Rutgers Preparatory School
1345 Easton Avenue | Somerset, NJ 08873
Phone: 732.545.5600

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.

2013 - Rutgers Prep becomes affiliated as an NGO (non-governmental organization) with the United Nations.

2016 - 250th Anniversary of the School is celebrated.

2018 - The Kristen-Leigh & Dr. Kara Mae Sheft Rotunda, home to two biology labs and a makerspace, is opened.

2020 - Dedications were held for the Vesce Atrium and Ramallo Pavilion.