Dean’s Letter to Class of 1991: We Expect Great Things of You

Walton R.

Walton R. Johnson, acting dean of Livingston College, wrote the following letter to the Class of 1991, included in the college yearbook, Diversity, Volume 1: Not Just a Generic College.


To the Graduating Class of 1991


Four years ago you came to Livingston College eager, excited and even a little fearful as you entered the unknown world of the University with the expectation that anything is possible. On your own for perhaps the first time, you had only an idea of the opportunities, adventures, and problems that would await you.

Now, just as the world of Livingston College has become a comfortable place and its challenges conquered, you are asked to begin again and enter the unknown world beyond the security of academic life. Your feelings, hopes, and fears are probably very much the same as they were when you came here four years ago. As you leave us and go out into the world, it is our hope that Livingston College has provided you with the strength and direction that you will need to think for yourselves, and to take advantage of the challenges, adventures, and opportunities to follow your dreams and make anything become possible.

You have worked hard and deserve our deep appreciation for your contributions to Livingston College. As you graduate, we expect great things of you, we congratulate you and wish you success and happiness in the future.


Revised May 1, 2016

Memories of the Barracks: A Refuge for Rutgers Journalists on Livingston Campus

By Glen Weisman, LC’86

The place smelled musty.

It was drafty in the winter, hot in the summer and looked like central casting’s ideal setting for a horror film – it was called “The Barracks.” 

By Glen Weisman, LC’86

The place smelled musty.

It was drafty in the winter, hot in the summer and looked like central casting’s ideal setting for a horror film – it was called “The Barracks.” 

The Barracks were a set of old U.S. Army barracks from the former Camp Kilmer which found a second life as classroom space for Rutgers’ fledgling Journalism Department. Housed at the end of the Livingston College Campus, this last group of Americana used to house soldiers during World War II and had almost hauntingly survived into the 1980s.

Everything about The Barracks seemed old, broken, used up by the time I was to take residence in its hallowed halls and stuffy atmosphere.

It wasn’t just the air in the classrooms that had been living there since General Pershing was a cadet or the creaky boards in the hallway, which were undoubtedly milled a century ago by men in overalls with long, dusty beards. It was also the facilities in and of itself.

The J-program was run on a shoestring budget. We were only students, but it wasn’t hard to figure these things out.

There were new mainframe computers at the Hill Center on Busch, a very important thing for a university, but our equipment had lived out its glory days decades earlier in more noble settings. Our manual typewriters were hand-me-downs from The Home News, where reporters once banged out stories on crime, corruption and students high on LSD. Our radio studio was equipped with turntables, a board and monitors which may have once thrilled listeners at WCTC with the latest from Eddie Cochran or broadcast the shocking news of President Kennedy’s assassination from the studios of WERA. Our TV studio, although not nearly as antiquated, was second rate at best. But there must have been some talent on hand as some of us would go on to reasonable careers.

An actor named Richard Joseph Paul was a fellow barracks dweller who I would later see in a Burger King commercial and then in Revenge of the Nerds II, where I recall his character getting that key line, “The Nerds are back! And they’re bad!” (Note to self: Stop watching so many late-night reruns.)

I took at least three classes at The Barracks, and taught two there. I had keys to the place, and though I didn’t abuse the privilege, it was an occasional private refuge. It was like that crusty uncle, with an Old World accent, who told stories of places in time you could never visi

It was that stifling aromatic attic where you might take refuge and take inventory of those touchstones in your life. A place you go to experience all of those items still wrought with character, smells and memories, but whose best days belong to another time.

And so it was with The Barracks. In my time there, it was an outpost for the old world of media, where ghosts inspired by the dreams of soldiers and students lingered in the rooms and hallways, hoping to be captured and given new form in the modern world. Our metaphorical compasses (Army issue, no doubt) were gifted to us in those creaky old buildings, and they pointed to the radio stations, television networks and newspapers where we hoped our careers would take root.

