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Seton Hall University is a private Roman Catholic university in South Orange, New Jerseymarker, United Statesmarker. Founded in 1856 by Archbishop James Roosevelt Bayley, Seton Hall is the oldest diocesan university in the United States. Seton Hall is also the oldest and largest Catholic university in the State of New Jersey. The university is known for its programs in business, law, education, nursing, and diplomacy.

Seton Hall is made up of nine different schools and colleges with an undergraduate enrollment of about 5,200 students and a graduate enrollment of about 4,500. Its School of Law, which is ranked by US News & World Report as one of the top 100 law schools in the nation, has an enrollment of about 1,200 students. For 2009, BusinessWeek's "Colleges with the Biggest Returns" ranked Seton Hall among the top 50 universities in the nation that open doors to the highest salaries. Seton Hall's Stillman School of Business is ranked 57 out of the top 100 undergraduate business schools according to BusinessWeek.

The Seton Hall College of Medicine and Dentistry was the first school of medicine in the State of New Jersey. The school was acquired by the state in 1965, and is now the New Jersey Medical School, part of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.


Early history

Like many Catholic universities in the United States, Seton Hall arose out of the Plenary Council of American Bishops, held in Baltimore, Marylandmarker in 1844, with the goal of bringing Catholicism to higher education in order to help propagate the faith. The Diocese of Newark had been established by Pope Pius IX in 1853, just three years before the founding of the college, and it necessitated an institution for higher learning. Seton Hall College was formally founded on September 1, 1856 by Archdiocese of Newark Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley, a cousin of President Theodore Roosevelt. Bishop Bayley named the institution after his aunt, Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton, who was later named the first American-born Catholic saint.

The main campus of the college was originally in Madison, New Jerseymarker. Reverend Bernard J. McQuaid served as the first college president (1856–1857, 1859–1868) and directed a staff of four diocesan clergy including Reverend Alfred Young, vice-president; Reverend Daniel Fisher (the second college president, 1857–1859) and five lay instructors. Initially, Seton Hall had only five students – Leo G. Thebaud, Louis and Alfred Boisaubin, Peter Meehan and John Moore. By the end of the first year, the student body had grown more than tenfold to 54.
Postcard showing Stafford Hall, one of the first dormitories, in the late 19th century

By the 1860s, Seton Hall College was continuing its rapid growth and began to enroll more and more students each year. However, among other difficulties, several fires on campus slowed down the growth process. The first of several strange fires in the University's history occurred in 1867 which destroyed the college’s first building. Two decades later on March 9, 1886, another fire destroyed the university’s main building. In the 20th century, another campus fire burned down a classroom as well as several dormitory buildings in 1909.

During the 19th century, despite setbacks, financially tight times and the American Civil War, the College continued to expand. Seton Hall opened a military science department (forerunner to the ROTC program) during the summer of 1893, but this program was ultimately disbanded during the Spanish-American War. Perhaps one of the most pivotal events in the history of Seton Hall came in 1897 when Seton Hall’s preparatorymarker (high school) and college (undergraduate) divisions were permanently separated. By 1937, Seton Hall established a University College. This marked the first matriculation of women at Seton Hall. Seton Hall became fully coeducational in 1968. In 1948, Seton Hall was given a license by the FCC for WSOU-FMmarker. Today, the station is considered by some as one of the leading college radio stations in the country.
President's Hall, one of the university's oldest buildings

The College was organized into a university in 1950 following an unprecedented growth in enrollment. The College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of business, nursing and education comprised the University; the School of Law opened its doors in 1951, with Miriam Rooney as the first woman dean of law in the United States.

College of Medicine and Dentistry

The Seton Hall College of Medicine and Dentistry was established in 1954 as the first medical school and dental school in New Jersey. It was located in Jersey Citymarker, adjacent to the Jersey City Medical Centermarker, which was used for clinical education. Although the College, set up under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Newark, was a separate legal entity from the University, it had an interlocking Board of Trustees. The first class was enrolled in 1956 and graduated in 1960. The dental school also awarded its first degrees in 1960. From 1960 to 1964, 348 individuals received an M.D. degree. The College was sold to the state of New Jersey in 1965 for US$4 million after the Archdiocese could not support mounting school debt and renamed the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry (now University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey).

