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- For other uses of the name "Yale," see Yale (disambiguation).
Yale traces its beginnings to "An Act for Liberty to Erect a Collegiate School" passed by the General Court of the Colony of Connecticut and dated October 9, 1701, which was furthered by a meeting in Branford, Connecticut by a group of ten Congregationalist ministers who pooled their books to form the school's first library. The school itself opened in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, but moved to New Haven, Connecticut in 1716, where it remains to this day.
The college's original name was the Collegiate School; it was renamed Yale after an early benefactor, Elihu Yale. In the early 20th century, Yale merged with the Sheffield Scientific School.
Schools and libraries
In addition to a respected undergraduate college, Yale is noted for its law school, medical school, and school of music. The Divinity School was founded in the early 19th century by Congregationalists who felt that the Harvard University divinity school had become too liberal.
Yale's library system is among the largest in North America. The main library, Sterling Memorial Library, contains about 4 million volumes. The Beinecke Rare Book Library is housed in a marble building designed by Gordon Bunshaft, of the firm of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. Its courtyard sculptures are by Isamu Noguchi.
Other resources include the Peabody Museum of Natural History and a museum of British art.
Heads of Collegiate School, Yale College, and Yale University
Rectors of Yale College (birth-death) (years as rector)
1 Rev. Abraham Pierson (1641-1707) (1701-1707) Collegiate School
2 Rev. Samuel Andrew ( - ) (1707-1719) (pro tempore)
3 Rev. Timothy Cutler ( - ) (1719-1726) 1718/9: renamed Yale College
4 Rev. Elisha William (1694-1755) (1726-1739)
5 Rev. Thomas Clap (1703-1767) (1740-1745)
Presidents of Yale College (birth-death) (years as president)
1 Rev. Thomas Clap (1703-1767) (1745-1766)
2 Rev. Naphtali Daggett (1727-1780) (1766-1777) (pro tempore)
3 Rev. Ezra Stiles (1727-1795) (1778-1795)
4 Timothy Dwight IV (1752-1817) (1795-1817)
5 Jeremiah Day (1773-1867) (1817-1846)
6 Theodore Dwight Woolsey (1801-1899) (1846-1871)
7 Noah Porter III (1811-1892) (1871-1886)
8 Timothy Dwight V (1828-1916) (1886-1899) 1887: renamed Yale University
9 Arthur Twining Hadley (1856-1930) (1899-1921)
10 James Rowland Angell (1869-1949) (1921-1937)
11 Charles Seymour (1885-1963) (1937-1951)
12 Alfred Whitney Griswold (1906-1963) (1951-1963)
13 Kingman Brewster, Jr (1919-1988) (1963-1977)
14 Hanna Holborn Gray (1930- ) (1977-1977) (acting)
15 A. Bartlett Giamatti (1938-1989) (1977-1986)
16 Benno C. Schmidt, Jr ( - ) (1986-1992)
17 Howard R. Lamar ( - ) (1992-1993)
18 Richard C. Levin ( - ) (1993- )
Yale has a system of twelve residential colleges, instituted in 1930. The system is loosely modelled after the system found in British universities. However, students are accepted by the university as a whole, and assigned to residential colleges at random. These colleges are social rather than academic units, unlike the colleges at Oxford and Cambridge:
- Pierson - named for Yale's first rector, Abraham Pierson
- Davenport - named for Rev. John Davenport
- Jonathan Edwards - named for theologian Jonathan Edwards (usually called "J.E.")
- Branford - named for Branford, Connecticut
- Saybrook - named for Old Saybrook, Connecticut
- Trumbull - named for Jonathan Trumbull, governor of Connecticut
- Berkeley - named for Rev. George Berkeley (1685-1753)
- Calhoun - named for John C. Calhoun
- Silliman - named for Benjamin Silliman
- Timothy Dwight - named for the two Yale presidents of that name, Timothy Dwight IV and Timothy Dwight V (usually called "T.D.")
