You're Invited: October 26 Dedication Ceremony

Dear Members of the Rutgers University–New Brunswick Community:

It is with great pride that I invite you to the Dedication Ceremony of the Sojourner Truth Apartments (formerly the College Avenue Apartments), Will’s Way (the walkway from the Old Queens building to Voorhees Mall), and the James Dickson Carr Library (formerly the Kilmer Library, now named in honor of the university’s first African-American graduate).  The event will take place on October 26, 2017 from 11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m. at The Yard outside the Sojourner Truth Apartments (40 College Avenue, New Brunswick).

I would like to thank the Committee on Enslaved and Disenfranchised Populations in Rutgers History for its diligent and painstaking work over the past two years, which has led us to this dedication event, and to the Rutgers University Board of Governors for approving the recommendation to rename these university spaces.  Chaired by Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History Deborah Gray White, the Committee was created in 2015 by Chancellor Emeritus Richard Edwards to research the university’s ties to slavery and the displacement of Native Americans during the university’s early history.

Through the Committee’s efforts, we have learned that the noted abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth was once owned by the family of Rutgers’ first president, and that an enslaved man named Will helped to lay the foundation of the Old Queens building.  Although these historical truths are not easy to contend with, it is through shedding light on them that we can engender a more inclusive and honest dialogue about our university’s past, present and future. 

Following the dedication ceremony, I also invite you to take a guided Scarlet and Black walking tour of historical locations on the College Avenue campus. 

I look forward to seeing you on October 26.  



Deba Dutta
Chancellor, Rutgers University–New Brunswick