Modernization period

Beginning in the late 1960s and continuing in the next two decades, the university saw the construction and modernization of a large number of facilities and the construction of the library, science building, residence halls and the University center. Many new programs and majors were inaugurated, as were important social outreach efforts. New ties were established with the private and industrial sectors, and a growing partnership developed with federal and state governments in creating programs for the economically and educationally disadvantaged.

The 1970s and 1980s continued to be a time of growth and renewal. New business and nursing classroom buildings and an art center were opened. In 1984, the Immaculate Conception Seminary returned to Seton Hall, its original home until 1926, when it moved to Darlington (a section of Mahwahmarker centered around a grand mansion and estate). The Recreation Center was dedicated in 1987. With the construction of four new residence halls between 1986 to 1988, and the purchase of an off-campus apartment building in 1990, the University made significant changes to account for a larger number of student residents. Seton Hall is recognized as a residential campus, providing living space for about 2100 students.
The Walsh Library in spring.

The physical development of the campus continued in the 1990s. The $20 million Walsh Library opened in 1994, and its first-class study and research resources marked the beginning of a technological transformation of Seton Hall. Kozlowski Hall (now Jubilee Hall), the University's newest academic center dedicated in 1997, is a clear example of Seton Hall's continued commitment to undergraduate education and the expanding role of information technology in higher education. All classrooms in this six-story, 126,000 square foot (12,000 m2) building are wired for network and Internet connections, and many of the lecture halls are equipped with distance-learning technology. Its recreation center was originally named after Robert Brennan, but he was found guilty of securities fraud in 1994. It has since been renamed for long-time athletic director Richie Regan.

A new School of Law building and parking garage were also constructed in the 1990s as part of the revitalization of downtown Newark. Seton Hall continues to be a leader in technology in education, as well as in distance learning, with its renowned Seton World Wide program. In 1998, all incoming full-time, first-year students were issued laptop computers as part of the University's innovative and nationally recognized mobile computing program.

Boland Hall fire

On January 19, 2000, an arson fire killed three and injured 54 students in Boland Hall, a freshman dormitory on the campus in South Orangemarker. The incident, one of the deadliest in recent US history, occurred at 4:30am, when most students were asleep. After a three-and-a-half year investigation, a 60-count indictment charged two freshmen students, Sean Ryan and Joseph LePore, with starting the fire and felony murder for the deaths that resulted. LePore and Ryan pled guilty to third-degree arson and were sentenced to five years in a youth correctional facility with eligibility for parole 16 months after the start of their prison terms.

Sesquicentennial and onwards

Seton Hall alumni and community, on the 150th anniversary (1856–2006) of the university’s founding, initiated the Ever Forward capital campaign to raise a total of $150 million. The campaign is one of the most prestigious building campaigns in the University’s long history. The funds will go to many areas throughout the university, however, a majority will go to building and reconstructing campus facilities and historic sites.

Among the most notable objectives of the campaign, there will be a new site and complex for the University’s Whitehead School of Diplomacy. The University Center is also being planned to be rebuilt in a neo-gothic style to match other university buildings. Most recently, the rebuilding of the University’s Science and Technology Center began in 2005 and was scheduled to be unveiled just prior to the start of the 2007-2008 academic year.

In fall 2007, the university opened the new $35 million Science and Technology Center, completing one of the major campaign priorities ahead of schedule. On December 17, 2007, the university announced that the campaign's fund raising goals had been met and exceeded over two weeks ahead of the campaign's scheduled closing date.

On June 4, 2009 University President Monsignor Robert Sheeran announced he will be stepping down in June 2010. The Board of Regents plans to establish a search committee over the summer, with the intent of finding and announcing Sheeran’s successor by July 2010."


The university, legally incorporated as “Seton Hall University, an educational corporation of New Jersey,” is governed by a 16-member Board of Trustees. Eleven members of the board serve on it as a virtue of their positions within the University or Archdiocese of Newark. The Archbishop of Newark, who serves as the President of the Board, retains the power to appoint the remaining five members of the body. Appointed members of the board serve three-year terms, until their respective successor is appointed. The Board of Trustees exclusively maintains the property rights of the university and provides selection of title, scope, and location of the schools and colleges of the university.

