Yale University is an American private
Ivy League research university
in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701, it is the third-oldest
institution of higher education in the
United States and one of the
Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution.
Connecticut Colony, the "Collegiate School" was
established by clergy in
Saybrook Colony to educate Congregational
ministers. It moved to
New Haven in 1716 and shortly after was renamed
Yale College in recognition of a gift from British East India Company
governor Elihu Yale. Originally restricted to theology and sacred
languages, the curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences
by the time of the American Revolution. In the 19th century, the
school introduced graduate and professional instruction, awarding the
first Ph.D. in the
United States in 1861 and organizing as a
university in 1887. Its faculty and student populations grew
rapidly after 1890 with rapid expansion of the physical campus and
Yale is organized into fourteen constituent schools: the original
undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
and twelve professional schools. While the university is governed by
the Yale Corporation, each school's faculty oversees its curriculum
and degree programs. In addition to a central campus in downtown New
Haven, the University owns athletic facilities in western New Haven, a
campus in West Haven,
Connecticut and forest and nature preserves
throughout New England. The university's assets include an endowment
valued at $25.4 billion as of June 2016, the second largest of any
U.S. educational institution. The
Yale University Library, serving
all constituent schools, holds more than 15 million volumes and is the
third-largest academic library in the United States.
Yale College undergraduates follow a liberal arts curriculum with
departmental majors and are organized into a social system of
residential colleges. Almost all faculty teach undergraduate courses,
more than 2,000 of which are offered annually. Students compete
intercollegiately as the
Yale Bulldogs in the
NCAA Division I
NCAA Division I – Ivy
As of 2017, 60 Nobel laureates, 5 Fields Medalists and 3 Turing award
winners have been affiliated with Yale University. In addition, Yale
has graduated many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19
U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 20 living billionaires and many heads
of state. Hundreds of members of Congress and many high-level U.S.
diplomats, 78 MacArthur Fellows, 247 Rhodes Scholars and 119
Marshall Scholars have been affiliated with the university.
1.1 Early history of Yale College
1.1.2 Naming and development
1.2 19th century
1.2.1 Sports and debate
1.3 20th century
1.3.1 Behavioral sciences
1.3.5 History and American studies
1.3.8 Town–gown relations
1.4 21st century
2 Administration and organization
2.2 Staff and labor unions
3.1 Notable nonresidential campus buildings
3.2 Relationship with New Haven
3.2.1 Campus safety
4.4 Faculty, research, and intellectual traditions
5 Campus life
5.1 Residential colleges
5.1.1 Calhoun College
5.2 Student organizations
6 Notable people
6.2 Notable alumni and faculty
7 Yale in fiction and popular culture
8 Notes and references
9 Further reading
9.1 Secret societies
10 External links
Charter creating Collegiate School, which became Yale College, October
A Front View of Yale-College and the College Chapel, Daniel Bowen,
Coat of arms of the family of Elihu Yale, after whom the University
was named in 1718
Early history of Yale College
Official seal used by the College and the University
Yale traces its beginnings to "An Act for Liberty to Erect a
Collegiate School", passed by the General Court of the Colony of
Connecticut on October 9, 1701 while meeting in New Haven. The Act was
an effort to create an institution to train ministers and lay
leadership for Connecticut. Soon thereafter, a group of ten
Congregational ministers: Samuel Andrew, Thomas Buckingham, Israel
Chauncy, Samuel Mather, Rev.
James Noyes II (son of James Noyes),
James Pierpont, Abraham Pierson, Noadiah Russell, Joseph Webb and
Timothy Woodbridge, all alumni of Harvard, met in the study of
Reverend Samuel Russell in Branford, Connecticut, to pool their books
to form the school's library. The group, led by James Pierpont, is
now known as "The Founders".
Originally known as the "Collegiate School", the institution opened in
the home of its first rector, Abraham Pierson, in Killingworth
(now Clinton). The school moved to Saybrook, and then Wethersfield. In
1716, the college moved to New Haven, Connecticut.
Meanwhile, there was a rift forming at
Harvard between its sixth
Increase Mather and the rest of the
Harvard clergy, whom
Mather viewed as increasingly liberal, ecclesiastically lax and overly
broad in Church polity. The feud caused the Mathers to champion the
success of the Collegiate School in the hope that it would maintain
Puritan religious orthodoxy in a way that
Harvard had not.
Naming and development
In 1718, at the behest of either Rector
Samuel Andrew or the colony's
Governor Gurdon Saltonstall,
Cotton Mather contacted the successful
Boston born businessman
Elihu Yale to ask him for financial help in
constructing a new building for the college. Through the persuasion of
Jeremiah Dummer, Yale, who had made a fortune through trade while
living in Madras as a representative of the East India Company,
donated nine bales of goods, which were sold for more than £560, a
substantial sum at the time.
Cotton Mather suggested that the school
change its name to "Yale College". (The name Yale is the Anglicised
spelling of the Welsh toponym, Iâl. from the family estate at Plas yn
Iâl near the village of Llandegla, Denbighshire, Wales).
Harvard graduate working in England convinced some 180
prominent intellectuals that they should donate books to Yale. The
1714 shipment of 500 books represented the best of modern English
literature, science, philosophy and theology. It had a profound
effect on intellectuals at Yale. Undergraduate Jonathan Edwards
discovered John Locke's works and developed his original theology
known as the "new divinity". In 1722 the Rector and six of his
friends, who had a study group to discuss the new ideas, announced
that they had given up Calvinism, become Arminians and joined the
Church of England. They were ordained in England and returned to the
colonies as missionaries for the Anglican faith.
Thomas Clapp became
president in 1745 and struggled to return the college to Calvinist
orthodoxy, but he did not close the library. Other students found
Deist books in the library.
