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New Brunswick/Piscataway Undergraduate Catalog 2005-2007 Douglass College History and Aims of the College  

History and Aims of the College

Douglass College is the largest women's college in the United States, with approximately 3,000 students. Established as the New Jersey College for Women in 1918, the college was renamed in 1955 for Mabel Smith Douglass, who cooperated with the New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs in making the case for an institution of higher education for women in New Jersey and who became the college's first dean.

Within the coeducational Rutgers setting, Douglass offers women a high-quality academic atmosphere in which they learn to think critically, study a major field in depth, obtain a broad general education and useful professional skills, and interact with peers and faculty. In a society that still confronts women with barriers to achievement, Douglass College offers a supportive community in which students from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds can develop their full potential while at the same time taking advantage of the wide choice of programs and fields of study available in the larger university.

Douglass enjoys a national reputation as a center of research, public service, and community outreach organizations focusing on women. It is the site of the university's model women's and gender studies program; it houses the Institute for Women's Leadership and the Institute for Research on Women; and it is the location of the Center for American Women and Politics, a unique service, research, and teaching unit devoted to studying women's political roles. The Blanche, Edith, and Irving Laurie New Jersey Chair in Women's Studies was established at Douglass in 1983. Students at the college are invited to include women's lives in their courses of study and to participate in programs and organizations that involve women's issues.

Whatever their specific interests or courses of study, students at the college are encouraged to challenge attitudes and institutions limiting women's roles, to develop a deeper understanding of themselves as individuals, and to acquire the skills that will enable them to contribute to the society in which they live.

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2005 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. All rights reserved.