The governance of the university includes a Board of Regents, which is charged with the management of the university. The Board has a membership of between 25 and 39 members. Six of the members are ex-officio; the Board of Trustees maintains the right to elect up to thirty more. Regents maintain the exclusive hiring authority over the President of the university, who, by virtue of the by-laws of the university, must always be a Roman Catholic priest and who is explicitly named the chief executive officer of the organization.

In May 2009, current president Monsignor Robert Sheeran announced that he will step down in June 2010. The university has engaged in a year-long presidential search to name his successor by July 1, 2010. University Regent Joseph P. LaSala is the chair of the Presidential Search and Screen Committee.


Main campus

The main campus of Seton Hall University is situated on 58 acres (23 ha) of suburban land on South Orange Avenue. It is home to seven of the eight schools and colleges of the University. The South Orange Villagemarker center is just ½ mile (0.8 km) south of the main campus. Directly across from the main campus to the west are scenic Montrose Park and the Montrose Park Historic District, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The village itself dates back to 1666 preceding the establishment of Seton Hall College. Since the beginning of the College, the South Orange Rail Stationmarker has served as an integral means to campus commuters. The main campus combines architectural styles including Roman, neo-gothic and modern. The South Orange campus became a gated community during the University’s Modernization Period.

Newark Campus

A satellite of the main campus, the Newark Campus is home to the University’s School of Law. Located at One Newark Center, the Law School and several academic centers of the University are housed in a modern 22-story skyscraper building. It is at the corner of Raymond Boulevard and McCarter Highway in Newark, New Jerseymarker and was completed in 1991. The Newark Campus building provides and an additional of library to the University.
Seton Hall Law complex in Newark, NJ

The Seton Hall University School of Law was founded in 1951. It is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) since 1951 and is also a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). Seton Hall is one of three law schools in the state of New Jersey.

For 2010, the U.S. News and World Report ranked the school 77th among the top 100 law schools in the nation. Its Health Law program, which also offers an L.L.M. degree, is ranked fourth in the nation. The school was also ranked as having one of the highest rates of employment at graduation placing 19th with 92.1% (and 97% after nine months).


The original centerpieces of the campus were made up of three buildings built in the 19th century. The President’s, Stafford and Marshall Hall were built when the College moved from Madison, New Jerseymarker to South Orangemarker. Some of the more notable buildings on campus are:

  • President's Hall – One of the oldest buildings on campus and a flagship of the University, President’s Hall was completed in 1867. Located at the epicenter of the main campus, President’s Hall is a neo-gothic structure dressed in brownstone. It originally served as a seminary but now houses the University’s administration including the Office of the University President. The halls are lined with portraits of past University presidents and include a large stained glass depicting Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, which was commissioned in 1866 by President Bayley.

  • McQuaid Hall – Built around 1900, it was named for Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid, Seton Hall’s first President from 1856–1857 and 1859–1867. McQuaid Hall was both a boarding house for students and a convent for nuns before serving its present purpose as the home of the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations as well as the Graduate School of Medical Education.

  • Jubilee Hall – Originally named Kozlowski Hall, after Dennis Kozlowski, who later fell into disrepute after being convicted for securities fraud, the building was renamed at Kozlowski's request to Jubilee Hall in honor of the Papal Jubilee. As one of the newer additions to the main campus, it was built in 1997. Jubilee Hall houses the W. Paul Stillman School of Business in addition to the largest auditorium at the University. There are several computer labs, state-of-the-art classrooms and a Stock Exchange research room.

  • Walsh Gymnasium is a multi-purpose arena for University Sports. The arena opened in 1939 and can seat 2,600 people. It was home to the Seton Hall University Pirates men's basketball team before they moved to Continental Airlines Arenamarker and then the Prudential Centermarker. Currently, the arena hosts the women's basketball and volleyball teams, and is part of the Richie Regan Recreation and Athletic Center. The building, like the school's main library, is named for Thomas J. Walsh, Fifth Bishop of Newark and former President of the Board of Trustees.

McNulty Hall at night
  • McNulty Hall – Named for Msgr. John L. McNulty, President of the University from 1949–1959, McNulty Hall was built as the university’s technology and research center in 1954. One of the most famous features of the building is the “Atom Wall” a relief artwork originally located on outer façade. Following renovations completed in the summer of 2007, the Atom Wall, depicting the gift of scientific knowledge from God to man, can be seen in the glass atrium of the building. McNulty also houses a large amphitheater and observatory for the chemistry, physics and biology departments.

