• College/Year: 1991
  • Links to Oral History Sessions: Messer, Jennifer (November 17, 2022)


Jennifer Messer was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1969. Her father was an alumnus and long-time employee of Rutgers. She grew up in Piscataway and attended public schools. In the interview, she discusses living for six years in a building located on the grounds of the Rutgers University President's House at 1245 River Road in Piscataway on the Busch Campus. She recalls getting to know the University President Edward Bloustein and his spouse Ruth Ellen Steinman Bloustein, sneaking under the fence to watch football games at the stadium, playing at the Busch Student Center, and swimming at the outdoor pool run by the University Swimming Association. She attended Rutgers College from 1987 to 1991 and majored in history. She recalls memorable history professors, working as a resident advisor, student life on campus, and Rutgers alumnus and actor Avery Brooks speaking at her graduation. She began her career working in New Orleans and became a grant writer at the New Orleans Museum of Art. She earned a master's degree in historic preservation at the University of Georgia. After working at the Louisiana Preservation Alliance, she returned to Georgia to work at the High Museum in Atlanta. In 2000, she began working in development at the University of Georgia (UGA). Since 2014, she has served as the Director of Development and Alumni Relations at the College of Environment and Design at UGA. She discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on her family and profession.

The Rutgers Oral History Archives received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State. In the 2022-2023 cycle, this grant assisted the ROHA staff in making this oral history available to you for your use.