Dean’s Letter to Class of 1981: Rutgers Reorganization Needn’t Destroy Livingston


Last updated on February 1, 2021


W. Robert Jenkins, dean of Livingston College, wrote the following letter to the Class of 1981, included in the college yearbook, The Last.

Dear Graduate: 


There are always mixed emotions when one is graduated, emotions which range from the joys of success to the sadness of leaving friends and associates. I am sure that each of you fully understands this point and that you will understand when I say that I am happy to see you succeed but regret sincerely your leaving.

Livingston College is special to each of us. It is here that you have grown and learned to live with and tolerate others, regardless of their backgrounds and beliefs. In achieving this understanding, you have helped fulfill one of the early goals of the College. You have learned in the classrooms and laboratories as well, and with this knowledge you leave us now to employment, further study, travel, and the challenges of the future. This process surely meets another goal, not only of Livingston College but of any college, of preparing people for the rest of their lives.

At the same time, you have helped the College achieve other goals. Our impact upon Rutgers University is virtually immeasurable, an impact so great that we cannot fully define the changes we have caused. New programs of study, new approaches to learning, a diverse and outstanding faculty, the most representative student body possible; all have helped mold a unique institution of which are we justly proud.

This pride in ourselves and the certainty of our destiny caused us last year to oppose vigorously the reorganization which is now well under way for the New Brunswick campus. Our fear that this reorganization will sufficiently alter Livingston College so as to destroy it need not be realized; we must avoid the risk of making that fear a self-fulfilling prophecy. Livingston College will remain if we wish it and are willing to put forth the efforts necessary to sustain our will. I wish to ask you, as alumni, to assist me and our loyal faculty in maintaining this College. The goals we set for ourselves in 1969 are still worthwhile and still attainable.

As you leave, I hope that the spirit of Livingston College stays with you and that you will keep in touch. We’ll always be a part of each other.


With affection,
W. Robert Jenkins

Revised November 29, 2015

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