- Ezra Stiles - named for Rev. Ezra Stiles
- Morse - named for Samuel Morse
BenefactorsYale has had many financial supporters, but some stand out by the magnitude of their contributions. Among those who have made large donations commemorated at the university are:
Law & Politics
- John Ashcroft, U.S. Attorney General, former U.S. Senator, former Governor of Missouri
- David Boies, famous lawyer (Microsoft antitrust, Bush v. Gore, Napster v. RIAA)
- William F. Buckley, political pundit
- Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr (LLB), Mayor of Oakland, California, former Governor of California
- George H. W. Bush, President of the United States (1989-1993)
- George W. Bush, President of the United States (2001-present)
- Dick Cheney*, Vice President of the United States (2001-present)
- Bill Clinton (JD), President of the United States (1993-2001)
- Hillary Clinton (JD), U.S. Senator, New York
- Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont
- William H. Donaldson, Chairman of the S.E.C., co-founder of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette,
- Gerald Ford (Law), President of the United States (1973-1974)
- David Gergen, political pundit
- Nathan Hale, patriot & martyr, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."
- James Jeffords, U.S. Senator, Vermont
- Joe Lieberman, U.S. Senator, Connecticut
- Gary Locke, Governor of Washington
- John Kerry, U.S. Senator, Massachusetts
- Tony Knowles, Governor of Alaska (1994-2002)
- Paul Krugman, respected economist, Princeton professor, NY Times columnist
- George Pataki, Governor of New York
- Potter Stewart, Supreme Court Justice
- Bob Taft, Governor of Ohio
- William Howard Taft, President of the United States (1909-1913), former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
- Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court Justice
- Byron White, Supreme Court Justice
- Pete Wilson, former Governor of California
- George Akerlof, (2001, Economics)
- Raymond Davis, (2002, Physics)
- John F. Enders, (1954, Physiology or Medicine)
- John Fenn, (2002, Chemistry)
- Murray Gell-Mann, (1969, Physics)
- Alfred G. Gilman, (1994, Physiology or Medicine)
- Ernest Lawrence (Ph.D.), (1939, Physics). Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory & Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory are named after him.
- Joshua Lederberg (Ph.D.), (1958, Physiology or Medicine)
- David Lee (Ph.D. 1959), (1996, Physics)
- Sinclair Lewis, (1930, Literature)
- Lars Onsager (Ph.D.), (1968, Chemistry)
- William Vickrey, (1996, Economics)
- Dickinson Richards, (1956, Physiology or Medicine)
- George Whipple, (1934, Physiology or Medicine)
- Eric Wieschaus (Ph.D.), (1995 , Physiology or Medicine)
- Walter Camp, the “Father of American Football”
- Francis S. Collins, Director, Human Genome Project
- Lee DeForest, inventor of the triode
- W. Edwards Deming (Ph.D.), "total quality management" (TQM) guru
- Irving Fisher (Ph.D.), economist, "father of monetarism"
- J. Willard Gibbs, mathematician, physical chemist, thermodynamicist
- Grace Hopper (Ph. D.), inventor of COBOL programming language
- Art Laffer, economist, best known for the "Laffer Curver"
- Paul D. MacCready, "Engineer of the Century", won the Kremer Prize for first human-powered flying machine, pioneer in solar-powered flight
- Saunders MacLane, mathematician, one of the founders of "category theory"
- Stanley Milgram, psychologist, Milgram experiment, coined the concept "six degrees of separation"
- Samuel Morse, telegraph pioneer, inventor of Morse code
- John Ousterhout, creator of the Tcl programming language
- Ronald Rivest, computer scientist, the "R" in the RSA cryptography algorithm, and co-recipient of the Turing Award in 2002.
- Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin
- Robert Glaser, (B.A. & M.A.) founder & CEO, RealNetworks
- Roberto Goizueta, former CEO, Coca-Cola (Emory's business school is named after him)
- Charles B. Johnson, chairman, Franklin Resources / Franklin Templeton Investments
- Mitch Kapor, founder & CEO, Lotus computer software company
- Herbert Kohler, chairman & president, Kohler Co.
