Friday, July 3, 2015

Yale University

 

 

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"Yale" redirects here. For other uses, see Yale (disambiguation).
Yale University
Yale University Shield 1.svg
Yale University Seal
Latin: Universitas Yalensis
Former names
Collegiate School
(1701–1718)
Yale College
(1718–1887)
Motto אורים ותמים (Hebrew) (Urim V'Thummim)
Lux et veritas (Latin)
Motto in English
Light and truth
Established October 9, 1701
Type Private
Endowment $23.9 billion[1]
President Peter Salovey[2]
Academic staff
4,171[3]
Students 12,223
Undergraduates 5,414
Postgraduates 6,809
Location New Haven, Connecticut, United States United States
Campus Urban/College town, 1,015 acres (411 ha) including Yale Golf Course
Colors      Yale Blue[4]
Athletics NCAA Division I FCS
Ivy League
Nickname Bulldogs
Mascot Handsome Dan
Affiliations Ivy League
AAU
IARU
NAICU[5]
Website Yale.edu
Yale University logo.svg
Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 in Saybrook Colony as the "Collegiate School," the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. In 1718, the school was renamed "Yale College" in recognition of a gift from Elihu Yale, a governor of the British East India Company. Established to train Congregationalist ministers in theology and sacred languages, by 1777 the school's curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences. During the 19th century Yale gradually incorporated graduate and professional instruction, awarding the first Ph.D. in the United States in 1861 and organizing as a university in 1887.[6]
Yale is organized into twelve constituent schools: the original undergraduate college, the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and ten professional schools. While the university is governed by the Yale Corporation, each school's faculty oversees its curriculum and degree programs. In addition to a central campus in downtown New Haven, the University owns athletic facilities in western New Haven, including the Yale Bowl, a campus in West Haven, Connecticut, and forest and nature preserves throughout New England. The university's assets include an endowment valued at $23.9 billion as of September 27, 2014, the second largest of any educational institution in the world.[1]
Yale College undergraduates follow a liberal arts curriculum with departmental majors and are organized into a system of residential colleges. Almost all faculty teach undergraduate courses, more than 2,000 of which are offered annually.[7] The Yale University Library, serving all twelve schools, holds more than 15 million volumes and is the third-largest academic library in the United States.[8][9] Besides academic studies, students compete intercollegiately as the Yale Bulldogs in the NCAA Division I Ivy League.
Yale has graduated many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 13 living billionaires,[10] and many foreign heads of state. In addition, Yale has graduated hundreds of members of Congress and many high-level U.S. diplomats, including former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and current Secretary of State John Kerry. Fifty-two Nobel laureates have been affiliated with the University as students, faculty, or staff, and 230 Rhodes Scholars graduated from the University.[11]

Contents

History

Charter creating Collegiate School, which became Yale College, October 9, 1701
A Front View of Yale-College and the College Chapel, Daniel Bowen, 1786.

Early history of Yale College

Origins

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, while meeting in New Haven. The Act was 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 alumni of Harvard, met in the study of Reverend Samuel Russell in Branford, Connecticut, to pool their books to form the school's library.[12] The group, led by James Pierpont, is now known as "The Founders".
Originally known as the "Collegiate School," the institution opened in the home of its first rector, Abraham Pierson,[13] in Killingworth (now Clinton). The school moved to Saybrook, and then Wethersfield. In 1716 the college moved to New Haven, Connecticut.
First diploma awarded by Yale College, granted to Nathaniel Chauncey, 1702.
Meanwhile, there was a rift 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.[14]
In 1718, at the behest of either Rector Samuel Andrew or the colony's Governor Gurdon Saltonstall, Cotton Mather contacted a successful businessman named Elihu Yale, who lived in Wales but had been born in Boston and whose father David had been one of the original settlers in New Haven, 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 Madras as a representative of the East India Company, donated nine bales of goods, which were sold for more than £560, a substantial sum at the time. Cotton Mather suggested that the school change its name to Yale College. Meanwhile, a Harvard graduate working in England convinced some 180 prominent intellectuals that they should donate books to Yale. The 1714 shipment of 500 books represented the best of modern English literature, science, philosophy and theology.[15] It had a profound effect on intellectuals at Yale. Undergraduate Jonathan Edwards discovered John Locke's works and developed his original theology known as the "new divinity". In 1722 the Rector and six of his friends, who had a study group to discuss the new ideas, announced that they had given up Calvinism, become Arminians, and joined the Church of England. They were ordained in England and returned to the colonies as missionaries for the Anglican faith. Thomas Clapp became president in 1745, and struggled to return the college to Calvinist orthodoxy; but he did not close the library. Other students found Deist books in the library.[16]
Old Brick Row in 1807.

