That's all true, but as we learned on a visit to Hopewell, there's a lot more to the founding of a university. Someone has to come up with the idea in the first place, and in Rutgers' case, that person was Reverend Jacob Hardenbergh of the Dutch Reformed Church. And, it seems, the idea may have come when he was living, not on the Banks of the Old Raritan, but at the Old Dutch Parsonage in Somerville.
|Not Old Queens... the Old Dutch Parsonage.|
The establishment of the college was just the first step, and while the Grammar School (now Rutgers Prep) began accepting students in 1767, it took another five years for the upper school to hire a tutor and matriculate students. The first diploma was earned by the class of 1774, Matthew Leidt. Compare that against the more than 14,000 degrees awarded in 2013, and you have to believe that Hardenbergh would be very satisfied with the longevity and productivity of what he worked so hard to start.