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American College & University Founders

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  • Bishop Earl Cranston (1840 - 1932)
    Earl Cranston (June 27, 1840 – August 18, 1932) was an American Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, elected in 1896. He also distinguished himself as a Methodist Pastor and Presiding Elder, and...
  • Reuben Webster Millsaps (1833 - 1916)
    Reuben Millsaps was a founder and chief benefactor of Millsaps College in Jackson. A successful banker, Millsaps founded several banks and was a director of the Illinois Central Railroad. He was also...
  • Edmonds Tennent Brown (1897 - 1969)
    "E. T. BROWN, REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER, DIES — Edmonds Tennent Brown, 72, of 816 Clearview Dr., a co-founder of the Baptist College at Charleston and the real estate developer of Clearview subdivision, ...
  • S. S. Still (1851 - 1931)
    Summerfield Saunders Still (1851-1931) was an osteopath and founder of a school of osteopathy. Still and his wife Ella Daugherty married in 1891 and had two children, Persus (Percy) who became a surg...
  • Charles Tufts (1781 - 1876)
    Charles Tufts (July 16, 1781 – December 24, 1876) was an American businessperson and philanthropist. Biography Born in Medford, Massachusetts to Daniel and Abigail Tufts, he was a descendant of P...

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!






  • Elizabeth City State University, North Carolina -- founded by













South Carolina State University -- founded by





  • Xavier University of Louisiana -- founded by



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!