Yale University is a private Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States.
Incorporated as the Collegiate School, the institution traces its roots to 17th-century clergymen who sought to establish a college to train clergy and political leaders for the colony. In 1718, the College was renamed Yale College to honor a gift from Elihu Yale, a governor of the British East India Company. Yale College was transformed, beginning in the 1930s, through the establishment of residential colleges: 12 now exist and two more are planned.
Today, Yale has matured into one of the world’s great universities. Its 11,000 students come from all fifty American states and from 108 countries. The 3,200-member faculty is a richly diverse group of men and women who are leaders in their respective fields. The central campus now covers 310 acres (125 hectares) stretching from the School of Nursing in downtown New Haven to tree-shaded residential neighborhoods around the Divinity School. Yale’s 260 buildings include contributions from distinguished architects of every period in its history. Yale’s buildings, towers, lawns, courtyards, walkways, gates, and arches comprise what one architecture critic has called “the most beautiful urban campus in America.” Yale's West Campus, located 7 miles west of downtown New Haven on 136 acres, was acquired in 2007 and includes 1.6 million square feet of research, office, and warehouse space that provides opportunities to enhance the University’s medical and scientific research and other academic programs.
The University's assets include a $16.3 billion endowment, the second largest of any academic institution, as well as the second largest academic library in the world, with some 12.5 million volumes held in more than two dozen libraries. 49 Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the University as students, faculty, or staff. Yale has produced many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, nineteen U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and several foreign heads of state.