William Paterson University

Last updated
William Paterson University
Type Public university
Academic affiliations
President Richard J. Helldobler
Administrative staff
Students8,398 (2021)
Undergraduates 5,298 (2021)
Postgraduates 3,100 (2021)

40°56′49″N74°11′53″W / 40.947°N 74.198°W / 40.947; -74.198 Coordinates: 40°56′49″N74°11′53″W / 40.947°N 74.198°W / 40.947; -74.198
Campus370 acres (150 ha)
Colors     Orange & black
Nickname Pioneers
Sporting affiliations
MascotPio (since 2021) [1]
Website www.wpunj.edu

William Paterson University, officially William Paterson University of New Jersey (WPUNJ), is a public university in Wayne, New Jersey. It is part of New Jersey's public system of higher education.


Founded in 1855 and was named after American judge William Paterson, William Paterson is the third-oldest public institution in New Jersey. [2] William Paterson offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees through its five academic colleges. During the fall 2021 semester, 5,838 undergraduate students and 3,100 graduate students were enrolled. [3]


Hobart Manor Ailsa Farms Hobart Manor.jpg
Hobart Manor

William Paterson University was founded in 1855 as the Paterson City Normal School. For more than a century, training teachers for New Jersey schools was its exclusive mission. [4] In 1951, the university moved to the present campus to a site originally known as Ailsa Farms, that was purchased by the State of New Jersey in 1948 from the family of Garret Hobart, twenty-fourth vice president of the United States. [5]

The original manor house was built in 1877 in the style of a castle, and was the home of John McCullough, a Scottish immigrant who made a fortune in the wool industry. [6] It was later purchased, enlarged and made the weekend retreat and summer residence of the Hobart family. Today, the building is known as Hobart Manor and is home of the Office of the President and the Office of Institutional Advancement. Hobart Manor was designated a national and state landmark in 1976. [7]

The university changed its name to Paterson State Teachers College when it relocated from Paterson in 1951. In 1966, the curriculum was expanded to include degree offerings other than those leading to a teaching career. In 1971, it was renamed William Paterson College of New Jersey. The change of name honored William Paterson, who was the state's first senator, its second governor, and a United States Supreme Court Justice appointed by President George Washington, and reflected both the institution's beginnings in the city that also bears his name and the legislative mandate to move from a teachers' college to a broad-based liberal arts institution.

The Commission on Higher Education granted William Paterson university status in June 1997. [8] [9]

Dr. Richard J. Helldobler, former interim president of Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, Illinois, became the eighth president of William Paterson University. He took office July 1, 2018 [10] to replace the retiring Kathleen Waldron, who had served as the school's president since August 2010 after the retirement of Arnold Speert.

In August 2021, William Paterson University signed an agreement with Academic Partnerships, an online program manager. [11]

In November 2021, hundreds of workers and students protested planned layoffs at the school following a $30 million budget shortfall. [12]


University Commons UnivCommons.jpg
University Commons

The university is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Commission on the Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, National Association of Schools of Art and Design, National Association of Schools of Music, and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, among others. [13] [14]

It is organized into five academic colleges: College of Arts and Communication, Cotsakos College of Business, College of Education, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and College of Science and Health, offering undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees. U.S. News & World Report in its 2018 edition of Best Colleges ranks the university as number 102 of Regional Universities North with an Overall Score of 49/100.0. [15]


Aerial view of the campus; this picture was taken from the east end of the campus, with WPU's Wightman Field football stadium visible near the foreground. WPU campus.jpg
Aerial view of the campus; this picture was taken from the east end of the campus, with WPU's Wightman Field football stadium visible near the foreground.

William Paterson University is on a 370-acre (150 ha) hilly, wooded campus in northern New Jersey in the suburban township of Wayne. The campus is located along the eastern town line of Wayne, and borders on High Mountain Preserve, a forested area, as well as the boroughs of Haledon and North Haledon, nearly 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) of wetlands and woodlands, and is 3 miles (4.8 km) west of the historic Great Falls in Paterson. New York City is 20 miles (32 km) to the east, the Jersey Shore is an hour's drive south, skiing is 30 miles (48 km) north, and the Meadowlands Sports Complex is a half-hour drive away.


