Stockton President Dr. Harvey Kesselman addresses the media on the Boardwalk in front of Stockton’s new Atlantic City campus.

ATLANTIC CITY – Local and regional media outlets today had the opportunity to tour the new $178.3 million Stockton University campus, which is located on the Boardwalk at Albany Boulevard. The ribbon cutting planned for Sept. 20 will be a homecoming of sorts, as Stockton State College first opened its doors to 1,000 students in 1971 at the old Mayflower Hotel a little further uptown.

The state-of-the-art Boardwalk campus includes a 22,000-square-foot residential complex, housing 530 students in 145 apartments with ocean views, and a 56,000-square-foot academic center offering 115 courses in 14 classrooms.

All the residential units are filled, and about 70 students have already moved into their oceanfront digs, which include a classy address – 3701 Boardwalk, and enough room for home cooking, private bedrooms and storing surf boards. The majority of students will move in on Thursday and Sunday to get ready for classes that begin on Sept. 5.

The student lounge facing the boardwalk includes a full kitchen where local chefs will be invited to hold cooking classes for students and a fireplace decorated with 1,800 tiles made by MudGirls Studios in Atlantic City. The residential building includes two convertible classrooms that can be used for other functions.

Groups seeking conferences may be interested in a larger facility in the academic building that includes 3,000 square feet of event space. The Fanny Lou Hamer Event Room is dedicated to the Civil Rights activist who once addressed the 1964 Democratic National Convention held a few blocks away at Convention Hall, now named Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall.

Some special amenities that will make the campus convenient for students is a bike-sharing program, lacatation rooms for nursing mothers, an AtlantiCare Urgent Care Center and high-rise parking. Shuttle service to the main campus in Galloway Township will run 7 a.m. to 12:10 a.m. Some students will take all their classes in Atlantic City, yet others will shuttle between the mainland and island campuses.

A food court operated by Chartwells, which also provides food service at the Galloway campus, includes a Carluccio’s Pizza outlet. The campus includes 10,000 square feet of yet-to-be-leased retail space along the Boardwalk.

Student Resident Assistant Jermaine Harvey, whose family members attended Stockton University, welcomed the university campus in his hometown Atlantic City, saying, “My hometown just got a whole lot better.”

Stockton President Harvey Kesselman, who was a member of Stockton’s first graduating class, said the state designated the university as an “anchor institution,” designed to have a positive economic impact on the city. The City Council recently approved the designation of a university district surrounding the campus which will promote investment and development in academic and related uses within the district. Stockton is in the process of developing signage and banners identifying the campus district.

The investment in a city struggling to develop an identity beyond gaming, will not only offer students with a “world class education,” but also allow students to maintain their careers in New Jersey.

“We are committed to helping stem the out-migration of New Jersey students,” Kesselman said. “We want to keep as many of those New Jersey students in New Jersey. The only way we can do that is to continue to expand.”

The university also recently announced that it authorized a purchase agreement with TJM Properties for the former Atlantic Club casino hotel building a few blocks away for an undisclosed sum. There are no immediate plans for construction on the land, but it provides space for additional academic, residential and retail use, officials said.

Kesselman boasted the number of Stockton alums who are leading local governments, casinos and corporations.

Having a campus in the World’s Playground “is nothing short of phenomenal,” he said, noting that word is getting out about Stockton and its contribution to the city’s rebirth.

The campus, which was built through a public/private partnership with ACDevco, offers undergraduate and masters degree programs including masters in social work and education. An undergraduate degree program designed specifically for Atlantic City is the LIBA in Community Leadership and Civic Engagement. The university also offers a doctorate in organizational leadership.


Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.