Rowan & Glassboro celebrate Summit 50th anniversary

Rowan & Glassboro celebrate Summit 50th anniversary


Summit at Hollybush 50th Anniversary Celebration - June 24Fifty years ago, in a small town most Americans never had heard of, two of the most powerful people on the planet met in an historic building on a tiny college campus to attempt to resolve some of the issues of the day.

The month was June 1967. The town was Glassboro, New Jersey. The leaders were American President Lyndon B. Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin. The building was Hollybush. The location was Glassboro State College, now Rowan University. And the Cold War threatened to heat up, with the world worrying that a crisis in the Middle East could escalate to the two major superpowers going head to head.

The campus pulled together to accommodate the two-day meeting on June 23 and 25, known as the Summit at Hollybush, with just 16 hours’ notice. The college president and his family relinquished their home. Neighbors made room for Secret Service and other security. The communication team arranged for hundreds of journalists from across the globe to report from Glassboro. Staff and vendors trucked in air conditioners and food. GSC became the focus of leaders and citizens from South Jersey to Russia, South America to the Middle East. While no formal agreement came out of the Hollybush gathering, it did serve to ease tension worldwide, and it placed the college forever in history books.

A Community Celebration!

On Saturday, June 24, Rowan University and the Borough of Glassboro will mark the 50th anniversary of the Summit.

From noon until 4 p.m., the Summit 50th Anniversary Celebration will feature activities for people of all ages on the grounds of Hollybush, on Whitney Avenue, and at nearby sites.

Guests will be able to tour Hollybush and ride a free shuttle to the historic West Jersey Depot Museum, Heritage Glass Museum, Edelman Planetarium (to view “10 Minutes to War,” about the solar flare that almost caused a nuclear war a few weeks before the Summit) and Summit City Farm & Winery.

The University will host Summit Stories, an opportunity for visitors to hear and record memories of the Summit, and it will showcase interactive theatrical performances during which audience members can join in the “negotiation process.” The event also will feature 1960s vintage cars and face painting, balloon artists and more.

From 6 to 9 p.m., the University will host the Summit 50th Celebration Dinner and Spirit of Hollybush Awards on the Hollybush lawn. The evening, open to those 21 and older, will feature 1960s-inspired food and entertainment, plus craft beer and wine. The cost is $60 per person, and proceeds benefit the Glassboro Historical Society and Rowan University Hollybush Institute. Seating is limited. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit

Co-sponsors of the day are RoseBud Floral Art, Chickie’s & Pete’s, and Masso’s Catering & Events Rentals.