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Yale University

Yale University is an American private Ivy League research university located in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States.

Originally chartered as the "Collegiate School", the institution traces its roots to 17th-century clergymen who sought to establish a college to train clergy and political leaders for the colony. In 1718, the College was renamed "Yale College" to honor a gift from Elihu Yale, a governor of the British East India Company. In 1861, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences became the first U.S. institution to award the PhD.Yale became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. Yale College was transformed, beginning in the 1930s, through the establishment of residential colleges: 12 now exist and two more are planned. Yale employs over 1,100 faculty to teach and advise about 5,300 undergraduate and 6,100 graduate and professional students. Almost all tenured professors teach undergraduate courses, more than 2,000 of which are offered annually.

The University's assets include an endowment valued at $19.4 billion as of 2011,the second-largest of any academic institution in the world. Yale's system of more than two dozen libraries holds 12.5 million volumes.49 Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the University as students, faculty, and staff. Yale has produced many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and several foreign heads of state. Yale Law School is particularly well-regarded and the most selective law school in the United States.

History

A Front View of Yale-College and the College Chapel, Daniel Bowen, 1786.

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, in 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 of whom were alumni of Harvard, met in the study of Reverend Samuel Russell in Branford, Connecticut, to pool their books to form the school's first library.The group, led by James Pierpont, is now known as "The Founders".

Originally called the "Collegiate School", the institution opened in the home of its first rector, Abraham Pierson,in Killingworth (now Clinton). The school moved to Saybrook, and then Wethersfield. In 1718 the college moved to New Haven, Connecticut.

First diploma awarded by Yale College, granted to Nathaniel Chauncey, 1702.

Meanwhile, a rift was 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.

In 1718, at the behest of either Rector Samuel Andrew or the colony's Governor Gurdon Saltonstall, Cotton Mather contacted a successful businessman in Wales named Elihu Yale 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 India 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. Yale also donated 417 books and a portrait of King George I. Cotton Mather suggested that the school change its name to Yale College in gratitude to its benefactor, and to increase the chances that he would give the college another large donation or bequest. Elihu Yale was away in India when the news of the school's name change reached his home in Wrexham, Wales, a trip from which he never returned. While he did ultimately leave his fortunes to the "Collegiate School within His Majesties Colony of Connecticot", the institution was never able to successfully lay claim to it.

Curriculum

Yale was swept up by the great intellectual movements of the period—the Great Awakening and the Enlightenment—thanks 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.

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.Fortunately, 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, for his efforts.

Students

As the only college in Connecticut, Yale educated the sons of the elite.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 i

ts tutor corps, while Yale had youth and zeal on its side. 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.

20th century

Behavioral sciences

Between 1925 and 1940, philanthropic foundations, especially ones connected with the Rockefellers, contributed about $7 million to support the Yale Institute of Human Relations and the affiliated Yerkes Laboratories of Primate Biology. The money went toward behavioral science research, which was supported by foundation officers who aimed to "improve mankind" under an informal, loosely defined human engineering effort. The behavioral scientists at Yale, led by President James R. Angell and psychobiologist Robert M. Yerkes, tapped into foundation largesse by crafting research programs aimed to investigate, then suggest, ways to control, sexual and social behavior. For example, Yerkes analyzed chimpanzee sexual behavior in hopes of illuminating the evolutionary underpinnings of human development and providing information that could ameliorate dysfunction.

Ultimately, the behavioral-science results disappointed foundation officers, who shifted their human-engineering funds toward biological sciences.

Biology

Slack (2003) compares three groups that conducted biological research at Yale during overlapping periods between 1910 and 1970. Yale proved important as a site for this research. The leaders of these groups were Ross Granville Harrison, Grace E. Pickford, and G. Evelyn Hutchinson, and their members included both graduate students and more experienced scientists. All produced innovative research, including the opening of new subfields in embryology, endocrinology, and ecology, respectively, over a long period of time. Harrison's group is shown to have been a classic research school; Pickford's and Hutchinson's were not. Pickford's group was successful in spite of her lack of departmental or institutional position or power. Hutchinson and his graduate and postgraduate students were extremely productive, but in diverse areas of ecology rather than one focused area of research or the use of one set of research tools. Hutchinson's example shows that new models for research groups are needed, especially for those that include extensive field research.