Today many of those media institutions are like The Barracks – looking back on their glory days, if they have survived the latest modern era intact. In today’s information age, you don’t really need a space like The Barracks to become what we today call a “content creator,” really a much less noble name than producer, reporter, writer, director or even deejay. Television studios are now carried around in people’s pockets, integrated into a telephone and at the ready to record every event — the good, the bad and the stupid.

The last time I was to Livingston, it was a radically different place. The changes that have taken place on Route 18 have erased familiar signposts at the entrance to the campus. The “back road”, Cedar Lane, has also undergone a transformation. I didn’t much think about The Barracks when I was there, focusing instead on driving by The Quads and The Towers, which held those special, personal memories. (It’s worth noting that I was among the first Livingston College students who moved into a floor in The Towers back in 1985. We’d returned to Livingston’s high rise after many years in exile.)

So I spent some time looking for The Barracks online. I learned that there is or was a show called “Breakfast at the Barracks,” but that’s not at my Barracks. I’ve looked at some overhead views on Google maps, but I’m not sure if my Barracks is still there. And really, it doesn’t matter. For me it will occupy a funky corner of my memory’s attic – a place that inspired dreams.

Glen Weisman is a 1986 graduate of Livingston College at Rutgers University.

Originally posted April 30, 2013
Revised December 13, 2015

Livingston College’s First Alumni Association President Reveals His Inspirations — and the Holy Grail of LC Alumni History

By Leonard M. Klepner, LC’72

[Read more Livingston College Students’ Memories.]

I am a 1972 LC graduate. I was there almost at the very beginning as a transfer student from Temple University in Philadelphia.  The extensive mud that then still characterized the rudimentary campus on the Piscataway plains of the late Camp Kilmer became “Fango,” the campus newspaper’s initial name.

My early mentors in the political science department included the late, monumental Wilson Carey McWilliams and his wife, Nancy. I retain a personally dedicated copy of Carey’s “The Idea of Fraternity in America.”  As possessions go, it’s probably my most cherished.  Both Carey and Nancy took an ongoing interest in my well-being, and I spent time at their Highland Park home. I house-sat for them on occasion before their daughters were born. During those times, my principal duties involved keeping company with their marmoset and huge parrot. The formidable parrot had a pedestal perch so substantial that it had its own room in the house. The other relic I have from this early era is an oil painting by an artist friend of the McWilliamses visiting from California. Signed as “RDG 74,” the piece is a rendering of the Albany Street Bridge and the town of New Brunswick from the Highland Park shore of the Raritan. The piece captures a remarkable scene of the bridge and the town as they were 40 years ago.

Of importance to me during this time were other political science professors, Henry Plotkin, Dennis Bathory and Gerald Pomper. Henry was the first faculty member with whom I met when I visited the Livingston Campus prior to making my decision to transfer to Livingston in 1970. About 25 years later, Henry and I had occasion to be in contact professionally in his capacity with the New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission.  Dennis was one of the kindest and brightest people that I ever met. Beyond the academics, however, the greatest of experiences was the Sunday pick-up softball game in Raritan Park. Students, teachers, friends and their children were welcomed players. I believe I remember a then-very young son of Professor Pomper’s joining the game eventually.

Another fellow student, graduate and alumnus most deserving of recognition for his inspiration to me both during and after my association with Livingston College and as a Rutgers graduate student is the late Amos Danube. Amos was already in his mid-20s when he left Budapest in the wake of the Soviet repression of 1956.  When I came to Livingston, Amos seemed ancient, but less so as I came to know him and likewise grew ancient. His many contributions to the Livingston and Rutgers communities are well known.  I had the privilege of continuing contact with Amos into his all too brief retirement to Florida.  Our friendship became and was at its strongest when he passed away suddenly a number of years ago. I made contact with his daughter and conveyed to her a compilation of email that Amos and I exchanged during his retirement to offer her, if she wished, a glimpse of her father’s life that may otherwise have escaped her.

Most significantly for the historical documentation of the origin of the existing alumni group of Livingston College, is a copy of what is the Holy Grail of Livingston alumni history. The first of the membership ID card displayed with this article is indeed the very first card, No. 00001A, Valid 1975-1976, issued by the Livingston College Association of Graduates (the LCAG), the very first organization formed to represent, advance and benefit those few who had then graduated from Livingston and all thereafter until the present that the Alumni Association has served.

