Harvard University

Harvard University (incorporated as The President and Fellows of Harvard College) is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a member of the Ivy League. Founded in 1636 by the colonial Massachusetts legislature, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is also the first and oldest corporation in North America. Harvard University is made up of ten schools.

Initially called “New College” or “the college at New Towne”, the institution was renamed Harvard College on March 13, 1639. It was named after a young clergyman named John Harvard, who bequeathed the College his library of four hundred books and ?779 (which was half of his estate). The earliest known official reference to Harvard as a “university” occurs in the new Massachusetts Constitution of 1780.

During his 40-year tenure as Harvard president (1869–1909), Charles William Eliot radically transformed Harvard into the pattern of the modern research university. Eliot’s reforms included elective courses, small classes, and entrance examinations. The Harvard model influenced American education nationally, at both college and secondary levels.

Harvard is consistently ranked at or near the top of international college and university rankings, and has the second-largest financial endowment of any non-profit organization (behind the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), standing at $28.8 billion as of 2008. Harvard and Yale have been rivals in academics, rowing, and football for most of their history, competing annually in The Game and the Harvard-Yale Regatta.

Harvard University
Seal of Harvard University
Motto: Veritas
Motto in English: Truth
Established: September 8, 1636 (OS)
September 18, 1636 (NS)
Type: Private
Endowment: USD $36.9 billion
President: Drew Gilpin Faust
Faculty: about 2,401
Staff: 2,497 non-medical
10,674 medical
Students: 19,140
Undergraduates: 6,714
Postgraduates: 12,422
Location: Cambridge, MA, USA
Campus: Urban
380 acres (1.5 km2)
Newspaper: The Harvard Crimson
Colors: Crimson
Mascot: John Harvard
Athletics: 41 Varsity Teams
Ivy League
NCAA Division I
Harvard Crimson
Website: www.harvard.edu

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