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Harvard University is the oldest and, arguably, the most prestigious
university in the United States. In 2005, the Times Higher Education Supplement
and the Academic Ranking of World Universities both ranked Harvard University
first among the universities of the world. In addition, the US News and World
Report rankings placed Harvard at the top of the list in a tie with Princeton.
Moreover, with a financial endowment of $25. 5 billion in 2005, Harvard is
considered the wealthiest university in the United States and in the
Located at Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard was founded in 1663,
incorporated as “The President and Fellows of Harvard College. ” It was named
Harvard College in 1639 after John Harvard, a young clergyman and the
institution’s first principal donor. John Harvard, a product of Emmanuel College
in Cambridge, left in his will several hundred pounds and a few hundred books to
the college, which formed the foundation of its college library collection. On
record, the first known official reference to Harvard as a “university” rather
than a college was in 1780 in the Massachusetts Constitution.
tenure as Harvard president from 1869 to 1909, Charles Park instituted a number
of radical changes that made the university into what was then known as the
modern research university. Among his reforms were elective courses, small
classes and entrance examinations. Owing to its successful implementation of
these reforms, Harvard served as the model that influenced the American
educational system greatly, both at the college and secondary levels.
1999, Radcliffe College, which was originally founded as the “Harvard Annex” for
women, was formally merged with Harvard University to form the Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study.
Today, Harvard has the fourth largest
library collection in the world and the largest financial endowment of any
academic institution. It lists over 6,000 undergraduate and 13,000 postgraduate
students as well as a staff of 2,300. Its well-known motto is “veritas” or
truth. Since 1875, the official school color is crimson and that’s also the name
given to Harvard sports teams as well as the daily school newspaper, The Harvard