  • Fahy Hall – Built in 1968, the building houses the classrooms and faculty offices of the College of Arts and Sciences. The building was named after Monsignor Thomas George Fahymarker who served as President of the University from 1970–1976. Fahy Hall includes several student resources and facilities, including two television studios, two amphitheaters and laboratories for computing, language learning, and statistics.

  • Arts and Sciences Hall – Originally built to house the Stillman School of Business in 1973, with the creation of Jubilee Hall in 1997, the building is now home to the College of Arts and Sciences. The building is conjoined with the College of Nursing in the north wing. The College of Nursing has advanced teaching facilities including hospital beds, demonstration rooms and multi-purpose practice areas.


Seton Hall University confers undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees in over 70 academic fields. The school's academic programs are divided into nine academic units:


The newest addition to the University was in 1997 with founding of the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations, which is the ninth and latest unit of the University. The Whitehead School offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in diplomacy and international relations. The school was founded in 1997 in alliance with the United Nations Association of the United States of America. Its internationally renown diplomacy program has a notable faculty consisting of U.S. ambassadors, world-famous lecturers, and student body made up of individuals from across the United States and around the world. Internships and class simulations are a part of the curriculum. The school has a European Union Seminar in Luxembourg, and a United Nations Summer Intensive Study Program.


University seal

The University seal as it is today is symbolic of hundreds of years of history. The seal combines attributes from the Bayley Coat of Arms and the Seton family crest. The Seton crest dates back as early as 1216 and symbolizes Scottish nobility. Renowned crest-maker, William F. J. Ryan designed the current form of the Seton Hall crest, which is notable for its three crescents and three torteau.

The motto on the seal Hazard Zet Forward (Hazard Zit Forward on some versions) is a combination of Norman French and archaic English meaning at whatever risk, yet go forward.

Part custom and part superstition, students avoid stepping on an engraving of the seal in the middle of the university green.

It is said that students who step on the seal will not graduate.

Alma Mater

The Seton Hall University Alma Mater was adopted as the official song of Seton Hall University. Charles A. Byrne of the class of 1937 wrote the original lyrics in 1936 and the university adopted the alma mater during the 1937 school year when the dean first read it to the student body. Some students participate in the tradition of saying "blue and white" more loudly than the rest of the alma mater.

Fight Song

"Onward Setonia" is Seton Hall's fight song and it is played by the University Pep Band at all home Men's and Women's basketball games, usually as the team comes onto the court and at the end of the first half and at the end of the game. The lyrics are as follows:"Onward Setonia,We are bound for victory.Hazard Zet Forward,We will honor that decree.Onward Setonia,Stand up proud and stand up tall.FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!For the Blue and White,and the glory of Seton Hall."

Student life


The 1908-1909 Seton Hall Basketball Team posted its first 10-4 winning season

The Seton Hall Pirates athletic logo.
The school's sports teams are called the Pirates. They participate in the NCAA's Division I and in the Big East Conference. The college established its first basketball squad in 1903. Seton Hall canceled football (which was played in Division III) in 1982.

Seton Hall athletics is best known for its men's basketball program, which won the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in 1953, and lost in the finals of the 1989 NCAA Tournament to Michigan, 80–79 in overtime. Seton Hall currently participates at the Division I level in baseball, basketball, women's basketball, cross country running, men's golf, soccer, women's soccer, softball, swimming, diving, women's tennis, indoor and outdoor track & field, and volleyball sports.

Seton Hall also has club sports in ice hockey, rugby union, and Men's volleyball. All Seton Hall sports have their home field on the South Orange campus except for the men's basketball team, who currently play at the Prudential Centermarker in Newark, New Jerseymarker after previously calling the Meadowlandsmarker home.

Student media

Prudential Center during Seton Hall basketball game
The school's principal newspaper is The Setonian. The paper has national news, school news, editorials, letters, and an athletics section. The staff consists of undergraduates and publishes weekly on Thursday while classes are in session.

Other newspapers have also sprung up over time on campus. The Stillman Exchange is the Stillman Business school's own newspaper. Its stories cover a wide scope, including ethical issues, business and athletics. The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations is a bi-annually published journal composed of writings by international leaders in government, the private sector, academia, and nongovernmental organizations.A more recent addition to Seton Hall's growing number of publications is the Liberty Bell, founded in 2007. It is the only political and independent newspaper on campus. The Liberty Bell is published monthly and features news and op-ed articles about university, local, national, and international news with a focus on personal freedom. The Liberty Bell won the Collegiate Network's 2008-2009 award for Best New Paper, an award given to student newspapers 3 years old or younger.

