University is a coeducational, privately endowed, nonsectarian school in New
Haven, Connecticut. Chartered in 1701, Yale is the third oldest institution of higher
learning in the United States. Only Harvard University and the College of William and Mary
Yale graduates have always played a major role in American life. Many graduates have
become leaders in government, business and industry, the arts, and community services. The
presidents of about 90 U.S. universities and colleges graduated from Yale.
The Yale campus covers about 175 acres (71 hectares).
Connecticut Hall, built in 1752, is the oldest building. This red brick building is the
only structure left on the campus from colonial days. Famous American architects have
designed many newer buildings at Yale, including a science center.
Freshmen live on the Old Campus, the site of the original school. Sophomores, juniors, and
seniors live in 12 residential colleges. Each college houses about 360 students and some
faculty members. Each college has its own library, common rooms, and dining hall. The
colleges compete with each other in several sports. The residence plan started in 1933
through the gifts of Edward S. Harkness, a Yale graduate.
The Yale library, which contains more than 9 million volumes, ranks as one of the largest
libraries in the world. Yale's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library was dedicated in
1963. This facility is one of the largest buildings in the world devoted to rare books and
Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History is one of the oldest university-related museums
in the United States. It has many world-famous fossil exhibits. The Yale University Art
Gallery is the oldest university art museum in the nation. The Yale Center for British Art
has an excellent collection of British paintings and drawings, and related books and
The Yale Daily News, established in 1878, is the oldest college daily newspaper in the
United States. The Yale Literary Magazine, founded in 1836, was the first undergraduate
magazine published in the United States.
Educational system. Yale has 12 divisions, each under the supervision of its own dean and
faculty. The divisions of the university include Yale College; the graduate school; and
the schools of art, architecture, divinity, drama, forestry, law, medicine, music,
nursing, and organization and management.
The Corporation of Yale University governs the school. The corporation consists of the
university president, the governor and lieutenant governor of Connecticut, and 16 fellows
History. Yale was founded in 1701, when 10 Connecticut clergymen met in the village of
Branford and made a gift of books to found a college. Later that year, the General
Assembly of Connecticut approved a charter for the Collegiate School. From 1702 to 1707,
classes met in the home of Rector Abraham Pierson at Killingworth (now Clinton).
Classes were held in Milford and then Saybrook before the school moved to New Haven in
1716. Two years later, the school's only college building was still unfinished due to lack
of funds. Elihu Yale, a retired merchant in London, gave money to the school in 1718 (see
YALE, ELIHU). Yale is sometimes called Old Eli. The same year, the school adopted its
present name in honor of Yale. The undergraduate school, known as Yale College, was open
only to men until 1969.