History & Heritage


FDU Today… and Tomorrow

Fairleigh Dickinson University remains as committed to global learning today as it was at the time of the University's founding. From its modest beginnings, FDU has grown to become the largest independent comprehensive university in New Jersey. With two domestic campuses, two international campuses, and more than 100 regional learning centers, the University offers close to 100 different degree programs to 12,000 students from 38 states and 90 countries. We are justifiably proud of the 100,000 FDU alumni who continue to enrich and improve society through their work, public service, and volunteer activities, both at home and abroad.

The Global Learning Experience at FDU

All students culminate their academic program with a specially designed Core course, Global Issues, which serves as a capstone to their global education at the university. All FDU students may also take advantage of FDU´s United Nations and NGO Pathways programs, including lectures, videoconferences, and internship and volunteer programs; and international scholar programs, such as a visiting Fulbright Scholars program, world-class faculty, and stimulating classmates from more than ninety countries. From semester-long study experiences at FDU´s campus in Wroxton, England, and summer courses at FDU-Vancouver, to faculty-led, short-term study abroad related to particular courses or areas of interest, FDU offers a variety of opportunities to live and learn in other countries. Those students desiring a more intensive global learning experience may apply for membership in FDU´s Global Scholars (Metropolitan Campus and Vancouver Campus) or Florham Scholars in Global Studies (Florham Campus) programs, which provide distinctive communities of learning with a special emphasis on global themes and activities.



Fairleigh Dickinson´s newest campus opened its doors in the fall of 2007 in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Serving primarily international students, FDU-Vancouver offers a rare opportunity to earn a degree from an American university while studying in Canada. The campus offers undergraduate degree programs in business administration (with concentrations in entrepreneurship, finance, information technology, international business and marketing), information technology (with a minor in business administration), and individualized studies, along with a graduate program in administrative science. FDU-Vancouver also hosts summer study-abroad programs for students from the University´s campuses in New Jersey.

Higher Education With a Global Impact

The Next Generation of Global Education Leadership

International educator Dr. Christopher A. Capuano became the University’s eighth president on July 1, 2016, following the retirement of President Sheldon Drucker. Dr. Capuano previously held a series of leadership positions at the University over a period of more than 25 years, including Director of the School of Psychology, Vice Provost for International Affairs and University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. As Vice Provost for International Affairs, Capuano initiated numerous global partnership programs and, most notably, led the development of the University’s newest international campus in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, even serving as the Vancouver Campus Provost for one year during a critical transition period. Current international initiatives in FDU’s 2015-20 strategic plan include the expansion of FDU’s Wroxton College campus in the UK to offer graduate degree programs, a new phase of curricular internationalization at FDU, and exploration of options for an additional international campus.


The UN Academic Impact Initiative

In 2008, faculty and administrators from Fairleigh Dickinson University collaborated with the UN Secretary-General and the UN Department of Public Information to launch the UN Academic Impact Initiative. The United Nations Academic Impact Initiative was conceived help the UN build stronger ties with institutions of higher learning around the world and leverage the resources of the global higher education sector to promote UN goals. The Academic Impact Initiative was publicly announced by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon on September 10, 2008 at Fairleigh Dickinson University's academic convocation. President J. Michael Adams became the first university president to pledge his institution's support for the initiative.


FDU and the African Union

The Commission of the African Union (AU) and Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) signed a memorandum of understanding that will develop educational opportunities for FDU students, identify and provide technical expertise for the African Union, and jointly exploreventures to support and advance higher education on the African continent. The official signing by President J. Michael Adams of FDU and His Excellency Jean Ping of the African Union Commission took place on September 29, 2009 in the Manhattan offices of the AU. Among other initiatives, FDU will help establish the Pan African University and African Research Centers and provide faculty expertise to the AU and potential technical assistance in strengthening higher education in Africa.

Awards and Recognition for Global Education at FDU

Under the leadership of its sixth president, Dr. J. Michael Adams, and with the support and dedication of faculty, students, staff, and alumni, Fairleigh Dickinson University has gained many other forms of recognition throughout the decade. For example, The Global Challenge won the Instructional Technology Council (ITC ) Award for Outstanding Online Course, and the Global Virtual Faculty™ was honored by the American Council on Education as one of the top programs nationwide deserving recognition for its use of technology to internationalize the curriculum. Mort recently, in 2009, Fairleigh Dickinson was selected as one of three spotlight profiles in the annual report Internationalizing the Campus: Profiles of Success at Colleges and Universities, published by NAFSA: Association of International Educators. In 2011, President Adams became president of the International Association of University Presidents, the international higher education leadership organization established by FDU founder Peter Sammartino. Upon the death of President Adams in 2012, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “Dr. Adams was a strong United Nations champion and partner, and a personal friend. He brought his wisdom and energy, and that of the institutions he led, to serve the greater global cause, in particular, through his meaningful contribution to the United Nations Academic Impact. The eloquence of Michael Adams’ scholarship and writing had a democratic, inter-generational appeal, which brought the power and promise of the United Nations home to so many in a world whose globalization he saw as a resource of strength and possibility. He will be deeply missed.”