Curriculum

Yale was swept up by the great intellectual movements of the period—the Great Awakening and the Enlightenment—due to the religious and scientific interests of presidents Thomas Clap and Ezra Stiles. They were both instrumental in developing the scientific curriculum at Yale, while dealing with wars, student tumults, graffiti, "irrelevance" of curricula, desperate need for endowment, and fights with the Connecticut legislature.[17]
Serious American students of theology and divinity, particularly in New England, regarded Hebrew as a classical language, along with Greek and Latin, and essential for study of the Old Testament in the original words. The Reverend Ezra Stiles, president of the College from 1778 to 1795, brought with him his interest in the Hebrew language as a vehicle for studying ancient Biblical texts in their original language (as was common in other schools), requiring all freshmen to study Hebrew (in contrast to Harvard, where only upperclassmen were required to study the language) and is responsible for the Hebrew phrase אורים ותמים (Urim and Thummim) on the Yale seal. Stiles' greatest challenge occurred in July 1779 when hostile British forces occupied New Haven and threatened to raze the College. However, Yale graduate Edmund Fanning, Secretary to the British General in command of the occupation, interceded and the College was saved. Fanning later was granted an honorary degree LL.D., at 1803,[18] for his efforts.
Woolsey Hall in c. 1905

Students

As the only college in Connecticut, Yale educated the sons of the elite.[19] Offenses for which students were punished included cardplaying, tavern-going, destruction of college property, and acts of disobedience to college authorities. During the period, Harvard was distinctive for the stability and maturity of its tutor corps, while Yale had youth and zeal on its side.[20]
The emphasis on classics gave rise to a number of private student societies, open only by invitation, which arose primarily as forums for discussions of modern scholarship, literature and politics. The first such organizations were debating societies: Crotonia in 1738, Linonia in 1753, and Brothers in Unity in 1768.[21]

19th century

Men leaning on the old Yale fence facing Chapel Street, c. 1874.
The Yale Report of 1828 was a dogmatic defense of the Latin and Greek curriculum against critics who wanted more courses in modern languages, mathematics, and science. Unlike higher education in Europe, there was no national curriculum for colleges and universities in the United States. In the competition for students and financial support, college leaders strove to keep current with demands for innovation. At the same time, they realized that a significant portion of their students and prospective students demanded a classical background. The Yale report meant the classics would not be abandoned. All institutions experimented with changes in the curriculum, often resulting in a dual track. In the decentralized environment of higher education in the United States, balancing change with tradition was a common challenge because no one could afford to be completely modern or completely classical.[22] A group of professors at Yale and New Haven Congregationalist ministers articulated a conservative response to the changes brought about by the Victorian culture. They concentrated on developing a whole man possessed of religious values sufficiently strong to resist temptations from within, yet flexible enough to adjust to the 'isms' (professionalism, materialism, individualism, and consumerism) tempting him from without.[23] Perhaps the most well-remembered[citation needed] teacher was William Graham Sumner, professor from 1872 to 1909. He taught in the emerging disciplines of economics and sociology to overflowing classrooms. He bested President Noah Porter, who disliked social science and wanted Yale to lock into its traditions of classical education. Porter objected to Sumner's use of a textbook by Herbert Spencer that espoused agnostic materialism because it might harm students.[24]
Until 1887, the legal name of the university was "The President and Fellows of Yale College, in New Haven." In 1887, under an act passed by the Connecticut General Assembly, Yale gained its current, and shorter, name of "Yale University."[25]

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