1600 Valley Road Building 1600ValleyRd.jpg
1600 Valley Road Building

William Paterson University's buildings include:

Student life

Residential life

The university provides housing for nearly 2,600 students in ten residence halls, including two that opened in 2006. [38] Two residence halls, High Mountain East and West, offer learning communities in collaboration with the university's Honors College, and feature smart classrooms that are used as part of the living/learning experience. [39]

With accommodations ranging from double room suites to apartments, the university's modern, smoke-free buildings range in size from 100 to 400 students and are coed by suite, with four residents sharing a suite or apartment. First-year students start out in traditional residence halls such as Overlook South and North, Hillside Hall, White Hall, Matelson Hall, and Century Hall, while upper-class students and older transfer students experience the added independence of the apartments, Pioneer Hall and Heritage Hall. [40]

The newest residence hall, Skyline Hall, completed construction in 2019.

Organizations and campus activities

Offering an active campus experience for both resident and commuter students, William Paterson University hosts 24 fraternities and sororities and more than 70 clubs and organizations, as well as intramural and recreational activities, peer education, and leadership programs. [41] William Paterson University's Club Sports include Cheerleading, Bowling, Equestrian, Ice Hockey, Rugby, Dance and Track. [42]

William Paterson has been nationally recognized [43] for its alcohol prevention program, which requires freshmen and transfer students to take AlcoholEdu, an online alcohol prevention course to educate students about the consequences of alcohol abuse. In addition, student workers serve as peer health advocates and help to spread the message to their peers about the need to take a responsible approach to alcohol. [44] William Paterson is also an active member in the New Jersey Higher Education Consortium on Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention and Education. [45]

WPSC 88.7 Brave New Radio, William Paterson's student-run radio station, is the headquarters for College Radio Day, an effort to celebrate the importance of college radio. In 2012, more than 500 college radio stations in 20 countries participated in the event. [46]

In 2018, sorority student Jasmine Barkley, who had been elected to the Greek student senate, posted a video along with a white female student from Penn State University, in which she used the n-word in a song; [47] she later posted a video saying that her video was not racist, but the school's administration issued a statement condemning her actions. [47] [48]

Greek organizations


The university has 13 intercollegiate sports teams in the NCAA Division III, six for men and seven for women, including NCAA teams in men's baseball and women's softball. [49] The William Paterson University Pioneers compete in Division III of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), as well as in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). [50] The Faculty Athletic Support Team (FAST) was established in 2013 by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, The Office of the Provost, and a number of faculty members, to create a formalized program to enhance communication and serve a resource to assist student-athletes with retention, success and growth. [51]

Division III sports

WP women's sports
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Field hockey
  • Swimming & diving
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball
WP men's sports
  • Baseball (national champions, 1992 and 1996) [52]
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Swimming & diving

Cultural events, lectures, conferences, and art

WP Presents! [53] is the university portal to information about performing arts programs produced and presented by the College of The Arts and Communication. University Performing Arts and University Galleries administrate programs in creative and performing arts including the Jazz Room Series, New Jersey Playwrights Contest, and all public productions in the Shea Center for Performing Arts [54] and the Hunziker Black Box Theatre. [55] Cultural events take place on campus throughout the year, including theater productions, gallery exhibits, and concerts presenting jazz, classical, and contemporary music.

Community and civic engagement

Honors, awards and recognition

Notable alumni

Census-designated place

William Paterson University of New Jersey CDP
Location map of Passaic County, New Jersey.svg
Red pog.svg
William Paterson University of New Jersey CDP
William Paterson University CDP's location in Passaic County (Inset: Passaic County in New Jersey)
Coordinates: 40°56′52″N74°11′56″W / 40.94778°N 74.19889°W / 40.94778; -74.19889 [113]
Country Flag of the United States.svg  United States
State Flag of New Jersey.svg  New Jersey
County Passaic
Elevation512 ft (156 m)
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
  Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
GNIS feature ID2806223 [113]

William Paterson University of New Jersey is a census-designated place (CDP) covering the William Paterson University campus in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States.

It first appeared as a CDP in the 2020 Census with a population of 1,417. [114]

Historical population
2020 1,417
U.S. Decennial Census [115]
2020 [116]

2020 census

William Paterson University of New Jersey CDP, New Jersey – Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / EthnicityPop 2020 [116] % 2020
White alone (NH)33223.43%
Black or African American alone (NH)70349.61%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH)00.00%
Asian alone (NH)594.16%
Pacific Islander alone (NH)00.00%
Some Other Race alone (NH)10.07%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH)130.92%
Hispanic or Latino (any race)30921.81%

Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.

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