Yale was swept up by the great intellectual movements of the
Great Awakening and the Enlightenment—due to the
religious and scientific interests of presidents
Thomas Clap and Ezra
Stiles. They were both instrumental in developing the scientific
curriculum at Yale, while dealing with wars, student tumults,
graffiti, "irrelevance" of curricula, desperate need for endowment and
fights with the
Serious American students of theology and divinity, particularly in
New England, regarded Hebrew as a classical language, along with Greek
and Latin, and essential for study of the
Old Testament in the
original words. The Reverend Ezra Stiles, president of the College
from 1778 to 1795, brought with him his interest in the Hebrew
language as a vehicle for studying ancient Biblical texts in their
original language (as was common in other schools), requiring all
freshmen to study Hebrew (in contrast to Harvard, where only
upperclassmen were required to study the language) and is responsible
for the Hebrew phrase אורים ותמים (Urim and Thummim) on the
Yale seal. A 1746 graduate of Yale, Stiles came to the college with
experience in education, having played an integral role in the
Brown University in addition to having been a
minister. Stiles' greatest challenge occurred in July 1779 when
hostile British forces occupied
New Haven and threatened to raze the
College. However, Yale graduate Edmund Fanning, Secretary to the
British General in command of the occupation, interceded and the
College was saved. In 1803, Fanning was granted an honorary degree
LL.D. for his efforts.
First diploma awarded by Yale College, granted to Nathaniel Chauncey,
As the only college in Connecticut, Yale educated the sons of the
elite. Offenses for which students were punished included
cardplaying, tavern-going, destruction of college property, and acts
of disobedience to college authorities. During the period,
distinctive for the stability and maturity of its tutor corps, while
Yale had youth and zeal on its side.
The emphasis on classics gave rise to a number of private student
societies, open only by invitation, which arose primarily as forums
for discussions of modern scholarship, literature and politics. The
first such organizations were debating societies: Crotonia in 1738,
Linonia in 1753 and
Brothers in Unity
Brothers in Unity in 1768.
Woolsey Hall in c. 1905
The Yale Report of 1828 was a dogmatic defense of the
Latin and Greek
curriculum against critics who wanted more courses in modern
languages, mathematics, and science. Unlike higher education in
Europe, there was no national curriculum for colleges and universities
in the United States. In the competition for students and financial
support, college leaders strove to keep current with demands for
innovation. At the same time, they realized that a significant portion
of their students and prospective students demanded a classical
background. The Yale report meant the classics would not be abandoned.
All institutions experimented with changes in the curriculum, often
resulting in a dual-track. In the decentralized environment of higher
education in the United States, balancing change with tradition was a
common challenge because no one could afford to be completely modern
or completely classical. A group of professors at Yale and New
Haven Congregationalist ministers articulated a conservative response
to the changes brought about by the Victorian culture. They
concentrated on developing a whole man possessed of religious values
sufficiently strong to resist temptations from within, yet flexible
enough to adjust to the 'isms' (professionalism, materialism,
individualism, and consumerism) tempting him from without. William
Graham Sumner, professor from 1872 to 1909, taught in the emerging
disciplines of economics and sociology to overflowing classrooms. He
bested President Noah Porter, who disliked social science and wanted
Yale to lock into its traditions of classical education. Porter
objected to Sumner's use of a textbook by
Herbert Spencer that
espoused agnostic materialism because it might harm students.
Until 1887, the legal name of the university was "The President and
Fellows of Yale College, in New Haven". In 1887, under an act passed
Connecticut General Assembly, Yale gained its current, and
shorter, name of "Yale University".
Sports and debate
The Revolutionary War soldier
Nathan Hale (Yale 1773) was the
prototype of the Yale ideal in the early 19th century: a manly
yet aristocratic scholar, equally well-versed in knowledge and sports,
and a patriot who "regretted" that he "had but one life to lose" for
his country. Western painter
Frederic Remington (Yale 1900) was an
artist whose heroes gloried in combat and tests of strength in the
Wild West. The fictional, turn-of-the-20th-century Yale man Frank
Merriwell embodied the heroic ideal without racial prejudice, and his
fictional successor Frank Stover in the novel Stover at Yale (1911)
questioned the business mentality that had become prevalent at the
school. Increasingly the students turned to athletic stars as their
heroes, especially since winning the big game became the goal of the
student body, and the alumni, as well as the team itself.
Yale's four-oared crew team, posing with 1876 Centennial Regatta
trophy, won at Philadelphia.
Harvard and Princeton, Yale students rejected elite British
concepts about 'amateurism' in sports and constructed athletic
programs that were uniquely American, such as football. The
Harvard–Yale football rivalry
Harvard–Yale football rivalry began in 1875. Between 1892, when
Harvard and Yale met in one of the first intercollegiate debates
and 1909 (the year of the first Triangular Debate of Harvard, Yale and
Princeton) the rhetoric, symbolism, and metaphors used in athletics
were used to frame these early debates. Debates were covered on front
pages of college newspapers and emphasized in yearbooks, and team
members even received the equivalent of athletic letters for their
jackets. There even were rallies sending off the debating teams to
matches, but the debates never attained the broad appeal that
athletics enjoyed. One reason may be that debates do not have a clear
winner, as is the case in sports, and that scoring is subjective. In
addition, with late 19th-century concerns about the impact of modern
life on the human body, athletics offered hope that neither the
individual nor the society was coming apart.
In 1909–10, football faced a crisis resulting from the failure of
the previous reforms of 1905–06 to solve the problem of serious
injuries. There was a mood of alarm and mistrust, and, while the
crisis was developing, the presidents of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton
developed a project to reform the sport and forestall possible radical
changes forced by government upon the sport. President Arthur Hadley
of Yale, A. Lawrence Lowell of Harvard, and Woodrow Wilson of
Princeton worked to develop moderate changes to reduce injuries. Their
attempts, however, were reduced by rebellion against the rules
committee and formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association.
The big three had tried to operate independently of the majority, but
changes did reduce injuries.
Connecticut Hall, oldest building on the Yale campus, built between
1750 and 1753.
Yale expanded gradually, establishing the Yale School of Medicine
Yale Divinity School
Yale Divinity School (1822),
Yale Law School
Yale Law School (1843), Yale
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1847), the Sheffield Scientific
School (1847), and the Yale School of Fine Arts (1869). In 1887,
as the college continued to grow under the presidency of Timothy
Yale College was renamed Yale University, with the name
Yale College subsequently applied to the undergraduate college. The
university would later add the
Yale School of Music
Yale School of Music (1894), the Yale
School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (founded by Gifford
Pinchot in 1900), the
Yale School of Public Health
Yale School of Public Health (1915), the Yale
School of Nursing (1923), the Yale School of Drama(1955), the Yale
Physician Associate Program (1973) and the Yale School of Management
(1976). It would also reorganize its relationship with the Sheffield
Expansion caused controversy about Yale's new roles. Noah Porter,
moral philosopher, was president from 1871 to 1886. During an age of
tremendous expansion in higher education, Porter resisted the rise of
the new research university, claiming that an eager embrace of its
ideals would corrupt undergraduate education. Many of Porter's
contemporaries criticized his administration, and historians since
have disparaged his leadership. Levesque argues Porter was not a
simple-minded reactionary, uncritically committed to tradition, but a
principled and selective conservative. He did not endorse
everything old or reject everything new; rather, he sought to apply
long-established ethical and pedagogical principles to a rapidly
changing culture. He may have misunderstood some of the challenges of
his time, but he correctly anticipated the enduring tensions that have
accompanied the emergence and growth of the modern university.