- Clarence King, founder of the US Geological Survey (USGS).
- Edward Lampert, founder & chairman, ESL Investments
- John Franklyn Mars, CEO, Mars Inc. (as in Mars & M&M candy)
- Robert Moses, middle 20th century New York City construction czar.
- Gifford Pinchot, founder of the US Forest Service
- Frederick W. Smith, founder & CEO, FederalExpress
- Richard Thalheimer, founder & CEO of The Sharper Image
- Juan Trippe, founder & CEO, Pan Am
- Alan Dershowitz, law professor at Harvard
- Jonathan Dickinson, founder of Princeton University
- Daniel Coit Gilman, first president of Johns Hopkins University
- William Rainey Harper, first president of the University of Chicago
- Lawrence Lessig, law professor at Stanford
- Reinhold Niebuhr (divinity school)
- Benjamin Spock (medical school), baby expert
- Andrew Dickson White, first president of Cornell University
- Yung Wing first Chinese student to receive an American college degree
- Harold Bloom, American literary critic
- James Fenimore Cooper, author of The Last of the Mohicans
- Charles Ives, composer, classical music.
- John Knowles, author of A Separate Peace
- Maya Lin, architect, best known for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
- Henry R. Luce, co-founder of TIME magazine
- David McCullough, famous historian, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, best known for his books on American Presidents Truman and John Adams.
- Cole Porter, composer
- Garry Trudeau, Doonesbury cartoonist
- Thornton Wilder, playwright, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for the play Our Town
- Naomi Wolf, feminist writer
- Tom Wolfe (PhD), journalist, author of The Right Stuff and Bonfire of the Vanities
- Robert Woodward, journalist and co-author of the Pulitzer Prize winning book All the President's Men
- Noah Webster, author of the dictionary of the English language
- Angela Bassett, actress
- Jennifer Beals, actress, best known for (Flashdance)
- Jordana Brewster, actress, plays Mia in "The Fast and the Furious"
- Michael Cimino, Academy Award winning director
- Jennifer Connelly*, Academy Award winning actress
- Claire Danes, actress, recently in Terminator 3, also in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo & Juliet opposite Leonardo Dicaprio
- Jodie Foster, Academy Award winning actress and director
- David Alan Grier, actor, comedian
- Kathryn Hahn, actress
- George Roy Hill, Academy Award winning director
- Holly Hunter, Academy Award winning actress
- Elia Kazan, Academy Award winning director
- Ron Livingston, actor, best known for Office Space, plays "Jack Berger" in "Sex in the City"
- Frances McDormand (MFA), actress
- Paul Newman, Academy Award winning actor
- Edward Norton, actor
- Vincent Price, actor
- Gene Siskel, movie critic
- Oliver Stone*, Academy Award winning director
- Meryl Streep (MFA), Academy Award winning actress
- John Turturro (MFA), actor
- Sam Waterston, actor
- Sigourney Weaver (MFA), actress
- Dick Cavett, TV personality
- Anderson Cooper, CNN anchor of "Anderson Cooper 360"
- David Duchovny, (M.A. English Literature) actor in the X-files
- Sara Gilbert, actress, best known for her portrayal as the daughter Darlene Conner on the sit-com Roseanne
- Leo Laporte, host of "The Screen Savers" on TechTV
- Chris Noth (MFA), plays "Mr. Big" on "Sex In The City"
- Stone Phillips, television anchor for NBC
- Robert Picardo, the holographic doctor on the syndicated Star Trek:Voyager
- David Hyde Pierce, actor, best known for the character Dr. Niles Crane on Frasier
- Ben Stein (Law), economist, host of "Win Ben Stein's Money."
- Ming Tsai, chef on "East Meets West with Ming Tsai"
- Margaret Warner, Senior Correspondent (co-anchor) on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, a nationally televised news program broadcast every weekday on PBS.
- Henry Winkler (MFA), actor, best known for the character Fonzie on Happy Days