Monmouth began during the Great Depression as a junior college for local middle- and working-class kids. Since its founding in 1933, however, it has expanded greatly. It developed first into a four-year college in 1956 and then into a more populous university in 1995 with just under 5,000 undergrads and 1,750 grad students. Wilson Hall, the nerve center of the University and a National Historic Landmark, was once called Shadow Lawn Mansion, and President Woodrow Wilson lived there in the summer of 1916. After the original structure burned down in 1927, it was rebuilt, bought by the University, and named for its most famous tenant. It also co-starred in the 1980 movie version of the musical "Annie."
Woodrow Wilson Hall, the most recognizable building on Monmouth University’s 156-acre campus, is an administrative center where some classes are also held. Along with the Guggenheim Memorial Library, it is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. The other fifty buildings on this lush, carefully-landscaped campus are less magisterial, but the Erlanger Garden, designed by French architect Achille Duchene, was inspired by the grounds of Versailles.
The campus itself is only a mile from the Atlantic Ocean and connected by public transportation to Philadelphia and New York City. Atlantic City is also only a short distance away.
For the most part, Monmouth’s students love their school’s Jersey Shore location: they get to go to class one mile from the beach, and are within easy driving or public transportation distance from Atlantic City, Philadelphia, and NYC. Although the immediate area is residential and not exactly a college town, there are plenty of student-friendly places to hang out, and the beach is a draw virtually year-round.
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Miles Austin (2006) is an NFL wide receiver with the Dallas Cowboys
Katie Gallagher (2002) was a contestant on Survivor: Palau
Stephenie LaGrossa (2002) was a contestant on Survivor: Palau and Survivor: Guatemala
Christie Rampone was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic Soccer teams in 2004 and 2008
The Division I Monmouth Hawks compete in baseball, softball, field hockey, football, women’s lacrosse, and men’s and women’s tennis, track and field, basketball, cross country, golf, indoor track, and soccer. Football is a relatively new sport for the school -— it was added in 1993 -— but Monmouth players have already gone on to the NFL. After graduation, Monmouth soccer players have played for America in the Olympics, and the soccer, basketball, lacrosse and golf teams have competed in their respective NCAA tournaments.
Historic Wilson Hall was featured in the movie Annie as the home of Daddy Warbucks.
President Woodrow Wilson spent a summer at Monmouth during his second campaign. His two dogs, Girlie and Fluffy, are buried on the grounds.
The Erlanger Gardens on campus were inspired by the grounds of Versailles.
Two graduates have been contestants on Survivor.
Surfer Magazine ranked MU as one of its top five East Coast surf colleges.
Monmouth students are not guaranteed on-campus housing even as freshmen. The dorms are clustered together and connected to the rest of campus via an underpass. The options include suite residential halls -- co-ed suites of four or six bedrooms that share a common room and bathroom; traditional residential halls for first years that are co-ed by wing; quasi-traditional halls that are co-ed by room with shared bathrooms; apartment buildings; and university-sponsored housing.