Richard Rummell's 1906 watercolor of the Yale campus, facing north.
Between 1925 and 1940, philanthropic foundations, especially ones
connected with the Rockefellers, contributed about $7 million to
support the Yale Institute of Human Relations and the affiliated
Yerkes Laboratories of Primate Biology. The money went toward
behavioral science research, which was supported by foundation
officers who aimed to "improve mankind" under an informal, loosely
defined human engineering effort. The behavioral scientists at Yale,
led by President
James R. Angell
James R. Angell and psychobiologist Robert M. Yerkes,
tapped into foundation largesse by crafting research programs aimed to
investigate, then suggest, ways to control, sexual and social
behavior. For example, Yerkes analyzed chimpanzee sexual behavior in
hopes of illuminating the evolutionary underpinnings of human
development and providing information that could ameliorate
dysfunction. Ultimately, the behavioral-science results disappointed
foundation officers, who shifted their human-engineering funds toward
Old Brick Row in 1807.
Slack (2003) compares three groups that conducted biological research
at Yale during overlapping periods between 1910 and 1970. Yale proved
important as a site for this research. The leaders of these groups
were Ross Granville Harrison, Grace E. Pickford, and G. Evelyn
Hutchinson, and their members included both graduate students and more
experienced scientists. All produced innovative research, including
the opening of new subfields in embryology, endocrinology, and
ecology, respectively, over a long period of time. Harrison's group is
shown to have been a classic research school; Pickford's and
Hutchinson's were not. Pickford's group was successful in spite of her
lack of departmental or institutional position or power. Hutchinson
and his graduate and postgraduate students were extremely productive,
but in diverse areas of ecology rather than one focused area of
research or the use of one set of research tools. Hutchinson's example
shows that new models for research groups are needed, especially for
those that include extensive field research.
Milton Winternitz led the
Yale School of Medicine
Yale School of Medicine as its dean from
1920 to 1935. Dedicated to the new scientific medicine established in
Germany, he was equally fervent about "social medicine" and the study
of humans in their culture and environment. He established the "Yale
System" of teaching, with few lectures and fewer exams, and
strengthened the full-time faculty system; he also created the
Yale School of Nursing
Yale School of Nursing and the Psychiatry Department,
and built numerous new buildings. Progress toward his plans for an
Institute of Human Relations, envisioned as a refuge where social
scientists would collaborate with biological scientists in a holistic
study of humankind, unfortunately lasted for only a few years before
the opposition of resentful anti-Semitic colleagues drove him to
Before World War II, most elite university faculties counted
among their numbers few, if any, Jews, blacks, women, or other
minorities; Yale was no exception. By 1980, this condition had been
altered dramatically, as numerous members of those groups held faculty
History and American studies
The American studies program reflected the worldwide anti-Communist
ideological struggle. Norman Holmes Pearson, who worked for the Office
of Strategic Studies in London during World War II, returned to Yale
and headed the new American studies program, in which scholarship
quickly became an instrument of promoting liberty. Popular among
undergraduates, the program sought to instruct them in the
fundamentals of American civilization and thereby instill a sense of
nationalism and national purpose. Also during the 1940s and 1950s,
William Robertson Coe
William Robertson Coe made large contributions to
the American studies programs at
Yale University and at the University
of Wyoming. Coe was concerned to celebrate the 'values' of the Western
United States in order to meet the "threat of communism".
Lucinda Foote passed the entrance exams for Yale College, but
was rejected by the President on the basis of her gender. Women
Yale University as early as 1892, in graduate-level
programs at the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
In 1966, Yale began discussions with its sister school Vassar College
about merging to foster coeducation at the undergraduate level.
Vassar, then all-female and part of the Seven Sisters—elite higher
education schools that historically served as sister institutions to
Ivy League when the
Ivy League still only admitted
men—tentatively accepted, but then declined the invitation. Both
schools introduced coeducation independently in 1969. Amy Solomon
was the first woman to register as a Yale undergraduate; she was
also the first woman at Yale to join an undergraduate society, St.
Anthony Hall. The undergraduate class of 1973 was the first class to
have women starting from freshman year; at the time, all
undergraduate women were housed in Vanderbilt Hall at the south end of
A decade into co-education, student assault and harassment by faculty
became the impetus for the trailblazing lawsuit Alexander v. Yale.
While unsuccessful in the courts, the legal reasoning behind the case
changed the landscape of sex discrimination law and resulted in the
establishment of Yale's Grievance Board and the Yale Women's
Center. In March 2011 a
Title IX complaint was filed against Yale
by students and recent graduates, including editors of Yale's feminist
magazine Broad Recognition, alleging that the university had a hostile
sexual climate. In response, the university formed a Title IX
steering committee to address complaints of sexual misconduct.
Yale, like other
Ivy League schools, instituted policies in the early
20th century designed to maintain the proportion of white Protestants
from notable families in the student body (see numerus clausus), and
was one of the last of the Ivies to eliminate such preferences,
beginning with the class of 1970.
Yale has a complicated relationship with its home city; for example,
thousands of students volunteer every year in a myriad of community
organizations, but city officials, who decry Yale's exemption from
local property taxes, have long pressed the university to do more to
help. Under President Levin, Yale has financially supported many of
New Haven's efforts to reinvigorate the city. Evidence suggests that
the town and gown relationships are mutually beneficial. Still, the
economic power of the university increased dramatically with its
financial success amid a decline in the local economy.
In 2006, Yale and
Peking University (PKU) established a Joint
Undergraduate Program in Beijing, an exchange program allowing Yale
students to spend a semester living and studying with PKU honor
students. In July 2012, the Peking University-Yale University
Program ended due to weak participation.
