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American College & University Founders

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  • James S. Rollins, US Congress (1812 - 1888)
    James Sidney Rollins (April 19, 1812 – January 9, 1888) was a nineteenth-century Missouri politician and lawyer. He helped establish the University of Missouri, led the successful effort to ge...
  • Erastus Milo Cravath (1833 - 1900)
    Erastus Milo Cravath (1833–1900) was a field secretary with the American Missionary Association (AMA) after the American Civil War, when he helped found Fisk University in Nashville, Tenness...
  • Gleason Leonard Archer, Sr. (1880 - 1966)
    Gleason Archer, Sr. (October 29, 1880 – June 28, 1966)[1] was the founder and first president of Suffolk University and Suffolk Law School in Boston, Massachusetts. Archer was also an extensive ...
  • Henry Fairchild (1815 - 1889)
    Edward Henry Fairchild (1815–1889) was an American educator. Fairchild was born in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. His father was Grandison Fairchild. When he was a child his family moved to nor...
  • Grandison Fairchild (1792 - 1890)
    randison Fairchild (1792–1890) was an American reformer and active in the founding of Oberlin College. He was born in Sheffield, Massachusetts and died in Brownhelm, Ohio. His sons became ...

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!