Douglass Residential College

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Douglass Residential College
Established 1918 (Degree-granting college); 2007 (residential college)
Dean Jacquelyn Litt
Students 2,500
Location New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA
Affiliations Institute for Women's Leadership

Douglass Residential College, located in New Brunswick, New Jersey and part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is an innovative undergraduate higher education institution specifically for women, which succeeded the liberal arts Douglass College after it was merged with the other undergraduate liberal arts colleges at Rutgers–New Brunswick to form the School of Arts and Sciences in 2007. (The school, which is still generally known as "Douglass," was originally named New Jersey College for Women when it was founded in 1918 and then renamed Douglass College in 1955 in honor of its first dean.) Female students enrolled at any of the academic undergraduate schools at Rutgers–New Brunswick, including, e.g., the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Mason Gross School of the Arts, may now also enroll in Douglass Residential College, at which they must satisfy additional requirements specific to the college. Douglass seeks to provide the benefits of a close-knit small community of women students and offers programs specially designed to help women students to identify their unique abilities and develop confidence, these programs include, for example, a strong emphasis on global education, including opportunities to participate in service/learning trips in foreign countries, and a wide range of training and enrichment activities offered by a career and leadership development center.

Notable alumnae[edit]

  • Alice Aycock DC'68: Sculptor
  • Catherine H. Bailey: horticulturist
  • Julia Baxter Bates NJC'38: first African-American student at NJC, prominent civil rights researcher
  • Leonie Brinkema DC'65: Judge, U.S. District Court, E.D. Va.
  • Elise M. Boulding NJCW'40: Peace activist, sociologist
  • Carol T. Christ DC'66: former President, Smith College, then Chancellor, University of California, Berkeley
  • Janet Evanovich DC'65: author
  • Jeanne Fox DC'74: President, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
  • Elizabeth Cavanna Harrison NJCW'29: Noted author as Betty Cavanna and under the pen names Elizabeth Headley and Betsy Allen.[1]
  • Helen Hall Jennings NJCW'27: American scientist in the fields of psychology and sociology
  • Jaynee LaVecchia DC'76: New Jersey Supreme Court Justice
  • Linda Lindroth DC'68: American artist, photographer, and writer
  • Susan Martin DC'68: retired Georgetown University professor, expert on international migrations
  • Imbolo Mbue DC'02: Novelist
  • Janet L. Norwood DC'45: economist, US Commissioner of Labor Statistics (1979–1991).
  • Judith Shatin DC'71: composer
  • Freda L. Wolfson DC'76: Judge, U.S. District Court, D. N.J.
  • Joanne Yatvin, NJCW'52: President of the National Council of Teachers of English (2006–2007). Author of books and articles for teachers.


  • Mabel Smith Douglass (1918–1932): A graduate of Barnard College, Mabel Smith Douglass was a leader of the New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs.
  • Margaret Trumbull Corwin (1934–1955): A graduate of Bryn Mawr with a master's degree from Yale. It was during Dean Corwin’s tenure that the New Jersey College for Women became Douglass College.
  • Mary Bunting (1955–1960): A graduate of Vassar with advanced degrees in microbiology from the University of Wisconsin. She resigned to become president of Radcliffe.
  • Ruth Marie Adams (1960–1966): An Adelphi graduate with a doctorate in English from Radcliffe. She resigned to become president of Wellesley.
  • Margery Somers Foster (1967–1975): A graduate of Wellesley with a doctorate in economics from Radcliffe.
  • Jewel Plummer Cobb (1976–1981): A graduate of Talladega College in Alabama with advanced degrees in cell biology from New York University. She resigned to become president of California State University at Fullerton.
  • Mary S. Hartman (1982–1994): A graduate of Swarthmore with an M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University in history, Mary S. Hartman became a member of the Douglass History Department in 1968 (Institute for Women’s Leadership, 2004, p. 1). She served as director of the Women’s Studies Institute from 1975 to 1977, was named acting dean in 1981, and dean in 1982, she resigned to become director of the Institute for Women’s Leadership at Rutgers University.
  • Barbara A. Shailor (1996–2001): A graduate of Wilson College with a master's degree and doctorate in classics from the University of Cincinnati, she resigned to become Director of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University. She was appointed the Deputy Provost for the Arts at Yale University in 2003.
  • Carmen Twillie Ambar (2002–2008): A graduate of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Carmen Twillie Ambar earned a law degree from Columbia School of Law and a master’s in public affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University; in 2008, Ambar resigned to become president of Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA, and in 2017 she became President of Oberlin College..
  • Jacquelyn Litt (2010–present): A graduate of William Smith College with an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from University of Pennsylvania.


  1. ^ "Betty Cavanna Papers". de Grummond Children's Literature Collection. The University of Southern Mississippi. May 1994. Retrieved 2013-06-22.  With biographical sketch.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°29′02″N 74°26′06″W / 40.484°N 74.435°W / 40.484; -74.435