This should be the final word on the topic of whether Stockton University will be changing its name.

The answer is a hard, unequivocal, “NO.”

Stockton University President Dr. Harvey Kesselman put the matter to rest … once and for all … in a live on-air interview earlier today, Good Friday, April 7, 2023.

The earlier confusion is a result of news becoming public that the Stockton University Faculty Senate was reviewing a possible name change for the school.

The genesis of this was a discussion about Richard Stockton allegedly being both a slave owner and a traitor.

Even after all of these years, it remains an unanswered question, whether or not Stockton was a slave owner. There were two Richard Stockton’s in this era.

We can answer the second point. Richard Stockton was not a traitor. The British captured Stockton and he was held in very rough conditions.

“Richard Stockton was the only signer to be put in irons, starved, and imprisoned under brutal conditions by the British four months after signing the Declaration of Independence. He paid the supreme price for placing his signature on the Declaration and pledging his life, his fortune, and his Sacred Honor,” according to John C. Glynn & Kathryn Glynn, from His Sacred Honor Judge Richard Stockton A Signer of the Declaration of Independence. 2006

Upon his release, it took Stockton at least two years to recover from his brutal circumstances.

The 56 signers of The Declaration of Independence risked everything.

Richard Stockton was not a traitor.

Kesselman was unambiguous in his declaration that Stockton University’s name will not be changed under any circumstances.

Kesselman reviewed the national reputation that Stockton has earned, along with more than 50 years of building their brand in Galloway Township and Atlantic City.

Finally, it’s important to restate that the discussion about exploring a possible name change of Stockton University is an independent action by the Stockton Faculty Senate and not the Stockton University Board of Trustees, nor the Kesselman administration.

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