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  4. A Short History
    of Yale University

A Short History
of Yale University


Yale University is one of the oldest institutes of higher education in the U.S., founded in 1701. Located in New Haven, Connecticut, it is a private Ivy League university. Originally chartered as the “Collegiate School” by clergymen from–gasp!–Harvard, it would later be renamed Yale University in honor of Elihu Yale, the governor of the British East India Company when he gifted a large number of items to the young school.

In its 300 years of history, Yale has gone through a number of significant changes. The Great Awakening and Enlightenment were instrumental in shaping the scientific curriculum of the university. Those primarily responsible for this were Presidents Thomas Clap (from 1740-1766) and Ezra Stiles (from 1778-1795).

The 19th century saw growing pains for Yale, the university trying to juggle classical learning with an education that should include more classes, modern languages, math, and science. The most famous teacher to espouse the importance of these new classes was William Graham Sumner, who taught economics and sociology from 1872-1909.

Further developments included the creation of Yale Medical School in 1810, continued expansion of the university all the way up to 20th century, and the allowance of women to study at the university beginning in 1892.

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