Princeton University

Publication: A Princeton Profile, 2005-06

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A Princeton Profile


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Facts & Figures



Princeton University is a vibrant community of scholarship and learning that stands in the nation’s service and in the service of all nations. This booklet offers alumni, students, faculty, friends, and visitors a quick reference to many of the educational, scholarly, cultural, recreational, economic, and community activities that enrich this University and all whom it touches.

The Profile is designed to answer the most frequently asked questions about the University and to highlight some of the diverse resources available on campus, such as our groundbreaking financial aid program. For more information, visit our Web site at

Chartered in 1746 as the College of New Jersey—the name by which it was known for 150 years—Princeton University was British North America’s fourth college. Located in Elizabeth for one year and then in Newark for nine, the College of New Jersey moved to Princeton in 1756. It was housed in Nassau Hall, which was newly built on land donated by Nathaniel FitzRandolph. Nassau Hall contained the entire College for nearly half a century. In 1896, when expanded program offerings brought the College university status, the College of New Jersey was officially renamed Princeton University in honor of its host community of Princeton. Four years later in 1900 the Graduate School was established. In 2006, the University and the town will be celebrating 250 years of partnership.

Fully coeducational since 1969, Princeton for the past academic year (2004–05) enrolled 6,677 students—4,678 undergraduates (614 of whom are New Jersey residents, representing every county in the state) and 1,999 graduate students (degree candidates only). The ratio of full-time students to faculty members (in full-time equivalents) is 5 to 1.

Living up to its unofficial motto ‘’In the Nation’s Service and in the Service of All Nations,’’ Princeton University has educated thousands of individuals who have dedicated their lives to public service, including two U.S. presidents (Woodrow Wilson and James Madison); hundreds of U.S. and state legislators (the House of Representatives, for example, has housed a Princeton alumnus every year since it first met in 1789); and 44 governors, including 11 New Jersey governors. Each year, more than 2,500 members of the student body, faculty, staff, and local alumni volunteer in community service projects throughout the region. Reflecting this public service spirit, the University as an institution supports many service initiatives (see Service and Outreach).

Today, Princeton’s main campus in Princeton Borough and Princeton Township consists of approximately 8 million square feet of space in 160 buildings on 500 acres.

The University, with 5,400 benefits-eligible employees, is one of the region’s largest private employers. It plays a major role in the educational, cultural, and economic life of the area by bringing 550,000 visitors and $2 billion in economic activity to the region.