Stockton's presence and impact in Atlantic City continues to grow as the University returns to its roots with the opening of the new beachfront Residential Complex and Academic Center.
“Move on over seagulls, ‘cause the Ospreys have landed!”
Stockton University Atlantic City officially opened on Sept. 20, 2018 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring alumni, friends, donors and those who made the project possible.
President Harvey Kesselman told the almost 1,000 people in attendance that the campus is not about the buildings, but about the opportunities they will offer students.
“We do everything in support of our principle of Students First,” Kesselman said. “This is a transformational moment in Stockton’s history.”
Since then, students, alumni and community members have taken full advantage of all the location has to offer: a unique living and learning environment with internship and civic engagement opportunities.
A Coastal City Classroom
The three-story Academic Center boasts computer labs, collaborative work spaces, classrooms, and the Fannie Lou Hamer Event Room. The building hosts more than 100 courses each semester. But, it’s not the only place learning happens at Stockton Atlantic City.
Faculty, graduate and undergraduate students suited up for science to collect data on waves in the Atlantic Ocean, just steps away from campus. As waves rolled over scientific instruments installed by Stockton’s Coastal Research Center, they collected wave height, frequency and direction from 1,500 feet offshore all the way up to the dunes. Alex Ferencz, a student in the Professional Science Master’s in Environmental Science program, translated the numbers into a narrative that tells how a storm can reshape a beach.
Bill Quain began a new tradition when his Events Management class, part of the Hospitality and Tourism Management Studies program, moved to Stockton University Atlantic City in September 2018.
Called “Boardwalking for Success” its goal is to visit four event venues on the Boardwalk, meet executives, and take students on tours of the facilities. If the weather cooperates, they will walk to the venues.
In October 2018, the class toured One Atlantic, a social event and wedding space on the top floor of The Playground in Atlantic City.
Blending learning and community engagement, New Angles for Success capitalizes on the urban and coastal environment of Stockton Atlantic City. Stockton students receive training in fish biology, angling skills, ecology, stewardship and more. The students then become mentors for children in the Atlantic City School District.
“This location is perfect for the program to be housed,” said Claudine Keenan, dean of the School of Education. “The students who live here and go to class here really are becoming a part of the fabric of the community.”
Dorms with a View
The Residential Complex on the Boardwalk houses 533 students in various degree programs. The apartment-style living includes access to a fitness center, mailroom, two outdoor courtyards, and of course, great views of the Atlantic Ocean and O’Donnell Park. Shuttle service allows for convenient commuting between Atlantic City and Galloway.
Students have the option to sign 12-month leases, allowing them to stay on campus throughout the summer where there are plenty of summer internship and career opportunities.
Breanna Betts, a Hospitality and Tourism Management major, spent her summer in an apartment with a beach view.
“I was on board from the beginning,” said Betts, who lived in Atlantic City during the academic year and spent her summer working in the city. She said she likes being able to take advantage of the learning and recreational opportunities in the city.
“I love that the building has a view of the beach,” Betts said. “I can roll out of bed onto the beach. And I don’t have to worry about parking. It’s so simple to walk or hop a jitney.”
Atlantic City’s City Council in July 2018 approved the designation of a new University District surrounding Stockton University Atlantic City.
The designation supports Stockton’s role as a state-designated Anchor Institution in the city. It is intended to promote investment and development in academic and related uses within the boundaries of the district.
“The designation recognizes Stockton’s impact on Atlantic City and the surrounding region,” said Brian Jackson, chief operating officer for Atlantic City. “As an Anchor Institution we look forward to helping attract and expand the social, economic and cultural features that will support Stockton and the entire community.”
"This is a way for us to celebrate this beautiful neighborhood as well as hopefully encourage people and businesses to move in," Jackson said.
Now, 75 banners proudly hang throughout the district, stretching from the bay to the ocean in the Chelsea section of the city. Check out a map of where the banners are located.
About the Project
The new $178.2 million campus was funded through sources including the New Jersey Economic Development Authority; Atlantic County Improvement Authority; State of New Jersey’s Higher Education Capital Improvement Fund Act; Stockton University; and South Jersey Industries.
Other partners included the Atlantic County Board of Chosen Freeholders, City of Atlantic City, Elkus Manfredi Architects, Joseph Jingoli and Son, New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority, and SOSH Architects.
Atlantic City Development Corporation, or AC Devco, developed the $220 million AC Gateway project which includes the campus, a new headquarters for South Jersey Industries, a parking garage with 879 spaces and retail spaces which house AtlantiCare’s first Urgent Care Center in the city, and the AtlantiCare Physician Group Primary and Occupational Health offices.