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American College & University Founders

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  • Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback (1837 - 1921)
    Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback, the son of a Mississippi white planter and a freed slave, became active in Republican Party politics in Louisiana as a delegate in the Republican state convention o...
  • William Shippen, Jr., 2nd Surgeon General of the Continental Army (1736 - 1808)
    . Dr. William Shippen, Jr. (October 21, 1736 – July 11, 1808), was the first systematic teacher of anatomy, surgery and obstetrics in Colonial America and founded the first maternity hospita...
  • John Morgan (1735 - 1789)
    ) John Morgan (June 10, 1735 – October 15, 1789) was co-founder of the Medical College at the University of Pennsylvania, the first medical school in Colonial America; and he served as the s...
  • Rev. Abraham Pierson (c.1641 - 1707)
    Founder and first president of Yale, and namesake of Pierson College. -------------------- One record shows Abraham as the eldest of eleven children. Graduated from Harvard in 1668. In 1669 he join...
  • William Van Duzer Lawrence (1842 - 1927)
    William Van Duzer Lawrence (1842–1927) was a millionaire real-estate and pharmaceutical mogul who is best known for having founded Sarah Lawrence College in 1926. He played a critical role in ...

This project aims to gather together all of the Geni profiles of people who directly founded American colleges and universities. Anyone who solely founded an institution can be added.

Who Is a Founder?

Please read this section carefully before adding anyone to this project. Thanks!

A specific founder is usually listed on the "History" page of any major college or university's website. In many cases, an institution may have been founded by a small group of trustees or governors. Right now, we are most interested in the primary founders. (For example, while a small group of men founded Yale University, Rev. James Pierpont is universally considered the primary founder.)

If you have any questions about whether an individual is a founder, please feel free to use the Discussions area of this project.

Please note: Being the namesake, benefactor, or first president of an institution does NOT automatically mean having founded it. Many colleges named for people were not founded by those people. Harvard, for example, was founded by the Massachusetts legislature and not by John Harvard.

List of Founders (Alphabetical by College)

NOTE: Founders not in bold need to be added. If you collaborate on those profiles, please add them and then embolden their name. Thank you!





















About This Project

This project was started in May 2011 by Ashley, a member of the History of Education Society. Feel free to contact her with any questions -- or, better yet, use the Discussions area to connect with all collaborators!