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Harvard University

Private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1636 as Harvard College and named for its first benefactor, the Puritan clergyman John Harvard, it is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Its influence, wealth, and rankings have made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.[9]

Quick facts: Former names, Motto, Motto in English, T...
Harvard University
Latin: Universitas Harvardiana
Former names
Harvard College
MottoVeritas (Latin)[1]
Motto in English
TypePrivate research university
Established1636; 387 years ago (1636)[2]
FounderMassachusetts General Court
Academic affiliations
Endowment$50.9 billion (2022)[3][4]
PresidentClaudine Gay
ProvostAlan Garber
Academic staff
~2,400 faculty members (and >10,400 academic appointments in affiliated teaching hospitals)[5]
Students21,613 (Fall 2022)[6]
Undergraduates7,240 (Fall 2022)[6]
Postgraduates14,373 (Fall 2022)[6]
Location, ,
United States

42°22′28″N 71°07′01″W
CampusMidsize city[7], 209 acres (85 ha)
NewspaperThe Harvard Crimson
ColorsCrimson, white, and black[8]
Sporting affiliations
MascotJohn Harvard Edit this at Wikidata
Logotype of Harvard University

Harvard's founding was authorized by the Massachusetts colonial legislature, "dreading to leave an illiterate ministry to the churches"; though never formally affiliated with any denomination, in its early years Harvard College primarily trained Congregational clergy. Its curriculum and student body were gradually secularized during the 18th century. By the 19th century, Harvard emerged as the most prominent academic and cultural institution among the Boston elite.[10][11] Following the American Civil War, under President Charles William Eliot's long tenure (1869–1909), the college developed multiple affiliated professional schools that transformed the college into a modern research university. In 1900, Harvard co-founded the Association of American Universities.[12] James B. Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II, and liberalized admissions after the war.

The university is composed of ten academic faculties plus the Harvard Radcliffe Institute. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences offers study in a wide range of undergraduate and graduate academic disciplines, and other faculties offer only graduate degrees, including professional degrees. Harvard has three main campuses:[13] the 209-acre (85 ha) Cambridge campus centered on Harvard Yard; an adjoining campus immediately across Charles River in the Allston neighborhood of Boston; and the medical campus in Boston's Longwood Medical Area.[14] Harvard's endowment is valued at $50.9 billion, making it the wealthiest academic institution in the world.[3][4] Endowment income enables the undergraduate college to admit students regardless of financial need and provide financial aid with no loans.[15] Harvard Library is the world's largest academic library system, comprising 79 individual libraries holding 20 million items.[16][17][18][19]

Throughout its existence, Harvard alumni, faculty, and researchers have included 188 living billionaires, 8 U.S. presidents, numerous heads of state, Nobel laureates, Fields Medalists, members of Congress, MacArthur Fellows, Rhodes Scholars, Marshall Scholars, Turing Award Recipients and Fulbright Scholars; by most metrics, Harvard ranks among the top globally in each of these categories.[Notes 1] Additionally, students and alumni have won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, 110 Olympic medals (46 gold), and have founded notable companies.