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Princeton University

Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. It is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution.


1 Nassau Hall

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Orange And Black
Ivy League

College History


New Light Presbyterians founded the College of New Jersey, later Princeton University, in 1746 in order to train ministers.The college was the educational and religious capital of Scots-Irish America. In 1756, the college moved to Princeton, New Jersey. Its home in Princeton was Nassau Hall, named for the royal house of William III of England. Following the untimely deaths of Princeton's first five presidents, John Witherspoon became president in 1768 and remained in that office until his death in 1794. During his presidency, Witherspoon shifted the college's focus from training ministers to preparing a new generation for leadership in the new American nation. To this end, he tightened academic standards and solicited investment in the college. Witherspoon's presidency constituted a long period of stability for the college, interrupted by the American Revolution and particularly the Battle of Princeton, during which British soldiers briefly occupied Nassau Hall; American forces, led by George Washington, fired cannon on the building to rout them from it. In 1812, the eight president of Princeton (still the College of New Jersey), Ashbel Green (1812�23), helped establish a theological seminary next door. The plan to extend the theological curriculum met with "enthusiastic approval on the part of the authorities at the College of New Jersey". Today, Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary maintain separate institutions with ties that include services such as cross-registration and mutual library access. Before the construction of Stanhope Hall in 1803, Nassau Hall was the college's sole building. The cornerstone of the building was laid on September 17, 1754. During the summer of 1783, the Continental Congress met in Nassau Hall, making Princeton the country's capital for four months. Over the centuries and through two redesigns following major fires (1802 and 1855), Nassau Hall's role shifted from an all-purpose building, comprising office, dormitory, library, and classroom space; to classroom space exclusively; to its present role as the administrative center of the University. The class of 1879 donated twin lion sculptures that flanked the entrance until 1911, when that same class replaced them with tigers.[21] Nassau Hall's iconic bell rang after the hall�s construction; however, the fire of 1802 melted it. The bell was then recast and melted again in the fire of 1855. James McCosh took office as the college's president in 1868 and lifted the institution out of a low period that had been brought about by the American Civil War. During his two decades of service, he overhauled the curriculum, oversaw an expansion of inquiry into the sciences, and supervised the addition of a number of buildings in the High Victorian Gothic style to the campus. McCosh Hall is named in his honor. In 1879, the first thesis for a Ph.D. was submitted by James F. Williamson, Class of 1877. In 1896, the college officially changed its name from the College of New Jersey to Princeton University to honor the town in which it resides. During this year, the college also underwent large expansion and officially became a university. In 1900, the Graduate School was established. In 1902, Woodrow Wilson, graduate of the Class of 1879, is elected the 13th president of the university.Under Wilson, Princeton introduced the preceptorial system in 1905, a then-unique concept in the US that augmented the standard lecture method of teaching with a more personal form in which small groups of students, or precepts, could interact with a single instructor, or preceptor, in their field of interest. In 1906, the reservoir Lake Carnegie was created by Andrew Carnegie. A collection of historical photographs of the building of the lake is housed at the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library on Princeton's campus. Albert Einstein with Thomas Mann in Princeton, 1938 On October 2, 1913, the Princeton University Graduate College was dedicated. In 1919 the School of Architecture was established. In 1933, Albert Einstein became a lifetime member of the Institute for Advanced Study with an office on the Princeton campus. While always independent of the university, the Institute for Advanced Study occupied offices in Jones Hall for 6 years, from its opening in 1933, until their own campus was finished and opened in 1939. This helped start an incorrect impression that it was part of the university, one that has never been completely eradicated.

College Specialty


The mission of Campus Life is to further develop a humane and collaborative environment that serves the educational mission of the University by encouraging, supporting and celebrating intellectual curiosity, active citizenship, ethical leadership and respect for our diverse community.



U.S. Presidents James Madison and Woodrow Wilson and Vice President Aaron Burr graduated from Princeton, as did Michelle Obama, the current First Lady of the United States. Former Chief Justice of the United States Oliver Ellsworth was an alumnus, as are current U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justices Samuel Alito, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor. Notable graduates of Princeton's School of Engineering and Applied Science include Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos, Google executive Eric Schmidt, and Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Actors Jimmy Stewart, Jos� Ferrer, Wentworth Miller, Mark Feuerstein, David Duchovny, and Brooke Shields graduated from Princeton. Writers Booth Tarkington, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Eugene O'Neill attended but did not graduate with a degree. Selden Edwards and Will Stanton graduated with English degrees. Notable graduate alumni include Richard Feynman, Lee Iacocca, John Nash, Alan Turing, Terence Tao, Edward Witten, John Milnor, John Bardeen, John Tate, and David Petraeus. Royals such as Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, Prince Moulay Hicham of Morocco, Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, and Queen Noor of Jordan, among other royals and nobles, also have attended Princeton. Notable faculty members include Paul Krugman, Joyce Carol Oates, Peter Singer, and Andrew Wiles. Notable former faculty members include John Witherspoon, Ben Bernanke, Joseph Henry, Toni Morrison, John P. Lewis, and alumnus Woodrow Wilson, who served as president of the University 1902�1910. Albert Einstein, though on the faculty at the Institute for Advanced Study rather than at Princeton, came to be associated with the university through frequent lectures and visits on the campus.



Suburban, 500 acres (2.0 km2) (Princeton Borough and Township)