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The Early Years of Livingston College, 1964–1973: Revisiting The “College of Good Intentions”

Paul G. E. Clemens
Carla Yanni


Livingston College was planned in the late 1960s and opened in fall 1969 as part of Rutgers University-New Brunswick/Piscataway.  Ernest Lynton, its first dean and chief architect, envisioned a college that emphasized interdisciplinary studies, that had a faculty and student body who would carry what was learned in the classroom into the community, that would empower students to shape the college and their own education, and that would recruit significant numbers of new students from historically disadvantaged minority groups.  This "college of good intentions" fell short of Lynton's hopes.  This article examines why this happened, but also seeks to illustrate the many ways the hopes for educational reform embodied in the college's design foreshadowed what many universities, including Rutgers, would accomplish in the future.

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