Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut, founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut. The university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States.
Yale traces its beginnings to "An Act for Liberty to Erect a Collegiate School", passed by the General Court of the Colony of Connecticut on October 9, 1701, in an effort to create an institution to train ministers and lay leadership for Connecticut. Soon thereafter, a group of ten Congregationalist ministers: Samuel Andrew, Thomas Buckingham, Israel Chauncy, Samuel Mather, James Noyes, James Pierpont, Abraham Pierson, Noadiah Russell, Joseph Webb and Timothy Woodbridge, all of whom were alumni of Harvard, met in the study of Reverend Samuel Russell in Branford, Connecticut, to pool their books to form the school's first library. The group, led by James Pierpont, is now known as "The Founders". Originally called the "Collegiate School", the institution opened in the home of its first rector, Abraham Pierson, in Killingworth (now Clinton). The school moved to Saybrook, and then Wethersfield. In 1718 the college moved to New Haven, Connecticut. First diploma awarded by Yale College, granted to Nathaniel Chauncey, 1702. Meanwhile, a rift was forming at Harvard between its sixth president Increase Mather and the rest of the Harvard clergy, whom Mather viewed as increasingly liberal, ecclesiastically lax, and overly broad in Church polity. The feud caused the Mathers to champion the success of the Collegiate School in the hope that it would maintain the Puritan religious orthodoxy in a way that Harvard had not. In 1718, at the behest of either Rector Samuel Andrew or the colony's Governor Gurdon Saltonstall, Cotton Mather contacted a successful businessman in Wales named Elihu Yale to ask him for financial help in constructing a new building for the college. Through the persuasion of Jeremiah Dummer, Yale, who had made a fortune through trade while living in India as a representative of the East India Company, donated nine bales of goods, which were sold for more than ï¿½560, a substantial sum at the time. Yale also donated 417 books and a portrait of King George I. Cotton Mather suggested that the school change its name to Yale College in gratitude to its benefactor, and to increase the chances that he would give the college another large donation or bequest. Elihu Yale was away in India when the news of the school's name change reached his home in Wrexham, Wales, a trip from which he never returned. While he did ultimately leave his fortunes to the "Collegiate School within His Majesties Colony of Connecticot",citation needed the institution was never able to successfully lay claim to it.
The mission of Yale College is to seek exceptionally promising students of all backgrounds from across the nation and around the world and to educate them, through mental discipline and social experience, to develop their intellectual, moral, civic, and creative capacities to the fullest. The aim of this education is the cultivation of citizens with a rich awareness of our heritage to lead and serve in every sphere of human activity.
Yale has produced alumni distinguished in their respective fields. Among the best-known are U.S. Presidents William Howard Taft, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush; Royals Victoria Bernadotte, Prince Rostislav Romanov and Prince Akiiki Hosea Nyabongo; Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti; Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas; U.S. Secretaries of State John Kerry, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Cyrus Vance, and Dean Acheson; authors Sinclair Lewis, Stephen Vincent Benï¿½t, and Tom Wolfe; lexicographer Noah Webster; inventors Samuel F. B. Morse and Eli Whitney; patriot and "first spy" Nathan Hale; theologian Jonathan Edwards; actors, directors and producers Paul Newman, Henry Winkler, Vincent Price, Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver, Jodie Foster, Angela Bassett, Courtney Vance, Frances McDormand, Elia Kazan, George Roy Hill, Edward Norton, Lupita Nyong'o, Oliver Stone, Sam Waterston, and Michael Cimino; "Father of American football" Walter Camp, "The perfect oarsman" Rusty Wailes; composers Charles Ives, Douglas Moore and Cole Porter; Peace Corps founder Sargent Shriver; child psychologist Benjamin Spock; sculptor Richard Serra; film critic Gene Siskel; television commentators Dick Cavett and Anderson Cooper; pundits William F. Buckley, Jr., and Fareed Zakaria; Time Magazine co-founder Henry Luce; President of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo; President of the Federal Republic of Germany Karl Carstens; Philippines President Josï¿½ Paciano Laurel; Nobel Laureate in Economics and popular book author Paul Krugman; inventor of the cyclotron and Nobel Laureate in Physics, Ernest Lawrence; director of the Human Genome Project, Francis S. Collins; economist Irving Fischer, "The Father of Monetarism"; mathematician and chemist Josiah Willard Gibbs; Morgan Stanley founder Harold Stanley; Boeing CEO James McNerney; FedEx founder Frederick W. Smith; Turkish prime minister Tansu ï¿½iller; Time Warner president Jeffrey Bewkes; Electronic Arts co-founder Bing Gordon; architects Eero Saarinen, Norman Foster and Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq who founded the Human Development Report;Dennis Joseph C. Capili resident manager Edsa Shangri-La Hotel .
Urban, 837 acres (339 ha)