WSOUmarker is a non-commercial, college radio station, broadcasting at 89.5 MHz FM. The station broadcasts from the campus of Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. It is a student run station with General Manager Mark Maben at helm as a full-time faculty member. WSOU currently broadcasts in HD-RADIO. In 2007, the Princeton Review rated WSOU as the eighth-best college radio station in the nation. Industry magazine also ranked WSOU to be the top Metal format station in the nation in 2007, and Rolling Stone Magazine ranked WSOU to be one of the top 5 rock stations in the nation in 2008.

Greek-letter organizations

Twenty-five recognized fraternity and sorority chapters are at Seton Hall. About 10 percent of the student body is a member of a Greek-letter organization. Fraternities at Seton Hall include the likes of Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Phi Delta, Alpha Kappa Psi, Lambda Theta Phi, Lambda Upsilon Lambda, Phi Beta Sigma, Phi Kappa Sigma, Phi Kappa Theta, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Sigma Pi, Zeta Beta Tau,Psi Sigma Phi, and Zeta Psi. Sororities include Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Phi, Alpha Sigma Tau, Omega Phi Chi, Chi Upsilon Sigma, Delta Phi Epsilon, Delta Sigma Theta, Lambda Psi Delta, Lambda Theta Alpha, Mu Sigma Upsilon, Omega Phi Beta, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Zeta Phi Beta

In fall 2005, a group of students purporting to be an unrecognized chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon made headlines when it was discovered that a pledge had been kidnapped and beaten for alerting university administration of the group's existence.


Notable alumni

For a comprehensive list of alumni, see the list of Seton Hall University alumni.
Alumnus Anthony Principi
Seton Hall has over 85,000 graduates worldwide. Besides numerous members of the United States Congress and the New Jersey State Legislature, two former Governors of New Jersey, Donald DiFrancesco and John O. Bennett are alumni. Other notable alumni in government include former United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs Anthony Principi, Governor-elect Christopher J. Christie and former US Deputy Attorney General George J. Terwilliger.

Seton Hall graduates have also served as the head of major businesses and institutions such as Tyco, American International Group, and the Archdiocese of Newark. Many alumni have become prominent players in professional sports such as two-time Olympic Gold Medalist sprinter Andy Stanfield, and numerous players of the National Basketball Association like Terry Dehere, Andre Barrett, Adrian Griffin, Eddie Griffin and Samuel Dalembert. Major League Baseball player alumni include Mo Vaughn, Craig Biggio, John Valentin and Matt Morris. 2008 Olympic soccer captain Sacha Kljestan attended the Hall for three years prior to entering professional soccer. Other highlights include a Medal of Honor recipient, a two-time Emmy-winning journalist, Chuck Connors, and T.V. personalities such as Max Weinberg.

Notable faculty

Scammon, Prof. 1875-1885
Former Prof. Samuel Alito
Over the years Seton Hall has had many notable people as members of its faculty. Many of the University's most notable professors have received awards and international recognition for work in their respective fields. Former faculty include, Samuel Alito, current United States Supreme Court Justicemarker, Clay Constantinou, U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourgmarker and former dean of the Whitehead School of Diplomacy, Will Durant, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Patrick Clawson, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Patrick E. Hobbs, seventh Dean of Seton Hall University School of Law, Andrew Napolitano, former judge and current correspondent for Fox News Channel, anchor on Fox Business Channel Cody Willard, Scott Rothbort noted financial analyst with lakeview asset management, Peter W. Rodino, former chairman of House Judiciary Committee and chair of impeachment hearings for President Richard Nixon, Eliakim P. Scammon, brigadier general during the American Civil War, Sister Rose Thering, missionary whose life’s work was documented in an Academy Award-nominated film Sister Rose’s Passion, and Stanley Jaki, philosopher of science and Templeton Prize recipient.

Notes and references

  1. Ever Forward Campaign completion page
  2. [1]
  3. Undergraduate Programs, John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
  4. Theory and Practice, John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations. Retrieved 2007-12-31.

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