A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 19, 2019
Fairly Ridiculous (Fairleigh Dickinson University nickname)

Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) is a private, coeducational and nonsectarian university that was founded in New Jersey in 1942. Fairleigh S. Dickinson (1866-1948) was a benefactor.

FDU has been nicknamed “Fairly Ridiculous” since at least 1963. “Fairleigh Ridiculous” has been cited in print since at least 1965.


Wikipedia: Fairleigh Dickinson University
Fairleigh Dickinson University is a private, coeducational and nonsectarian university founded in 1942. Fairleigh Dickinson University was the first American university to own and operate an international campus and currently offers more than 100 individual degree programs to its students. The school has four campuses: two in New Jersey (United States) and one each in Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as an online platform.

Fairleigh Dickinson University is New Jersey’s largest private institution of higher education, with over 11,000 students. The university has two campuses in New Jersey: the Florham Campus in Madison and Florham Park, which is on the former estate of Florence Vanderbilt and Hamilton Twombly, and the Metropolitan Campus, which is close to New York City and spans the Hackensack River in Teaneck and Hackensack.

15 October 1963, The Record (Hackensack, NJ), ‘Simeon Stylites: The Look of Ivy” by William A. Caldwell, pg. 54, col. 6:
Old Fairly Ridiculous, as the students on its far-flung campuses call it still, seems to have passed.

11 October 1965, Sunday Times Advertiser (Trenton, NJ), “A New Jersey College Goes To England” by Tom A. Cullen (NEA), pt. 2, pg. 9, col. 6:
A decade ago, sarcastic students said they attended “Fairleigh Ridiculous.” Nobody says that anymore.

5 February 1972, Daily News (New York, NY), “Fairleigh Dickinson’s Cagers Aren’t Ridiculous Anymore” by Bill Verigan, pg. 30, col. 2:
Almost everybody calls Fairleigh Dickinson by, well by that other name.

“Where do you go to school?”
‘Fairleigh Dickinson.”
“Where?”
“Fairleigh Dickinson.”
‘Where?”

People can be merciless. They’re not satisfied to say it themselves. They want to hear the FDU man say it.

“Okay, yeah, I go to Fairly Ridiculous.” That’s what they want to hear, so give it to them. And try to smile.

Google Books
Animal Tales from The Wall Street Journal
By Michael Gartner
Princeton, NJ: Dow Jones Books
1973
Pg. 63:
Dogs are still allowed on campus at “Fairly Ridiculous U.,” as it is fondly known to many students, but are supposed to be leashed and registered.

Google Books
18 July 1977, New York magazine, “Letters,” pg. 5, col. 2: 
By the way, Fairleigh Dickinson is not called “Fairly Unlikely.” Any alumnus will tell you it’s “Fairly Ridiculous.”
Joseph A. Gualtieri
Clark, N.J.


New York (NY) Post
Reality Check: ‘Morning Glory’
By Lou Lumenick November 10, 2010 | 3:29pm
(...)
I haven’t heard anyone refer to Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck as “Fairly Ridiculous” since my days at the Bergen Record.

Google Books
Kaboing!:
50 Ideas That Will Springboard You to Academic Greatness

By John A. Chuback
Chuback Education
2015
Pg. ?:
It sat along the Hackensack River and was sometimes known as Harvard on the Hackensack, but much more commonly had its name bastardized from Fairleigh Dickinson (the name of its founder) to Fairly Ridiculous.

Twitter
Rachel is revising/on hiatus
@rachelwrites007
I love that in the movie #MorningGlory they bring up that Fairleigh Dickinson is nicknamed Fairleigh Ridiculous. SO TRUE!!! haha #Jersey
6:43 PM - 30 May 2016

Twitter
Apache Dreamsac
@NathanWurtzel
Congratulations to Fairleigh Dickinson University, known in NJ as “Fairly Ridiculous,” for making it into the NCAA tournament.
I suspect Seton Hall will join them.
9:50 PM - 13 Mar 2019

Twitter
Kane K
@kane7890
Replying to @TheMianoPan @jimrome
In NJ, ppl call Fairleigh Dickinson “Fairly Ridiculous”...I think this includes some of their alums
2:28 PM - 18 Mar 2019

The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA)
John Blanchette: Doc Ball answers all your First Four questions
Mon., March 18, 2019, 10:22 p.m.
By John Blanchette
(...)
Q: Doc, did you say one of the teams the Zags might play is Fairly Ridiculous?
A: That’s an old joke. Hey, don’t sleep on Fairleigh Dickinson. Back in 1985, it was almost UMBC before UMBC was cool – losing the 16-vs.-1 seed game just 59-55 to Michigan.

Q: But what is a Fairleigh Dickinson?
A: Who. Medical technology magnate. Philanthropist. Rich guy.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityEducation/Schools • Tuesday, March 19, 2019 • Permalink