When Was Harvard Founded?


Quick Answer

Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest university in the United States. Voted into existence by the Massachusetts Bay Colony court, the university had only nine students in its first graduating class who were all studying for the same degree.

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Full Answer

The school is named after its first benefactor, John Harvard, and it has a statue of him erected in Harvard Yard. He's credited for leaving half of his estate and his entire library to the school.

Harvard is one of the leading Ivy League universities, and it boasts more than 20,000 students. The school has one large campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but offers degrees in 12 different schools located on the main campus.

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