cup.[25]

The 2010 women's soccer team won the CSAC Championship, earning them an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The 2013 men's soccer team replicated this feat.

Notable alumni


  1. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2016 Endowment Market Value and Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY2015 to FY2016" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
  2. ^ "President's Office – Centenary University". Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  3. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. November 2, 2013.
  4. ^ "New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places - Warren County" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection - Historic Preservation Office. August 17, 2017. p. 3.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2018-10-15. Retrieved 2018-10-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Centenary College History". Archived from the original on July 2, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  7. ^ "Surprise! N.J. College announces name change at graduation". 14 May 2016.
  8. ^ "1890 Centenary Collegiate Institute". Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  9. ^ Sullivan, Denis (2000). In Defence of Her Honor: The Tillie Smith Murder Case. Flemington: D.H. Thoreau Books.
  10. ^ O'Donnell, Chuck (2013-10-06). "Tillie Smith murder at Centenary College remains part of Hackettstown lore". lehighvalleylive. Retrieved 2020-01-29.
  11. ^ "In Memory of Tillie Smith". The New York Times. 1887-05-18. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-01-29.
  12. ^ "Following the path of Tillie Smith". New Jersey Herald. Retrieved 2020-01-29.
  13. ^ "Murdered Maid Haunts Centenary College | Weird NJ". Retrieved 2020-01-29.
  14. ^ "Mondays with authors: Maryann McFadden's new novel explores1886 NJ murder". 2020-01-24. Archived from the original on 2020-01-24. Retrieved 2020-01-29.
  15. ^ "Historic Hackettstown". Retrieved 2020-01-29.
  16. ^ "NASDTEC Clearinghouse". Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  17. ^ "TEAC". Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  18. ^ "Equine Studies". Centenary University ™. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  19. ^ "Centenary University – Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce". Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  20. ^ "Edison Learning Center". Centenary University ™. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  21. ^ "Locations, Maps & Directions". Centenary University ™. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  22. ^ a b "Venues | Centenary Stage Company | Hackettstown, NJ". Centenary Stage Company. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  23. ^ "Library". Centenary University ™. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  24. ^ [1][permanent dead link] "In 2007 Centenary Equestrian Center hosted the American National Riding Commission Championships, Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Zone Finals, and the Intercollegiate Dressage Association Championships."
  25. ^ [2][permanent dead link] "In 2009 Centenary's Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team won the National Championships in Murfreesboro, TN. Lindsay Clark, a Centenary Student, also won the USEF/Cacchione Cup.
  26. ^ "SORORITIES ADMIT 85 AT CENTENARY JUNIOR; Majority of Students Named to Three Societies Are From New York Area", The New York Times, November 21, 1937. Accessed December 6, 2007. "Miss Bette Cooper of this community, who was chosen Miss America for 1937 at the Atlantic City beauty contest in September, is a new member of Delta Sigma Sigma."
  27. ^ Wertheim, Stanley. (1997). A Stephen Crane encyclopedia. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. p. 70. ISBN 0-313-00812-4. OCLC 52242909.
  28. ^ "Centenary College Honors Deborah Harry as a Distinguished Alumna" Archived 2012-03-04 at the Wayback Machine, Centenary College of New Jersey press release dated October 24, 2007. Accessed March 20, 2010. "Deborah Ann Harry, Class of 1965, is a singer, songwriter, and actress."
  29. ^ "Centenary’s Kimball Chosen by Nationals in 12th Round." Archived 2012-02-10 at the Wayback Machine, Centenary College of New Jersey press release dated July 7, 2006. Accessed January 13, 2008. "A graduate of Hackettstown High School, and a resident of Great Meadows NJ, Centenary has been a terrific fit for Cole’s most recent two seasons."
  30. ^ Farhi, Paul (October 6, 2008). "The Separate Peace of John And Carol". The Washington Post. Retrieved Jan 2, 2020.
  31. ^ Assemblyman Gail Phoebus, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed August 19, 2016.

External links