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Group of students and professors standing on the porch of a historic home.

Monmouth University Partnership Builds Local Educators’ Knowledge of New Jersey History

For four days this summer, Interim Provost Rich Veit and Associate Professor Jason Fitzgerald worked with New Jersey educators in a church, a barn, a field, and a house… two houses, actually. These sites were all a part of the 2nd Annual Elizabeth Van Cleaf Institute, where educators from around New Jersey came to learn more about New Jersey history and to build instructional resources for their classrooms this fall. St. Peters in Freehold, the Parker Homestead in Little Silver, Monmouth Battlefield in Manalapan, and the Taylor-Butler and Marlpit Hall in Middletown became sites for teacher learning from guest speakers and from explorations of historical artifacts dating back to the beginning of our State.

Named for formerly enslaved Elizabeth Van Cleaf, the Institute is a partnership between Monmouth University, the Monmouth County Historical Association (MCHA), and the Monmouth Ocean Educational Services Commission. The Institute engages teachers across New Jersey in historical investigations of our area – our shared history.

Of the Institute’s impact, Fitzgerald says, “This Institute is more than a learning experience for the educators. This is a way for our whole community – Monmouth University, MCHA, the K-12 sector, and our local historical sites – to learn from each other and build upon our shared mission to educate the next generation.”

The Institute runs for four days each summer and focuses on a new theme each year. More information about the Institute can be found at