In 2007 outgoing Yale President
Rick Levin characterized Yale's
institutional priorities: "First, among the nation's finest research
universities, Yale is distinctively committed to excellence in
undergraduate education. Second, in our graduate and professional
schools, as well as in Yale College, we are committed to the education
President George W. Bush, a Yale alumnus, criticized the university
for the snobbery and intellectual arrogance he encountered as a
Boston Globe wrote that "if there's one school that can lay claim
to educating the nation's top national leaders over the past three
decades, it's Yale".
Yale alumni were represented on the
Democratic or Republican ticket in every U.S. Presidential election
between 1972 and 2004. Yale-educated Presidents since the end of the
Vietnam War include Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and
George W. Bush, and major-party nominees during this period include
Hillary Clinton (2016),
John Kerry (2004),
Joseph Lieberman (Vice
President, 2000), and
Sargent Shriver (Vice President, 1972). Other
Yale alumni who made serious bids for the Presidency during this
Howard Dean (2004),
Gary Hart (1984 and 1988), Paul
Pat Robertson (1988) and
Jerry Brown (1976, 1980,
Several explanations have been offered for Yale's representation in
national elections since the end of the Vietnam War. Various sources
note the spirit of campus activism that has existed at Yale since the
1960s, and the intellectual influence of Reverend William Sloane
Coffin on many of the future candidates. Yale President Richard
Levin attributes the run to Yale's focus on creating "a laboratory for
future leaders," an institutional priority that began during the
tenure of Yale Presidents
Alfred Whitney Griswold
Alfred Whitney Griswold and Kingman
Brewster. Richard H. Brodhead, former dean of
Yale College and now
president of Duke University, stated: "We do give very significant
attention to orientation to the community in our admissions, and there
is a very strong tradition of volunteerism at Yale." Yale
Gaddis Smith notes "an ethos of organized activity" at Yale
during the 20th century that led
John Kerry to lead the Yale Political
Union's Liberal Party,
George Pataki the Conservative Party, and
Joseph Lieberman to manage the Yale Daily News. Camille Paglia
points to a history of networking and elitism: "It has to do with a
web of friendships and affiliations built up in school." CNN
George W. Bush
George W. Bush benefited from preferential admissions
policies for the "son and grandson of alumni", and for a "member of a
politically influential family".
New York Times
New York Times correspondent
Elisabeth Bumiller and
The Atlantic Monthly
The Atlantic Monthly correspondent James
Fallows credit the culture of community and cooperation that exists
between students, faculty, and administration, which downplays
self-interest and reinforces commitment to others.
During the 1988 presidential election, George H. W. Bush (Yale
Michael Dukakis for having "foreign-policy views born in
Harvard Yard's boutique". When challenged on the distinction between
Harvard connection and his own Yale background, he said that,
unlike Harvard, Yale's reputation was "so diffuse, there isn't a
symbol, I don't think, in the Yale situation, any symbolism in it" and
said Yale did not share Harvard's reputation for "liberalism and
elitism". In 2004
Howard Dean stated, "In some ways, I
consider myself separate from the other three (Yale) candidates of
2004. Yale changed so much between the class of '68 and the class of
'71. My class was the first class to have women in it; it was the
first class to have a significant effort to recruit African Americans.
It was an extraordinary time, and in that span of time is the change
of an entire generation".
In 2009, former
British Prime Minister
British Prime Minister
Tony Blair picked Yale as one
location – the others are Britain's
Durham University and Universiti
Teknologi Mara – for the
Tony Blair Faith Foundation's United States
Faith and Globalization Initiative. As of 2009, former Mexican
Ernesto Zedillo is the director of the Yale Center for the
Study of Globalization and teaches an undergraduate seminar, "Debating
Globalization". As of 2009, former presidential candidate and DNC
Howard Dean teaches a residential college seminar,
"Understanding Politics and Politicians". Also in 2009, an
alliance was formed among Yale, University College London, and both
schools' affiliated hospital complexes to conduct research focused on
the direct improvement of patient care—a growing field known as
translational medicine. President Richard Levin noted that Yale has
hundreds of other partnerships across the world, but "no existing
collaboration matches the scale of the new partnership with UCL".
New international Yale initiatives launched included (among many
Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, promoting international
Global Health Initiative, uniting and expanding global health efforts
Yale India Initiative, expanding the study of and engagement with
Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, bridging the gap between
academia and the world of public policy; and
Yale China Law Center, promoting the rule of law in China.
Yale – Management Guild
New global research and educational partnerships included (among many
Yale-Universidad de Chile International Program in Astronomy Education
Peking-Yale Joint Center for Plant Molecular Genetics and Agrobiology;
Todai–Yale Initiative for the Study of Japan;
Fudan-Yale Biomedical Research Center in Shanghai;
University College London
University College London Collaboration; and
UNSAAC-Yale Center for the Study of
Machu Picchu and Inca Culture in
The most ambitious international partnership to date is Yale-NUS
College in Singapore, a joint effort with the National University of
Singapore to create a new liberal arts college in Asia featuring an
innovative curriculum that weaves Western and Asian traditions, set to
open in August 2013.
Administration and organization
Yale School of Medicine
Yale Divinity School
Yale Law School
Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Sheffield Scientific School
Yale School of Fine Arts
Yale School of Music
Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Yale School of Public Health
Yale School of Architecture
Yale School of Nursing
Yale School of Drama
Yale School of Management
The President and Fellows of Yale College, also known as the Yale
Corporation, is the governing board of the university.
Yale's former president
Richard C. Levin
Richard C. Levin was, at the time, one of the
highest paid university presidents in the
United States with a 2008
salary of $1.5 million.
The Yale Provost's Office has launched several women into prominent
university presidencies. In 1977
Hanna Holborn Gray
Hanna Holborn Gray was appointed
acting President of Yale from this position, and went on to become
President of the University of Chicago, the first woman to be full
president of a major university. In 1994 Yale Provost Judith Rodin
became the first female president of an
Ivy League institution at the
University of Pennsylvania. In 2002 Provost
Alison Richard became the
Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. In 2004, Provost Susan
Hockfield became the President of the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology. In 2007 Deputy Provost
H. Kim Bottomly was named President
of Wellesley College. In 2003, the Dean of the Divinity School,
Rebecca Chopp, was appointed president of Colgate University and now
heads Swarthmore College.