LCAG ID No. 00001A is rarer (as baseball card collectors would know) even than the multimillion-dollar Honus Wagner T206. It is special, and I knew it would be because it represented the earliest graduates that Livingston had to offer. Even then, Livingston graduates understood that the special nature and intention of Livingston required nurturing, maintenance and perpetuation. As LCAG 00001A indicates, I had the distinction of being elected the first president of the LCAG.

Imagine if George Washington were still alive to witness the unfolding of the promise for which he struggled. There is room for argument either way on the question of whether or not Washington would be pleased with the course that our country has taken. However, as the George Washington of Livingston alumni, I have been fortunate and pleased for more than 40 years now to have witnessed the unfolding and establishment of the good to which the LAA has devoted itself and achieved. Ever may it continue to be so.

Photo at top: LCAG membership card 00001A; bottom: LAA membership cards from the early 1990s. 

Leonard M. Klepner is a 1972 graduate of Livingston College at Rutgers University.

W. Robert Jenkins, Livingston College Dean and Rutgers Biologist, Remembered

William Robert (“Bob”) Jenkins, Livingston College’s dean from 1977 to 1990, died November 23, 2015, at age 88. He had served at Rutgers for more than 50 years, as a biology professor, college dean and director of the Health Professions Office. (A memorial service was held Wednesday, March 9, 2016, at Rutgers’ Busch campus. See the complete information here.)

Jenkins, of Monroe Township, New Jersey, had lived in Hunterdon County and later Piscataway, before moving to Monroe in 2013. Born in Hertford, North Carolina, he was a corpsman in the United States Navy during World War II, Jenkins earned a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree from the College of William and Mary, a master of science (M.S.) from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Maryland.

Jenkins’ philosophies as Livingston College dean can be gleaned from his letters to the graduating class, published most years in the college yearbook. In 1978, his first year as dean, he highlighted Livingston College’s “truly outstanding faculty” and “unusually diverse student body” as benefits of an education at the college. Two years later, he noted that students’ focus had turned from activism to career interests.

In 1980, Rutgers reorganized and combined the faculties of three undergraduate colleges in New Brunswick — Livingston, Rutgers and Douglass colleges. Jenkins’ covered the reorganization in his letters in 1981, 1982 and 1983, in which he respectively wrote of Livingston College fighting the reorganization, lamenting that the change “highly limited” Livingston’s freedom, and then tying Livingston’s uniqueness to facets not affected by the reorganization, such as admissions, graduation requirements, and student life operations.

“Make no mistakes and no apologies, Livingston College has been a success,” Jenkins told the class of 1982. “We are not as successful as many of us had dreamed, but I suppose that would be a truly rare occurrence. On the other hand, we are far more successful than many of our detractors thought we could ever be and more successful than many of them would ever admit. So little they know.”

According to a 1985 New York Times article, Jenkins had come to appreciate the 1980 reorganization, citing as an example the combined biology department of Livingston, Rutgers and Douglass colleges “[becoming] a department with 100 professors and a good chance at more research funds and better graduate students.” Such changes increased Rutgers’ reputation in New Jersey and increased the value of a Rutgers degree, Jenkins told the Times.

In the same year, Jenkins urged graduates to boost the “visibility and reputation” of Livingston College by promoting the college rather than the larger university.

Two months before he left the deanship in 1990, Jenkins told a student newspaper, The Daily Targum, that some Livingston innovations — such as co-ed dormitories, new academic departments such as anthropology, computer science, and journalism, and a diverse student population — had become commonplace at Rutgers. “The other colleges have adopted so much of Livingston that they are no longer distinct from us — we do not get the credit for that.”

Jenkins “preside[d] on the cooling of the ambiguous Livingston missions, and the diminution of the college’s autonomy and its isolation as well,” remembered Gerald Pomper, a Rutgers Board of Governors professor emeritus of political science. Pomper said that Jenkins “handled this unenviable task with decency and grace, but glory was neither possible at the time nor part of Bob’s character.”

