RPS History

1766 - Queens College Grammar School (RPS) chartered by the royal governor of New Jersey by order of King George III.

1768 - First classes are held at the Red Lion Pub by Caleb Cooper of King's College (Columbia) and the College of New Jersey (Princeton)

1795 & 1815 - Queens College Grammar School remains open while Queens College (Rutgers) closes.

1825 - Queens College opens again and takes the name Rutgers College to honor the Revolutionary War leader and philanthropist Col. Henry Rutgers. The grammar school is renamed Rutgers College Grammar School, and later, Rutgers Preparatory School.

1866 - First Japanese students enroll.

1869 - Elementary division added.

First college football game: Rutgers vs. Princeton. Rutgers wins 6-4 with 10 graduates of the prep school as members of the team. The team captain, William J. Leggett, was a member of the RPS faculty.

1892 - First female graduates.

1904 - Renowned American poet, A. Joyce Kilmer, graduates.

1945 to 1956 - Rutgers College becomes the State University of New Jersey by acts of the state legislature.

1952 - RPS ends its boarding program and becomes fully coeducational.

First board of trustees independent from Rutgers College formed.

1958 to 1963 - Rutgers Prep separates from Rutgers College. The Lower School and then the rest of the grades move from New Brunswick to the Somerset Campus.

1983 - Upper School destroyed by fire.

1985 - New Upper School building opens.

1988 - Kaufelt Fine Arts Center opens.

1994 - RPS named a 'Blue Ribbon School' by U.S. Department of Education.

1997 - Building Tomorrow Campaign provides 2nd Gymnasium in the O'Connell Athletic Center, Silverman Library/Technology Center, The Barn, and a renovated Lower School.

2001 - Music Building opens.

2003 - Heinlein Wing in the Middle School is constructed on the footprint of the original high school wing that was lost in the fire.

2005 - Turf Field is constructed on Delapietro Field as one of the first artificial surfaces in the region.

2009 - Campus Grounds Renovation are completed that provide increased parking, improved traffic flow and new tennis courts.

2010 - International Homestay Program is launched for students from Jamaica, Mexico, Korea, and China.

2011 - Dining Commons is opened.

2012 - Learning Commons with 10 additional classrooms is opened.

2016 - 250th Anniversary of the School is celebrated.

Educational Partnerships

United Nations

Rutgers Prep is the first high school in the world to be affiliated as an NGO (non-governmental organization) with the United Nations through the Department of Public Information (UNDPI). In 2018, RPS also became a member of the Executive Committee of NGO/DPI.

Network of Complementary Schools
Rutgers Prep is one of only 18 schools within this Network. Students and faculty who participate in a Network program by taking time out of their normal academic schedules to travel and experience the educational community of a member school are seekers willing to open themselves to new cultures and new ideas. By experiencing, embracing, and immersing themselves in the cultural, racial, ethnic, socio-economic, and geographic diversity, participants have the opportunity to increase their capacity for change by grappling and learning to listen in different ways and for different outcome. The growth opportunities that abound through The Network of Complementary Schools are restricted only by possible limits of one’s imagination.

Membership in GEBG affords RPS faculty the resources and best practices available to school involved in international student travel and service learning projects.

Mastery Transcript
The Mastery Transcript Consortium is a group of school focused on developing a transcript that reflects the talents and skills of students, and not just a list of grades, courses, and GPA.

Council of International Schools
The Council of International Schools is a group of educational institutions in over 100 countries focused on international education and the skills students need to be a global citizen.

NAIS is our national body. They offer professional development and support as well as national trends. Rutgers Prep served as a Global Ambassador for NAIS in 2017-18.

NJAIS is our accrediting body. They offer professional development for faculty and trustees.

Study NJ
Study NJ is a group of educational institutions focused on international education and supporting international students in the State of New Jersey. Rutgers Prep is the first high school to be a member of the group.