Skip to Main Content

This site provides information using PDF, visit this link to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software.

Chat with TESU

Campus With A History

Thomas Edison State University, its leadership and programs are a tribute to its illustrious history and remarkable growth. The University campus is located in Trenton, N.J., adjacent to New Jersey's State House complex and the State House Historic District.

Thomas Edison State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267-284-5000). This prestigious accreditation is part of a national system of quality assurance that requires colleges and universities to reach a common understanding and agreement as to the standards of quality for American higher education.

Thomas Edison State University’s campus comprises seven buildings located in the historic district surrounding New Jersey’s state capitol building in Trenton.

Students rarely visit the campus. With the exception of our on-ground Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN Program, students complete courses, take exams and earn their degrees wherever it is convenient for them. For many, it’s their home. For others, it’s their local library. For most military students, it’s wherever they are stationed or deployed.

However, students who live close enough to take a proctored exam onsite or meet with an academic advisor at the University are able to enjoy the beauty of the University’s buildings and environment. In creating its campus over the years, the University has restored several historic buildings and has built a new one.

Thomas Edison State University moved to Trenton in 1979 and established its headquarters in the Kelsey Building. Designed by architect Cass Gilbert and modeled after the Palazzo Strozzi, one of Florence’s most famous palaces, the Kelsey Building was dedicated in 1911 and is one of the architectural landmarks of the city. Since that time, the University has been active in restoring several historic buildings of downtown Trenton, preserving the essence of the city’s legendary past and stimulating economic development.

The Kelsey Complex serves as the University’s executive center and encompasses the Kelsey Building on West State Street and five restored mid-19th-century brick townhouses adjoining the Kelsey Building. Farther down West State Street is the early-20th-century Kuser Mansion. These buildings are all part of the State House Historic District that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The University completed renovations to 102 West State Street in 2014 to house The W. J. Seaton Center for Learning and Technology. The building, originally the Rifkin and Grannick Department Store, was rebuilt by Victor Bohm, whose redesign was based on more psychological than architectural factors – since it was located beyond the main shopping district, the building relied on its illuminated corner windows displaying merchandise to draw passing shoppers. In 1948, after modernizing its exterior and interior, Bohm won first prize in the Second Annual Store Modernization Show out of 66 entries. Situated directly across the street from the Kelsey Complex, the Center is home to the University’s course development team and includes office and meeting space as well as a media production studio.

In 2014, the University broke ground on its newest building, George A. Pruitt Hall, a 34,360-square-foot building that houses the University’s W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing and includes new, state-of-the-art nursing simulation laboratories, lecture halls, conference rooms and the student advisement center. The building is designed to reflect the many former mansions that were located along this portion of West State Street and incorporates traditional and durable materials for the exterior, such as slate and composite slate roofing, brick walls, and limestone accents. The building, which is located next to the Kuser Mansion on West State Street, has a two-level, 44,828-square-foot parking garage to accommodate more than 90 vehicles. It was completed in 2016.

The New Jersey State Library, an affiliate of Thomas Edison State University, occupies an historic site at the middle of the State House block. The Kelsey Complex occupies what was originally the highest elevation of the bluff running through downtown Trenton along the eastern side of the Delaware Valley.

Between Kelsey Complex and the State House, Petty’s Run flows to the Delaware River. In the early 1730s, Petty’s Run powered a plating mill, and by mid century drove a steel furnace. Both the mill and the furnace were the earliest facilities of their type in New Jersey, foreshadowing Trenton’s role as an industrial center. From these pre-Revolutionary beginnings came the establishment of our University’s “spiritual ancestor,”; the School of Industrial Arts, the Kelsey Building’s former occupant.

Today, Thomas Edison State University is proud to occupy the Kelsey Complex and the rest of its campus buildings in Trenton as it continues its mission of providing flexible, high-quality, collegiate learning opportunities for self-directed adults.

A Campus With History

Campus with a History

View A Campus With History »

The Great Hall

The Great Hall welcomes students and visitors to Thomas Edison State University.

The Kelsey Complex

The Kelsey Complex

Center for Learning and Technology

102 W. State Street

Kuser Mansion

Kuser Mansion

George A. Pruitt Hall

George A. Pruitt Hall

New Jersey State Library

New Jersey State Library

Toni M. Terry, BA

"I am 67 years old, soon to be 68, and to be able to say I did this at this day in my life is just gratification for my own self."

Watch Toni »