Robert W. Snyder was a student at Livingston College from 1973 to 1977, just before Jenkins became college dean. Jenkins had joined the college’s planning committee in 1968, a year before the college opened, and in 1977 was the college’s associate dean and dean of instruction. “I have fond memories of Bob Jenkins as a dean who loved the college and fought for it. He took over after a period of conflict and uncertainty about our future during the Mesthene deanship, and won over students with his belief Livingston College was a good school with an important role to play in Rutgers and the wider world.

“His courses in environmental science were highly praised. I have few regrets about my Livingston education, but one is that — as a double major in history and urban communications — I did not have room in my schedule to study with him,” said Snyder, an associate professor of journalism and American studies at Rutgers-Newark.

“I vividly recall my conversations with him about our shared love of the outdoors, and his belief that Livingston needed better recreation facilities for students—especially those who remained on campus over the weekend,” Snyder said. “In the best spirit of Livingston, Dean Jenkins had a friendly and egalitarian manner. I will always remember him with great warmth and fondness.”

Bill Bowman, a 1982 Livingston College graduate, reflected on Jenkins’ tenure in 2012 in response to a Rutgers magazine article about the college’s history. Bowman, a former president of the Livingston Alumni Association, called Jenkins “one of the most forceful defenders of Livingston College and one of the most loved deans the college had in its too-short life. Dean Jenkins’ open-door policy and his genuine interest in the college’s students endeared him to thousands of future agents of change.”

Jenkins’ “devotion to Livingston College was steadfast, his love of it deep, and his support crucial,” said Jerome Aumente, a Rutgers distinguished professor emeritus of journalism who worked with Jenkins at Livingston College.

“The respect he brought to the ongoing conversation about Livingston and its multiple missions was so important as the university puzzled over what to do about that enterprise across the Raritan,” Aumente said. “His voice as a respected member of the biological and medical sciences carried added weight at [the Rutgers administration building] Old Queens. His championing of the physician’s assistant program was brave and imaginative as lesser minds thought otherwise about opening doors and social change.”

Outside of his professional career, Jenkins founded Boy Scout Troop 1969 in Stanton, New Jersey, and served as Scoutmaster for several years. He served as a president of his local Board of Education and Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), Little League coach, and church school teacher. He travelled five continents, and spent many summer days off Sandy Hook fishing for “Moby Fluke.” 

Jenkins was the son of the late William Herman and Dorothy (Perrow) Jenkins, and brother of the late Dorothy (Dot) Jenkins-Biggs. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Mary (Earhart) Jenkins; two sons and two daughters-in-law, William Brian and Penny Jenkins, and Robert Edward and Marilyn Jenkins; two daughters and one son-in-law, Mary Ellen and Joe Duffy, and Linda Burns; and seven grandchildren, Giovanna, Dana, Sofia, Kira, Alix, Francis, and Mary Rose.

Donations may be directed to the Rutgers University Foundation, the Robert Jenkins Memorial Fund.

Photos of Jenkins: (top) Undated, courtesy of the Jenkins family; (bottom) From the Livingston College 1977 yearbook, The Rock, Volume II.

In Memoriam

We remember some of the many notable administrators, faculty members, staff members, and alumni who made a difference at Livingston College and in the Livingston alumni community. Brief notes and links to profiles with additional available information are included.

Jerome Aumente Albert E. Blumberg Roger Cohen Lora (Dee) Garrison Melvin L. Gary
Albert E. Blumberg Albert E. Blumberg Roger Cohen Lora (Dee) Garrison Melvin L. Gary

Administrators, Faculty, and Staff:

  • Jerome Aumente (1937-2023, age 85): Founder of journalism departments at Rutgers’ Livingston College and School of Communication and Information. Founder and director of Rutgers’ Urban Communications Teaching and Research Center and Journalism Resources Institute. Recipient of Livingston Legacy Award (2011).
  • Albert E. Blumberg (d. 1997, age 91): Philosophy professor; Official in the Communist and Democratic parties.
  • George Warren Carey (1927-2012, age 85): Acting dean of Livingston College from 1973-1974. [No photo available.]
  • Roger Cohen, RC’65 (1943-2022, age 78): Journalism professor at Livingston College.
  • Lora (Dee) Garrison (1934-2009, age 74): Professor of history and women’s studies.
  • Melvin L. Gary (1938-2015, age 76): Psychology professor.