The university has three major academic components:
Yale College (the
undergraduate program), the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and
the professional schools. In 2008 Provost Andrew Hamilton was
confirmed to be the Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford.
Former Dean of
Richard H. Brodhead
Richard H. Brodhead serves as the
President of Duke University.
Yale Art Gallery Sculpture. The gallery is free and open to the
Staff and labor unions
Main article: Federation of Hospital and University Employees
Much of Yale University's staff, including most maintenance staff,
dining hall employees and administrative staff, are unionized.
Clerical and technical employees are represented by Local 34 of
UNITE HERE and service and maintenance workers by Local 35 of the
same international. Locals 34 and 35 make up the Federation of
Hospital and University Employees along with the dietary workers at
New Haven Hospital, who are members of 1199 SEIU. In
addition to these unions, officers of the
Yale University Police
Department are members of the Yale Police Benevolent Association,
which affiliated in 2005 with the
Connecticut Organization for Public
Safety Employees. Finally, Yale security officers voted to join
the International Union of Security, Police and Fire Professionals of
America in fall 2010 after the
National Labor Relations Board
National Labor Relations Board ruled
they could not join AFSCME; the Yale administration contested the
Yale has a history of difficult and prolonged labor negotiations,
often culminating in strikes. There have been at least eight
strikes since 1968, and The
New York Times
New York Times wrote that Yale has a
reputation as having the worst record of labor tension of any
university in the U.S. Yale's unusually large endowment
exacerbates the tension over wages. Moreover, Yale has been accused of
failing to treat workers with respect. In a 2003 strike, however,
the university claimed that more union employees were working than
David Graeber was 'retired' after he came to
the defense of a student who was involved in campus labor issues.
Yale Law School
Yale's central campus in downtown
New Haven covers 260 acres
(1.1 km2) and comprises its main, historic campus and a medical
campus adjacent to the Yale–
New Haven Hospital. In western New
Haven, the university holds 500 acres (2.0 km2) of athletic
facilities, including the Yale Golf Course. In 2008, Yale
purchased the 136-acre (0.55 km2) former Bayer Pharmaceutical
campus in West Haven, Connecticut, the buildings of which are now used
as laboratory and research space. Yale also owns seven forests in
Connecticut, Vermont, and New Hampshire—the largest of which is the
7,840-acre (31.7 km2)
Yale-Myers Forest in Connecticut's Quiet
Corner—and nature preserves including Horse Island.
Yale is noted for its largely
Collegiate Gothic campus as well as
for several iconic modern buildings commonly discussed in
architectural history survey courses: Louis Kahn's Yale Art
Gallery and Center for British Art, Eero Saarinen's Ingalls Rink
Ezra Stiles and Morse Colleges, and Paul Rudolph's Art &
Architecture Building. Yale also owns and has restored many noteworthy
19th-century mansions along Hillhouse Avenue, which was considered the
most beautiful street in America by
Charles Dickens when he visited
United States in the 1840s. In 2011,
Travel+Leisure listed the
Yale campus as one of the most beautiful in the United States.
Many of Yale's buildings were constructed in the Collegiate Gothic
architecture style from 1917 to 1931, financed largely by Edward S.
Harkness, including the Yale Drama School. Stone sculpture
built into the walls of the buildings portray contemporary college
personalities such as a writer, an athlete, a tea-drinking socialite,
and a student who has fallen asleep while reading. Similarly, the
decorative friezes on the buildings depict contemporary scenes such as
policemen chasing a robber and arresting a prostitute (on the wall of
the Law School), or a student relaxing with a mug of beer and a
cigarette. The architect, James Gamble Rogers, faux-aged these
buildings by splashing the walls with acid, deliberately breaking
their leaded glass windows and repairing them in the style of the
Middle Ages, and creating niches for decorative statuary but leaving
them empty to simulate loss or theft over the ages. In fact, the
buildings merely simulate
Middle Ages architecture, for though they
appear to be constructed of solid stone blocks in the authentic
manner, most actually have steel framing as was commonly used in 1930.
One exception is Harkness Tower, 216 feet (66 m) tall, which was
originally a free-standing stone structure. It was reinforced in 1964
to allow the installation of the Yale Memorial Carillon.
Other examples of the Gothic (also called neo-Gothic and collegiate
Gothic) style are on
Old Campus by such architects as Henry Austin,
Charles C. Haight
Charles C. Haight and Russell Sturgis. Several are associated with
members of the Vanderbilt family, including Vanderbilt Hall,
St. Anthony Hall
St. Anthony Hall (a commission for member Frederick
William Vanderbilt), the Mason, Sloane and Osborn laboratories,
dormitories for the
Sheffield Scientific School
Sheffield Scientific School (the engineering and
sciences school at Yale until 1956) and elements of Silliman College,
the largest residential college.
Nathan Hale in front of
The oldest building on campus,
Connecticut Hall (built in 1750), is in
the Georgian style. Georgian-style buildings erected from 1929 to 1933
include Timothy Dwight College, Pierson College, and Davenport
College, except the latter's east, York Street façade, which was
constructed in the Gothic style so as to co-ordinate with adjacent
The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, designed by Gordon
Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, is one of the largest
buildings in the world reserved exclusively for the preservation of
rare books and manuscripts. It is located near the center of the
University in Hewitt Quadrangle, which is now more commonly referred
to as "Beinecke Plaza".
The library's six-story above-ground tower of book stacks is
surrounded by a windowless rectangular building with walls made of
translucent Vermont marble, which transmit subdued lighting to the
interior and provide protection from direct light, while glowing from
within after dark.