Medicine

Milton Winternitz led the Yale Medical School as its dean from 1920 to 1935. An innovative, even maverick, leader, he not only kept the school from going under but also turned it into a first-class research institution.Dedicated to the new scientific medicine established in Germany, he was equally fervent about "social medicine" and the study of humans in their culture and environment. He established the "Yale System" of teaching, with few lectures and fewer exams, and strengthened the full-time faculty system; he also created the graduate-level Yale School of Nursing and the Psychiatry Department, and built numerous new buildings. Progress toward his plans for an Institute of Human Relations, envisioned as a refuge where social scientists would collaborate with biological scientists in a holistic study of humankind, unfortunately lasted for only a few years before the opposition of resentful anti-Semitic colleagues drove him to resign.

Faculty

Before World War II, most elite university faculties counted among their numbers few, if any, Jews, blacks, women, or other minorities; Yale was no exception. By 1980, this condition had been altered dramatically, as numerous members of those groups held faculty positions.

History and American Studies

The American studies program reflected the worldwide anti-Communist ideological struggle. Norman Holmes Pearson, who worked for the Office of Strategic Studies in London during World War II, returned to Yale and headed the new American studies program, in which scholarship quickly became an instrument of promoting liberty. Popular among undergraduates, the program sought to instruct them in the fundamentals of American civilization and thereby instill a sense of nationalism and national purpose.Also during the 1940s and 1950s, Wyoming millionaire William R. Coe made large contributions to the American studies programs at Yale University and at the University of Wyoming. Coe was concerned to celebrate the 'values' of the Western United States in order to meet the "threat of communism."

Women

Women studied at Yale University as early as 1892, in graduate-level programs at the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. In 1966, Yale began discussions with its sister school Vassar College about merging to foster coeducation at the undergraduate level. Vassar, then all-female, declined the invitation. Both schools introduced coeducation independently in 1969.Amy Solomon was the first woman to register as a Yale undergraduate;she was also the first woman at Yale to join an undergraduate society, St. Anthony Hall.

A decade into co-education, rampant student assault and harassment by faculty became the impetus for the trailblazing lawsuit Alexander v. Yale. While unsuccessful in the courts, the legal reasoning behind the case changed the landscape of sex discrimination law and resulted in the establishment of Yale's Grievance Board and the Yale Women's Center.In March 2011 a Title IX complaint was filed against Yale.

Class

Yale, like other Ivy League schools, instituted policies in the early 20th century designed to increase the proportion of white Protestants of notable families in the student body (see numerus clausus), and was one of the last of the Ivies to eliminate such preferences, beginning with the class of 1970.

Town-gown relations

Yale has a complicated relationship with its home city; for example, thousands of students volunteer every year in a myriad of community organizations, but city officials, who decry Yale's exemption from local property taxes, have long pressed the university to do more to help. Under President Levin, Yale has financially supported many of New Haven's efforts to reinvigorate the city. Evidence suggests that the town and gown relationships are mutually beneficial. Still, the economic power of the university increased dramatically with its financial success amid a decline in the local economy.

Yale in the 21st century

In 2006, Yale and Peking University (PKU) established a Joint Undergraduate Program in Beijing, an exchange program allowing Yale students to spend a semester living and studying with PKU honor students.

In 2007 outgoing Yale President Rick Levin characterized Yale's institutional priorities: "First, among the nation's finest research universities, Yale is distinctively committed to excellence in undergraduate education. Second, in our graduate and professional schools, as well as in Yale College, we are committed to the education of leaders."