Hilda Hidalgo Richard F. Hixson W. Robert Jenkins Wells Hamilton Keddie Ernest A. Lynton
Hilda Hidalgo Richard Hixson W. Robert Jenkins Wells Keddie Ernest A. Lynton

  • Hilda Hidalgo (1928-2009, age 81): Chair of the Department of Urban Studies and Community Development at Livingston College. Founder of several community organizations. Gay-rights pioneer. Recipient of the Rutgers Presidential Award for Public Service.

    • In 2010 the Newark Public Library held a memorial for Hidalgo. Her donated papers are available for review at the same library.
    • In 2010 the City of Newark renamed a street for Hidalgo. Read the (Star-Ledger) article, or see a PDF copy with additional photos.

  • Richard F. Hixson (d. 2003, age 71): Chairman of the Livingston College/Rutgers journalism department. Namesake of a scholarship for undergraduate students in Rutgers’ School of Communication and Information.
  • W. Robert Jenkins (d. 2015, age 88): Dean of Livingston College from 1977-1990.
  • Wells Hamilton Keddie (1925-2006, age 80): Professor Emeritus of Labor Studies and Employment Relations and Livingston College Fellow.
  • Lynne M. Kellermann (d. 1986): Director of the Livingston College Honors Program. [No photo available.]
  • Ernest A. Lynton (d. 1998, age 71): Dean of Livingston College from 1965-1973.

Patrick McCreary W. Carey McWilliams Emmanuel G. Mesthene Edward G. Ortiz Henry A. Plotkin
Patrick McCreary Wilson Carey McWilliams Emmanuel George Mesthene Edward G. Ortiz Henry A. Plotkin (Hank Plotkin)

  • Patrick McCreary (LC’75, MGSA’79) (d. 2016, age 67): Theater technical director at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and formerly at Livingston College.
  • Wilson Carey McWilliams (1933-2005, age 71): Political science professor and essayist. Recipient of Livingston Legacy Award (2015, posthumous).
  • Emmanuel George Mesthene (d. 1990, age 69): Dean of Livingston College from 1974-1977.
  • Edward G. Ortiz (1931-2010, age 78): Retired associate professor and chair of the Rutgers Department of Community Development. Recipient of the Livingston Legacy Award (2009).
  • Henry A. (Hank) Plotkin (d. 2017, age 74): Executive Director of the New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission; formerly Assistant Professor of Political Science at Livingston College.
  • Felice C. Ronca (d. 1996, age 43): Assistant Dean for Curriculum at Livingston College. [No photo available.]

Seth Scheiner
David C. Schwartz
Winston E. Thompson
Paula Van Riper
Seth Scheiner David C. Schwartz Winston Edna Thompson Paula Van Riper

  • Seth Scheiner (d. 2015, age 82): History professor and planner of Livingston College.
  • David C. Schwartz (d. 2022, age 83). Political science professor at Livingston College.
  • Winston Edna Thompson (1933-2016, age 82): Associate Dean of Student Affairs at Livingston College.
  • Paula Van Riper (1947-2015, age 67): Rutgers Assistant Dean and Director of Advising in the Office of Academic Services; formerly Livingston College Assistant Dean for Academic Policy.


(Seven of the 37 Rutgers graduates who died in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks had earned Livingston College degrees. Read about all 37 of the graduates on Barbara Preston’s website.)

