Livingston College of the 1980s: Social Awareness in a ‘Small School’ Setting
By Robert Breckinridge, LC’88
I went to Livingston College (LC) between 1984 and 1988. I came from Illinois and my first day on campus was freshman orientation. When I applied to Rutgers University, I chose LC primarily because LC did not require a foreign language class to attend. I had no real idea of what LC was all about or its history but after I arrived, I figured it out quickly and was even happier I chose LC to attend.
College to me was more than “book learning,” it was the social aspect. Where I grew up, I had little contact with other cultures and other sexual preferences. At LC, I learned tolerance and I learned to respect other races, cultures, and sexual orientations that I would not have otherwise learned about until much later. While at LC, I was a sports editor for a year or so for the Medium. I was on the LCGA as a junior and then the University Senate as a senior and was able to interact on a positive level with Dean W. Robert Jenkins, Dean of Students George Jones, and others in the LC administration.
I worked as a referee at the Livingston Gym, reporting most of the time to Sue Beaudrow though I did briefly report to two other women who proceeded her in that position. I met some amazing people and living in the basement floor of House 17 for all but a brief time. I got to meet several of the basketball team including Mark Peterson, who always had a smile and always was very friendly and gracious.
My years at LC were some of the happiest of my life and I look back on those years with precious memories and cherished the mission of LC to find and educate “diamonds in the rough,” as it were. As I was wrapping up my time there with the School of Business starting to take off, I was concerned that LC would eventually lose its identity and with the combining of all of the schools, it probably has. That’s a shame. LC allowed me to enjoy all of the advantages of going to a large university (most of my classes were on College Avenue) while being able to take advantage of what being a part of a “small school” had to offer.
Robert Breckinridge is a 1988 graduate of Livingston College at Rutgers University.
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