Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

American College & University Founders

« Back to Projects Dashboard

view all


  • Brig. General Robert Lowry (CSA), Governor (1830 - 1910)
    ) Robert Lowry (March 10, 1830 – January 19, 1910) was an American politician, born in South Carolina and raised in Mississippi. During the American Civil War he rose from the rank of private ...
  • David Otis Fuller (1903 - 1988)
    David Otis Fuller (November 20, 1903 – February 21, 1988) was a graduate of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois and Princeton Theological Seminary. He pastored Chelsea Baptist Church in Atlan...
  • Col. Thomas White (1704 - 1779)
    Lawyer and surveyor Thomas White was born in London and educated at St. Albans grammar school just outside London, England. In 1720 he left England for the colonies, living first in Maryland. Here he w...
  • Rev. David Frederick Bittle (1811 - 1876)
    The son of Thomas Bittle and Mary Baer and husband of Louisa C. Krauth, David Frederick Bittle and fellow Pennsylvania College at Gettysburg graduate, Christopher C. Baughman, started a school in Augus...
  • Elbridge G. Spaulding (1809 - 1897)
    Elbridge Gerry Spaulding (February 24, 1809 – May 5, 1897) was an American lawyer, banker, and Republican Party politician. He opposed slavery and supported the idea for the first U.S. currenc...

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!