Kevin A.B. Appuzio William S. Bauer Jr. Frank Carvill Thomas F. Daley Michael A. Davidson
Kevin Apuzzio William S. Bauer Jr. Frank Carvill Thomas F. Daley Michael A. Davidson

  • Kevin Anthony Bernardo Appuzio, LC’06 (1984-2006, age 21): Emergency medical technician killed in a house fire rescue mission. Recipient of Livingston Alumni Association’s Seth Dvorin Young Alumni Award (2009, posthumous) and Rutgers University Alumni Federation’s Edward J. Bloustein Award for Community Service (2006, posthumous).
  • William S. (Bill) Bauer Jr., LC’86, GSNB’89 (1964-2013, age 49): Former Livingston Alumni Association president.
  • Frank Carvill, LC’75 (d. 2004, age 51): New Jersey National Guard member, killed in the Iraqi conflict; survivor of World Trade Center terrorist attacks in 1993 and 2001. Livingston College Distinguished Alumnus (2004, posthumous).
  • Thomas F. Daley, LC’75 (d. 2015, age 61): District Attorney, attorney, adjunct professor of law. Livingston College Distinguished Alumnus (2002).
  • Michael A. Davidson, LC’97 (d. 2001, age 27): Victim of 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks. From Old Bridge, NJ. Equity trader for Cantor Fitzgerald. The Zeta Psi fraternity held a memorial service at Homecoming on October 20, 2001.

Jayceryll M. de Chavez Seth Jeremy Dvorin Colleen L. Fraser Riki E. Jacobs Patrick Konan Kouassi
Jayceryll M. de Chavez Seth Jeremy Dvorin Colleen Fraser Riki E. Jacobs Patrick Konan Kouassi

  • Jayceryll Malabuyoc de Chavez, LC’99, School of Business-New Brunswick’99 (d. 2001, age 24): Victim of 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks. From Carteret, NJ. Portfolio analysist for Fiduciary Trust Co. Founding member of Rutgers chapter of the Delta Chi fraternity.
  • Seth Jeremy Dvorin, LC’02 (d. 2004, age 24): U.S. Army first sergeant killed in Iraq in 2004. Namesake of the Seth Dvorin Distinguished Young Alumni Award.
  • Colleen L. Fraser, LC’74 (d. 2001, age 51): Hero of United Airlines Flight 93 (9/11/2001 terrorist attacks); advocate for people with disabilities. Livingston College Distinguished Alumna (2006, posthumous).
  • Riki E. Jacobs, LC’80 (1957-2009, age 51): Executive director of Hyacinth AIDS Foundation; namesake of Livingston Pride Award.  Livingston College Distinguished Alumna (2000).
  • Patrick Konan Kouassi, LC’06 (1981-2021, age 40): “Mr. R.U.” in 2003. Drug safety associate in the pharmaceutical industry.

Brendan Mark Lang Christina Yuna Lee James A. Martello Jon A. Perconti Jr. Gary Scott Pfeffer
Brendan Mark Lang Brendan Mark Lang James A. Martello Jon A. Perconti Jr. Gary Scott Pfeffer

  • Brendan Mark Lang, LC’83 (d. 2001, age 30): Victim of 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks. From Red Bank, NJ. Project manager for StructureTone, Inc.
  • Christina Yuna Lee, LC’08 (d. 2022, age 35): Artist and music producer.
  • James A. Martello, LC’83 (d. 2001, age 41): Victim of 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks. Worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. Former Scarlet Knight middle linebacker from Rumson, NJ (formerly of Montville).
  • Jon A. Perconti Jr., LC’93 (1969-2001, age 32): Victim of 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks. From Hoboken, NJ. Worked for Cantor Fitzgerald in World Trade Center, Tower 1, 104th Floor. Perconti’s wife, Tammy, gave birth to the couple’s daughter in December 2001.
  • Gary Scott Pfeffer, LC’77 (1955-2018, age 62): Founder of Men’s Coming Out Group and longtime activist at The Pride Center of New Jersey.

Scott M. Schertzer Paul Taub Derek Lamont Young
Scott M. Schertzer Paul Taub Derek Lamont Young

  • Scott M. Schertzer, LC’97, SMLR’97 (1972-2001, age 28): Victim of 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks. From Edison, NJ. Worked in human resources for Cantor Fitzgerald, World Trade Center, Tower 1, 104th Floor.
  • Paul Taub, LC’74 (1952-2021, age 68). Flutist and pioneer of new music.
  • Derek Lamont Young, RC’87 (1964-2020, age 55). Vice President of the Livingston Alumni Association.

