The College of New Jersey has a distinctive mission: To bring together the best ideas from around the nation and build a new model
for public undergraduate education in New Jersey. Such a mission implies alertness to the best practices in many fields, institutional
flexibility, and a commitment to continual change.
The College's name, adopted in 1996, conveys important information:
The definitive article "The" (in the spirit of The New York Times) serves to differentiate it from colleges in the public system of New Jersey that are identified by other names,
such as Richard Stockton and Ramapo.
The word "College" conveys the institutional emphasis on undergraduate education.
The words "New Jersey" suggest that it is a public college, and serve to locate it in the correct state.
It is not a short name, however. At five words in length, the name is four words longer than Princeton, Drew, or Rider—and it cannot be
shortened to anything definitive by using any of those five words. (This is a problem the College shares with the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology, and the University of California at Los Angeles, among others.)
Because the full name of the College is unwieldy for some purposes and because people want to use nicknames in place of long names, the
College soon acquired a new identity, given it by "the street." On and off campus, students, newspaper writers, and others have used "TCNJ"
as the short form of the College's name—and continued to do so, even when the College officially discouraged it.
In 2003—recognizing the inevitability of a short form of its name—the College decided
to acknowledge the initials TCNJ as a legitimate form, and moved to ensure that the initials
are consistently connected with the College, so that the public cannot become confused by
the existence of what is apparently one institution named "The College of New Jersey" and another named "TCNJ."
Thus, a new logo has been created that brings together a monogram of the initials TCNJ and the College's full name.