The Abbey and its fifty-six acres were sold to Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1963.

In purchasing Wroxton College, FDU became the first American university to own a campus in England. With buildings and grounds in disrepair, the new owners were faced with a massive restoration project. Dry rot permeated the building, the plumbing was held together with scotch tape and the electrical heating system required extensive upgrading. Soon after purchasing the estate, FDU had the timber work, floors and ceilings repaired, installed central heating and rewired the Abbey.

A three day conference was arranged in 1965 for the College dedication. Various guests attended including King Humbert II, the last king of Italy. On the final day, the College held the official dedication with a full-fledged academic procession. The procession wound its way from the Abbey through the village streets and ended at the church.

King Humbert II with Peter Sammartino, the President of Fairleigh Dickinson University.
The academic procession on its way to the church for the College dedication

In 1973, the university received a gift from one of its benefactors, Morris Leverton, to enable the interior of the Carriage House to be converted to a lecture hall, dining room, bar and kitchen. Between 1986 and 1988, extensive renovations took place in the Abbey, transforming the 40 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms into 45 bedrooms, each with their own bathroom. At the same time, major changes were made in the Abbey basement, including the addition of a gym, TV lounge, teaching room as well as a laundry and workshop.

Further restoration and conservation work continues to this day, as Fairleigh Dickinson University continues to enhance the house with skillful restoration creating a modern college in one of England’s most historic houses.