Dean’s Letter to the Class of 1988: Livingston College Needs Loyal Daughters and Sons


W. Robert Jenkins, dean of Livingston College, wrote the following letter to the Class of 1988, included in the college yearbook, 1988.

May, 1988

Dear Graduates:


Each year I am asked to write a letter such as this one. Each year I wonder what to say and how to say it. Nonetheless, this is a pleasant task since, among other things, I get a chance to congratulate you on successfully completing your degree. For that accomplishment, I offer my most sincere congratulations and my best wishes to you in the years to come.

Whether you go on to further study, to jobs, or to other endeavors, I hope that what we offered you at Livingston has prepared you for that task.


Lastly, remember your College. Come back to visit and experience the nostalgia of days past; reflect on how you and the College changed and in what ways have remained the same. The College needs loyal daughters and sons and their encouragement will assist us to continue offering students the best we have.


Goodbye for now — and good luck. Let’s keep in touch.

Sincerely yours,

  W. Robert Jenkins


Revised November 29, 2015

Dean’s Letter to the Class of 1986: Keep College Memories a Vital Part of Your Life


W. Robert Jenkins, dean of Livingston College, wrote the following letter to the Class of 1986, included in the college yearbook, The Experience.

May, 1986

Dear Student:

Leaving college is a time of mixed emotions. You have a well-deserved sense of pride and satisfaction in achieving your goal of earning a baccalaureate degree. We of the faculty and administration share your pleasure, knowing that the education you have received at Livingston College assures you of a proper preparation for the next stage of your life whether a job or further study.

At the same time, you probably have a sense of loss, or sadness. You are leaving friends, associates, familiar faces and surroundings. You may even experience some trepidation at what you face in your next step. Do you remember leaving high school and beginning college when you weren’t sure that you were ready for such a change? Things worked out for you at Livingston College; you learned what was expected of you and how to meet those expectations. You’ll do well in your next endeavors too.

In leaving, however, you take with you memories which will never be lost. Memories of each other, of your classes and professors, of campus controversies, and of a sense of being a part of something big. The Class of 1986 will especially remember the closing of the Kilmer Library for asbestos removal and the difficulties which that closing caused; of the new Livingston College Student Center, its delayed opening, and the lack of completion of it many months after its promised delivery; of the moving of the School of Business to become our neighbors on Kilmer; and of the biggest Spring Weekend ever. These and other memories are special and should be kept alive. They represent your years at Rutgers University.

As an individual, you mean a great deal to both the College and the University. We want you to remain associated with your College by becoming a member of your alumni association. Through them, you can get together with old friends and relive your experiences and keep the memory of the Livingston College experience forever a vital part of your life.

I wish you well in your future and most sincerely hope that you will return to see us on occasion. Whatever else, we are now a part of one another. That sharing has been a pleasure for me; I hope it has been for you as well.

Sincerely yours,

W. Robert Jenkins



Revised December 1, 2015


Dean’s Letter to the Class of 1985: Change Reflects Progress

W. Robert Jenkins, dean of Livingston College, wrote the following letter to the Class of 1985, included in the college yearbook, Senior Record.

Dear Graduate:

Congratulations on your degree and best wishes for the future. I hope that Livingston College and Rutgers University have served you well and that your memories will be mostly fond ones. You have been here when major changes have taken place and the gains, perhaps also the losses, which resulted from those changes have had a direct effect on you. However, change is inevitable in a dynamic establishment; we should expect and welcome change, as it reflects progress. Improvements in the future include our new (at last!) student center. I hope that all of you will come back to see and enjoy the completed project. We also look to a continued improvement in the ranking of Rutgers University because, as our reputation improves, so does the value of your degree. Big things are beginning to happen here, and I firmly believe that Rutgers University is to be the premier public institution in the East.