Interior of Beinecke Library
The sculptures in the sunken courtyard by
Isamu Noguchi are said to
represent time (the pyramid), the sun (the circle), and chance (the
Alumnus Eero Saarinen, Finnish-American architect of such notable
structures as the
Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Washington Dulles
International Airport main terminal,
Bell Labs Holmdel Complex
Bell Labs Holmdel Complex and the
CBS Building in Manhattan, designed
Ingalls Rink at Yale and the
newest residential colleges of
Ezra Stiles and Morse. These latter
were modelled after the medieval Italian hilltown of
San Gimignano –
a prototype chosen for the town's pedestrian-friendly milieu and
fortress-like stone towers. These tower forms at Yale act in
counterpoint to the college's many Gothic spires and Georgian
Yale's Office of Sustainability develops and implements sustainability
practices at Yale. Yale is committed to reduce its greenhouse gas
emissions 10% below 1990 levels by the year 2020. As part of this
commitment, the university allocates renewable energy credits to
offset some of the energy used by residential colleges. Eleven
campus buildings are candidates for LEED design and
Yale Sustainable Food Project
Yale Sustainable Food Project initiated the
introduction of local, organic vegetables, fruits, and beef to all
residential college dining halls. Yale was listed as a Campus
Sustainability Leader on the Sustainable Endowments Institute's
College Sustainability Report Card 2008, and received a "B+" grade
Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven
Marsh Botanical Garden
Yale Sustainable Food Program Farm
Old Campus at dusk, April 2013
Notable nonresidential campus buildings
Notable nonresidential campus buildings and landmarks include Battell
Chapel, Beinecke Rare Book Library, Harkness Tower, Ingalls Rink,
Biology Tower, Osborne Memorial Laboratories, Payne Whitney
Gymnasium, Peabody Museum of Natural History, Sterling Hall of
Medicine, Sterling Law Buildings, Sterling Memorial Library, Woolsey
Hall, Yale Center for British Art,
Yale University Art Gallery, Yale
Art & Architecture Building, and the
Paul Mellon Centre for
Studies in British Art in London.
Yale's secret society buildings (some of which are called "tombs")
were built both to be private yet unmistakable. A diversity of
architectural styles is represented: Berzelius,
Donn Barber in an
austere cube with classical detailing (erected in 1908 or 1910); Book
and Snake, Louis R. Metcalfe in a
Greek Ionic style (erected in 1901);
Elihu, architect unknown but built in a Colonial style (constructed on
an early 17th-century foundation although the building is from the
18th century); Mace and Chain, in a late colonial, early Victorian
style (built in 1823). (Interior moulding is said to have belonged to
Benedict Arnold);Manuscript Society, King Lui-Wu with Dan Kniley
responsible for landscaping and
Josef Albers for the brickwork
intaglio mural. Building constructed in a mid-century modern style;
Scroll and Key,
Richard Morris Hunt
Richard Morris Hunt in a Moorish- or Islamic-inspired
Beaux-Arts style (erected 1869–70); Skull and Bones, possibly
Alexander Jackson Davis
Alexander Jackson Davis or Henry Austin in an Egypto-Doric style
Brownstone (in 1856 the first wing was completed, in 1903
the second wing, 1911 the
Neo-Gothic towers in rear garden were
completed); St. Elmo, (former tomb) Kenneth M. Murchison, 1912,
designs inspired by Elizabethan manor. Current location, brick
colonial; and Wolf's Head, Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, erected
1923–1924, Collegiate Gothic.
The Starr Reading Room in Sterling Memorial Library
The nave of Sterling Memorial Library
The Library Circulation Desk
Memorial Chapel on Yale's Old Campus
The Yale School of Management
Yale School of Architecture
Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies
Memorial Quadrangle Gate
Yale Peabody Museum
The Yale Bowl
Relationship with New Haven
Yale is the largest taxpayer and employer in the City of New
Haven, and has often buoyed the city's economy and communities.
Yale's Art Galleries, along with many other University resources, are
free and openly accessible. Yale also funds the
New Haven Promise
program, paying full tuition for eligible students from New Haven
Several campus safety strategies have been pioneered at Yale. The
first campus police force was founded at Yale in 1894, when the
university contracted city police officers to exclusively cover the
campus. Later hired by the university, the officers were
originally brought in to quell unrest between students and city
residents and curb destructive student behavior. In addition
to the Yale Police Department, a variety of safety services are
available including blue phones, a safety escort, and 24-hour shuttle
In the 1970s and 1980s, poverty and violent crime rose in New Haven,
dampening Yale's student and faculty recruiting efforts. Between
1990 and 2006, New Haven's crime rate fell by half, helped by a
community policing strategy by the
New Haven Police and Yale's campus
became the safest among the
Ivy League and other peer schools.
Nonetheless, across the board, the city of
New Haven has retained the
highest levels of crime of any
Ivy League city for more than a
In 2004, the national non-profit watchdog group Security on Campus
filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, accusing
Yale of under-reporting rape and sexual assaults.
Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library, as seen from Maya Lin's
sculpture, Women's Table. The sculpture records the number of women
enrolled at Yale over its history; female undergraduates were not
admitted until 1969.
Fall Freshman Statistics
Undergraduate admission to
Yale College is considered "most selective"
by U.S. News. In 2016, Yale accepted 1,972 students to the
Class of 2020 out of 31,455 applicants, for an acceptance rate of
6.27%. 98% of students graduate within six years.
Through its program of need-based financial aid, Yale commits to meet
the full demonstrated financial need of all applicants. Most financial
aid is in the form of grants and scholarships that do not need to be
paid back to the university, and the average need-based aid grant for
the Class of 2017 was $46,395. 15% of
Yale College students are
expected to have no parental contribution, and about 50% receive some
form of financial aid. About 16% of the Class of 2013
had some form of student loan debt at graduation, with an average debt
of $13,000 among borrowers.
Half of all Yale undergraduates are women, more than 39% are ethnic
minority U.S. citizens (19% are underrepresented minorities), and
10.5% are international students. Fifty-five percent attended
public schools and 45% attended private, religious, or international
schools, and 97% of students were in the top 10% of their high school
class. Every year,
Yale College also admits a small group of
non-traditional students through the
Eli Whitney Students Program.
The Night Café, Vincent van Gogh, 1888, Yale Art Gallery.
Yale University Library, which holds over 15 million volumes, is the
third-largest university collection in the United States. The
main library, Sterling Memorial Library, contains about 4 million
volumes, and other holdings are dispersed at subject libraries.
Rare books are found in several Yale collections. The Beinecke Rare
Book Library has a large collection of rare books and manuscripts. The
Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library
Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library includes important
historical medical texts, including an impressive collection of rare
books, as well as historical medical instruments. The Lewis Walpole
Library contains the largest collection of 18th‑century British
literary works. The Elizabethan Club, technically a private
organization, makes its Elizabethan folios and first editions
available to qualified researchers through Yale.