The Boston Globe wrote that "if there's one school that can lay claim to educating the nation's top national leaders over the past three decades, it's Yale."Yale alumni were represented on the Democratic or Republican ticket in every U.S. Presidential election between 1972 and 2004. Yale-educated Presidents since the end of the Vietnam War include Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, and major-party nominees during this period include John Kerry (2004), Joseph Lieberman (Vice President, 2000), and Sargent Shriver (Vice President, 1972). Other Yale alumni who made serious bids for the Presidency during this period include Hillary Rodham Clinton (2008), Howard Dean (2004), Gary Hart (1984 and 1988), Paul Tsongas (1992), Pat Robertson (1988) and Jerry Brown (1976, 1980, 1992).

Several explanations have been offered for Yale's representation in national elections since the end of the Vietnam War. Various sources note the spirit of campus activism that has existed at Yale since the 1960s, and the intellectual influence of Reverend William Sloane Coffin on many of the future candidates.Yale President Richard Levin attributes the run to Yale's focus on creating "a laboratory for future leaders," an institutional priority that began during the tenure of Yale Presidents Alfred Whitney Griswold and Kingman Brewster.Richard H. Brodhead, former dean of Yale College and now president of Duke University, stated: "We do give very significant attention to orientation to the community in our admissions, and there is a very strong tradition of volunteerism at Yale."Yale historian Gaddis Smith notes "an ethos of organized activity" at Yale during the 20th century that led John Kerry to lead the Yale Political Union's Liberal Party, George Pataki the Conservative Party, and Joseph Lieberman to manage the Yale Daily News.Camille Paglia points to a history of networking and elitism: "It has to do with a web of friendships and affiliations built up in school."CNN suggests that George W. Bush benefited from preferential admissions policies for the "son and grandson of alumni", and for a "member of a politically influential family."New York Times correspondent Elisabeth Bumiller and The Atlantic Monthly correspondent James Fallows credit the culture of community and cooperation that exists between students, faculty, and administration, which downplays self-interest and reinforces commitment to others.

During the 1988 presidential election, George H. W. Bush (Yale '48) derided Michael Dukakis for having "foreign-policy views born in Harvard Yard's boutique". When challenged on the distinction between Dukakis's Harvard connection and his own Yale background, he said that, unlike Harvard, Yale's reputation was "so diffuse, there isn't a symbol, I don't think, in the Yale situation, any symbolism in it" and said Yale did not share Harvard's reputation for "liberalism and elitism".In 2004 Howard Dean stated, "In some ways, I consider myself separate from the other three (Yale) candidates of 2004. Yale changed so much between the class of '68 and the class of '71. My class was the first class to have women in it; it was the first class to have a significant effort to recruit African Americans. It was an extraordinary time, and in that span of time is the change of an entire generation".

In 2009, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair picked Yale as one location – the others are Britain's Durham University and Universiti Teknologi Mara – for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation's United States Faith and Globalization Initiative.As of 2009, former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo is the director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization and teaches an undergraduate seminar, "Debating Globalization".As of 2009, former presidential candidate and DNC chair Howard Dean teaches a residential college seminar, "Understanding Politics and Politicians."Also in 2009, an alliance was formed among Yale, University College London, and both schools' affiliated hospital complexes to conduct research focused on the direct improvement of patient care—a growing field known as translational medicine. President Richard Levin noted that Yale has hundreds of other partnerships across the world, but "no existing collaboration matches the scale of the new partnership with UCL".

In July 2012, the Peking University-Yale University Joint Undergraduate Program in Beijing ended due to weak participation

Administration and organization

The President and Fellows of Yale College, also known as the Yale Corporation, is the governing board of the University.

Yale's president Richard C. Levin is one of the highest paid university presidents in the United States with a 2008 salary of $1.5 million.

The Yale Provost's Office has launched several women into prominent university presidencies. In 1977 Hanna Holborn Gray was appointed acting President of Yale from this position, and went on to become President of the University of Chicago, the first woman to be full president of a major university. In 1994 Yale Provost Judith Rodin became the first female president of an Ivy League institution at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2002 Provost Alison Richard became the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. In 2004, Provost Susan Hockfield became the President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2007 Deputy Provost Kim Bottomly was named President of Wellesley College.

In 2008 Provost Andrew Hamilton was confirmed to be the Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford.Former Dean of Yale College Richard H. Brodhead serves as the President of Duke University.

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