You, as graduates, can continue to be a part of Livingston College, and we need you to continue your association with us. Alumni are the best representatives of a college, and your support of us in conversation with others will boost our visibility and reputation. Encourage students to apply and attend Livingston College; speak up as graduates of Livingston College, not of Rutgers University; give a little time back to us, and when you can, contribute your financial support to our many programs.

As always, I will feel a personal loss when you leave. It is a price one pays in getting to know and like an essentially transient population. Please keep in touch, and let us know what you’re doing, because that is one of the real rewards of having gotten to know you.

So, for one more time — good luck, best wishes, and fond memories.

W. Robert Jenkins

Dean’s Letter to the Class of 1984: Livingston Undergoing ‘Teenage Growth Pains’


W. Robert Jenkins, dean of Livingston College, wrote the following letter to the Class of 1984, included in the college yearbook, Strength Through Diversity.

Dear Graduate:


Livingston College has not yet reached the age of fifteen and might well be called a teenager since we have been faced with characteristic childhood and teenage growth pains. As with teenagers, we are still not quite mature and are still establishing our identity. That identity is based on the goals of our College as stated in the revised mission statement issued by the Livingston College Assembly in the Fall, 1983 semester.


In that statement, we confirm our belief in the future, realizing that the College’s future lies within all those who are closely connected with it. As a College, we offer access and hope to many who might otherwise be denied such an opportunity. Our academic and non-academic challenges provide each of you with an opportunity to reach decisions based on the knowledge of others and your own life experiences. The Livingston College Fellows and administrators think an education ought to be what we have provided you and will provide students who follow you.


During your college years, you have formed friendships and have learned to have respect for different ideas and for individuals of different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. That, too, is one of our goals. That effort has been a success and you are the proof of that success. Keep this important perspective in mind in all of your future activities.


Now that you leave Livingston College, we know that we are part of each other. You have meant much to me in many ways and I have a deep personal affection for each of you. After you have left, I urge that you keep the Livingston spirit alive and your associations intact. With you as our graduates and with the participation of students yet to come, Livingston College will emerge from its teen years as a mature and dynamic adult. Good luck to each and every one of you.


With fondness,

  W. Robert Jenkins



Revised November 29, 2015

Dean’s Letter to the Class of 1983: ‘Livingston Spirit Has Survived and Thrives’

W. Robert Jenkins, dean of Livingston College, wrote the following letter to the Class of 1983, included in the college yearbook, Strength Through Diversity.

Dear Graduate:


It hardly seems possible that yet another year has passed and I am again writing a letter to the graduating class for publication in the Yearbook. But it is indeed that time for me — and what a year we have had!


This year we realized after so many years of trying, the approval by the Board of Governors of a student center for Livingston College. Not just another renovation of a room or two in Tillett, and not an add-on to Tillett, but a separate building designed and planned to be a student center — our own student center. Unfortunately, the class of 1983 will not get to use it but it will be here for you to come home to and to enjoy. I would like to see all of you at a gala to celebrate our opening.


Another good happening was Livingston’s “coming of age,” as we were literally swamped with applicants and our dorms were over-crowded. Look out Towers, we’re coming back.


A change with mixed blessing has been the accomplishment of physical reorganization. Gone are a Livingston College faculty and Livingston department although old friends remain active in affairs here. As I write this letter, there are many problems to tackle and many traffic jams to delay us while Route 18 is expanded and extended. But the departments and programs based at Livingston College are good ones and all are important to our mission.


So, okay, there have been changes. But the Livingston spirit has survived and thrives. As long as we admit to the College only those applicants we wish to enroll, as long as we set graduation requirements, run the commuter and residence life programs, operate the gym and the College Center, we can still be who we wish to be.


My message to you then, if I must have one, is goodbye and good luck. I ask that you remember Livingston College and what we stand for. We’re a great place and growing better every year. We care about each other and what happens in society. Our College is unique and it has made each of us who is part of it, whether student, faculty, or staff, a much better person for the experience.


Don’t forget your College and do come back to visit. Most of all, keep our spirit alive.


Sincerely yours,
W. Robert Jenkins