History of the Highlanders
The NJIT Highlanders have a long and storied history in college athletics. From its humble beginnings as the Newark College of Engineering (NCE) in 1881 to becoming one of the nation’s leading technological universities, NJIT has been an integral part of collegiate sports for over 135 years.
NJIT began competing athletically in 1901, forming a football team against local colleges such as Rutgers and Princeton. Although they were unsuccessful on the field, this marked the beginning of a proud tradition at NCE—athletics! In 1931, NCE officially changed its name to New Jersey Institute Of Technology (NJIT), which also marked its entry into NCAA Division III competition, where it quickly established itself as one of the top teams in all divisions with several championships won throughout various sports including basketball, baseball, and soccer.
Over time, NJIT's athletic program grew with additions like lacrosse during the late 90s, followed by men's volleyball shortly after 2000. During this period, women’s programs were expanded significantly, making them competitive across multiple sports such as tennis, soccer & softball. The success achieved by these teams led them into America East Conference, where they still compete today alongside other primary schools from around the east coast region.
With so much success over the past century, it should come as no surprise why many consider themselves die-hard fans who proudly support their beloved Highlanders every step along the way! So if you want some great college sporting action, check out the next game featuring our unique NJ IT highlander!
College Sports Established
Newark, New Jersey
New Jersey Institute of Technology
2008 - Present / NCAA Division I
2020 - Present / American East Conference
2015 - 2020 / ASUN Conference
2013 - 2015 / Independent
2008 - 2013 / Southland Conference
Highlanders - The NJIT Highlanders have long been a source of pride and excitement for sports fans. But what exactly is the origin of their nickname? As it turns out, there’s quite a story behind it!
The NJIT Highlanders were initially known as Newark College of Engineering (NCE). The school was founded in 1881 by Dr. John Witherspoon Scott and his son-in-law Henry Beadle to provide higher education for working men who could not afford college tuition. NCE’s first graduating class consisted entirely of engineers; its original name was “Newark College Of Engineers."
In 1976, NCE merged with Upsala College in East Orange, New Jersey, to form the New Jersey Institute Of Technology (NJIT). At this time, students chose “Highlanders” as an appropriate nickname for their new school since both campuses had strong Scottish roots - many faculty members at that time had family ties to Scotland or were immigrants from Scotland themselves!
To further honor its Scottish heritage, NJIT adopted a tartan plaid design incorporating colors from each campus: red representing Upsala and blue representing Newark Engineering. This same tartan can be seen today on all official Highlander apparel, such as hats or jerseys worn by athletes competing on behalf of the university's teams! It has also become synonymous with everything related to NJIT athletics, including banners hung up around campus during game days, etcetera... So next time you see someone wearing Highlander gear, make sure you know why they are so proud - because they are partaking in something much bigger than just sport - they are celebrating history too!
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