Yale's museum collections are also of international stature. The Yale
University Art Gallery, the country's first university-affiliated art
museum, contains more than 180,000 works, including Old Masters and
important collections of modern art, in the Swartout and Kahn
buildings. The latter, Louis Kahn's first large-scale American work
(1953), was renovated and reopened in December 2006. The Yale Center
for British Art, the largest collection of British art outside of the
UK, grew from a gift of
Paul Mellon and is housed in another
Peabody Museum of Natural History
Peabody Museum of Natural History in
New Haven is used by school
children and contains research collections in anthropology,
archaeology, and the natural environment. The Yale University
Collection of Musical Instruments, affiliated with the Yale School of
Music, is perhaps the least-known of Yale's collections, because its
hours of opening are restricted.
The museums also house the artifacts brought to the
United States from
Peru by Yale history professor Hiram Bingham in his expedition to
Machu Picchu in 1912 – when the removal of such artifacts was legal.
Peru would now like to have the items returned; Yale has so far
declined. In November 2010, a
Yale University representative
agreed to return the artifacts to a Peruvian university.
U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report
USNWR graduate school rankings
Medicine: Primary Care
USNWR departmental rankings
The U.S. News & World Report ranked Yale 3rd among U.S. national
universities for 2016, as it has for each of the past sixteen
years, in every list trailing only Princeton and Harvard.
In the international sphere, it was ranked 11th in the 2016 Academic
Ranking of World Universities, 10th in the 2016-17 Nature Index
for quality of scientific research output, and 10th in the 2016 CWUR
World University Rankings. The university was also ranked 6th in
the 2016 Times Higher Education (THE) Global University Employability
Rankings and 8th in the THE Academic World Reputation
Faculty, research, and intellectual traditions
Yale's faculty include 61 members of the National Academy of
Sciences, 7 members of the National Academy of Engineering
and 49 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The
college is, after normalization for institution size, the
tenth-largest baccalaureate source of doctoral degree recipients in
the United States, and the largest such source within the Ivy
Yale's English and Comparative Literature departments were part of the
New Criticism movement. Of the New Critics, Robert Penn Warren, W.K.
Cleanth Brooks were all Yale faculty. Later, the Yale
Comparative literature department became a center of American
deconstruction. Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, taught
at the Department of Comparative Literature from the late seventies to
mid-1980s. Several other Yale faculty members were also associated
with deconstruction, forming the so-called "Yale School". These
Paul de Man who taught in the Departments of Comparative
Literature and French, J. Hillis Miller,
Geoffrey Hartman (both
taught in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature), and
Harold Bloom (English), whose theoretical position was always somewhat
specific, and who ultimately took a very different path from the rest
of this group. Yale's history department has also originated important
intellectual trends. Historians C. Vann Woodward and David Brion
Davis are credited with beginning in the 1960s and 1970s an important
stream of southern historians; likewise, David Montgomery, a labor
historian, advised many of the current generation of labor historians
in the country. Yale's Music School and Department fostered the growth
of Music Theory in the latter half of the 20th century. The
Journal of Music Theory was founded there in 1957;
Allen Forte and
David Lewin were influential teachers and scholars.
Since summer 2010, Yale has also been host to Yale Publishing Course.
Yale is a medium-sized research university, most of whose students are
in the graduate and professional schools. Undergraduates, or Yale
College students, come from a variety of ethnic, national,
socioeconomic backgrounds, and personal backgrounds. Of the
2010–2011 freshman class, 10% are non‑U.S. citizens, while 54%
went to public high schools.
Main article: Residential colleges of Yale University
Yale's residential college system was established in 1933 by Edward S.
Harkness, who admired the social intimacy of Oxford and Cambridge and
donated significant funds to found similar colleges at Yale and
Harvard. Though Yale's colleges resemble their English precursors
organizationally and architecturally, they are dependent entities of
Yale College and have limited autonomy. The colleges are led by a head
and an academic dean, who reside in the college, and university
faculty and affiliates comprise each college's fellowship. Colleges
offer their own seminars, social events, and speaking engagements
known as "Master's Teas," but do not contain programs of study or
academic departments. Instead, all undergraduate courses are taught by
the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and are open to members of any
All undergraduates are members of a college, to which they are
assigned before their freshman year, and 85 percent live in the
college quadrangle or a college-affiliated dormitory. While the
majority of upperclassman live in the colleges, most on-campus
freshmen live on the Old Campus, the university's oldest precinct.
While Harkness' original colleges were Georgian Revival or Collegiate
Gothic in style, two colleges constructed in the 1960s, Morse and Ezra
Stiles Colleges, have modernist designs. All twelve college
quadrangles are organized around a courtyard, and each has a dining
hall, courtyard, library, common room, and a range of student
facilities. The twelve colleges are named for important alumni or
significant places in university history. In 2017, the university
opened two new colleges near Science Hill.
Jonathan Edwards College
Jonathan Edwards College courtyard
Branford College courtyard
Saybrook College's Killingworth Courtyard
Hopper College courtyard
Berkeley College buildings
Trumbull College courtyard
Davenport College courtyard
Pierson College courtyard
Silliman College courtyard
Timothy Dwight College
Timothy Dwight College courtyard
Morse College courtyard
Ezra Stiles College courtyard
Benjamin Franklin College
Benjamin Franklin College courtyard
Pauli Murray College
Pauli Murray College courtyard
Since the 1960s, John C. Calhoun's white supremacist beliefs and
pro-slavery leadership had prompted calls to
rename the college or remove its tributes to Calhoun. The
racially-motivated church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, led
to renewed calls in the summer of 2015 for Calhoun College, one of 12
residential colleges, to be renamed. In July 2015 students signed a
petition calling for the name change. They argued in the petition
that—while Calhoun was respected in the 19th century as an
"extraordinary American statesman"—he was "one of the most prolific
defenders of slavery and white supremacy" in the history of the United
States. In August 2015 Yale President Peter Salovey
addressed the Freshman Class of 2019 in which he responded to the
racial tensions but explained why the college would not be
renamed. He described Calhoun as "a notable political theorist, a
vice president to two different U.S. presidents, a secretary of war
and of state, and a congressman and senator representing South
Carolina". He acknowledged that Calhoun also "believed that the
highest forms of civilization depend on involuntary servitude. Not
only that, but he also believed that the races he thought to be
inferior, black people in particular, ought to be subjected to it for
the sake of their own best interests." Student activism about
this issue increased in the fall of 2015, and included further
protests sparked by controversy surrounding an administrator's
comments on the potential positive and negative implications of
students who wear culturally-sensitive Halloween costumes.
