Will's Way dedication Medal


Nick Romanenko

Acknowledging a dark chapter in the university’s early history—slavery—Rutgers University–New Brunswick recently dedicated landmarks in honor of former slaves. The walkway from Old Queens to Voorhees Mall is now Will’s Way, named for the African American who helped build the iconic building, completed in 1825. The College Avenue Apartments are now the Sojourner Truth Apartments; Truth and her parents were owned by the father and brother of Jacob Hardenbergh, the first president of Queen’s College. In 2015, the Committee on Enslaved and Disenfranchised Populations in Rutgers History—chaired by School of Arts and Sciences history professor Deborah Gray White with the assistance of associate professor Marisa J. Fuentes—researched and discovered Rutgers’ ties to slavery and its role in displacing Native Americans during the 1800s.

Rutgers has also renamed the Kilmer Library, now the James Dickson Carr Library, in recognition of Rutgers’ first African-American graduate.