Campus-wide discussions expanded to include critical discussion of the
experiences of women of color on campus, and the realities of racism
in undergraduate life. The protests were sensationalized by the
media and led to the labelling of some students as being members of
In April 2016 Salovey announced that "despite decades of vigorous
alumni and student protests," Calhoun's name will remain on the Yale
residential college explaining that it is preferable for Yale
students to live in Calhoun's "shadow" so they will be "better
prepared to rise to the challenges of the present and the future". He
claimed that if they removed Calhoun's name, it would "obscure" his
"legacy of slavery rather than addressing it". "Yale is part of
that history" and "We cannot erase American history, but we can
confront it, teach it and learn from it." One change that will be
issued is the title of "master" for faculty members who serve as
residential college leaders will be renamed to "head of college" due
to its connotation of slavery.
Despite this apparently conclusive reasoning, Salovey announced that
Calhoun College would be renamed for groundbreaking computer scientist
Grace Murray Hopper
Grace Murray Hopper in February 2017.
In 2014, Yale had 385 registered student organizations, plus an
additional one hundred groups in the process of registration.
The university hosts a variety of student journals, magazines, and
newspapers. Established in 1872,
The Yale Record
The Yale Record is the world's oldest
humor magazine. Newspapers include the Yale Daily News, which was
first published in 1878, and the weekly Yale Herald, which was first
published in 1986. Dwight Hall, an independent, non-profit community
service organization, oversees more than 2,000 Yale undergraduates
working on more than 70 community service initiatives in New Haven.
Yale College Council runs several agencies that oversee campus
wide activities and student services. The Yale Dramatic Association
Bulldog Productions cater to the theater and film communities,
respectively. In addition, the Yale Drama Coalition serves to
coordinate between and provide resources for the various Sudler Fund
sponsored theater productions which run each weekend. WYBC Yale
Radio is the campus's radio station, owned and operated by
students. While students used to broadcast on AM & FM frequencies,
they now have an Internet-only stream.
Yale College Council (YCC) serves as the campus's undergraduate
student government. All registered student organizations are regulated
and funded by a subsidiary organization of the YCC, known as the
Undergraduate Organizations Committee (UOC). The Graduate and
Professional Student Senate (GPSS) serves as Yale's graduate and
professional student government.
Yale Political Union
Yale Political Union is advised by alumni political leaders such
John Kerry and George Pataki. The Yale International Relations
Association functions as the umbrella organization for the top-ranked
Model UN team.
The campus includes several fraternities and sororities. The campus
features at least 18 a cappella groups, the most famous of which
is The Whiffenpoofs, who are unusual among college singing groups in
being made up solely of senior men.
Yale's secret societies include Skull and Bones, Scroll and Key,
Wolf's Head, Book and Snake, Elihu, Berzelius, St. Elmo,
Manuscript, Shabtai, Myth and Sword,
Mace and Chain
Mace and Chain and Sage and
Chalice. The two oldest existing honor societies are the Aurelian
(1910) and the Torch Honor Society (1916).
The Elizabethan Club, a social club, has a membership of
undergraduates, graduates, faculty and staff with literary or artistic
interests. Membership is by invitation. Members and their guests may
enter the "Lizzie's" premises for conversation and tea. The club owns
first editions of a Shakespeare Folio, several Shakespeare Quartos, a
first edition of Milton's Paradise Lost, among other important
The arms of the Yale School of Music. Yale's motto appears in Hebrew,
meaning "Light & Truth".
Yale, exterior engraving. Photo taken in winter 2016.
Yale seniors at graduation smash clay pipes underfoot to symbolize
passage from their "bright college years," though in recent history
the pipes have been replaced with "bubble pipes". ("Bright
College Years," the University's alma mater, was penned in 1881 by
Henry Durand, Class of 1881, to the tune of Die Wacht am Rhein.)
Yale's student tour guides tell visitors that students consider it
good luck to rub the toe of the statue of
Theodore Dwight Woolsey
Theodore Dwight Woolsey on
Old Campus. Actual students rarely do so. In the second half of
the 20th century Bladderball, a campus-wide game played with a large
inflatable ball, became a popular tradition but was banned by
administration due to safety concerns. In spite of administration
opposition, students revived the game in 2009, 2011, and 2014, but its
future remains uncertain.
Walter Camp Gate at the Yale Athletic Complex.
Main article: Yale Bulldogs
Yale supports 35 varsity athletic teams that compete in the Ivy League
Conference, the Eastern College Athletic Conference, the New England
Sailing Association. Yale athletic teams compete
intercollegiately at the
NCAA Division I level. Like other
members of the Ivy League, Yale does not offer athletic scholarships.
Yale has numerous athletic facilities, including the
Yale Bowl (the
nation's first natural "bowl" stadium, and prototype for such stadiums
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the Rose Bowl), located at
Walter Camp Field athletic complex, and the Payne Whitney
Gymnasium, the second-largest indoor athletic complex in the
In 2016, the men's basketball team won the
Ivy League Championship
title for the first time in 54 years, earning a spot in the
Basketball Tournament. In the first round of the
tournament, the Bulldogs beat the Baylor Bears 79-75 in the school's
first-ever tournament win.
October 21, 2000, marked the dedication of Yale's fourth new boathouse
in 157 years of collegiate rowing. The
Gilder Boathouse is named
to honor former Olympic rower Virginia Gilder '79 and her father
Richard Gilder '54, who gave $4 million towards the
$7.5 million project. Yale also maintains the
Gales Ferry site
where the heavyweight men's team trains for the Yale-
Yale crew is the oldest collegiate athletic team in America, and won
Gold Medal for men's eights in 1924 and 1956. The Yale
Corinthian Yacht Club, founded in 1881, is the oldest collegiate
sailing club in the world.
In 1896, Yale and Johns Hopkins played the first known ice hockey game
in the United States. Since 2006, the school's ice hockey clubs have
played a commemorative game.
For kicks, between 1954 and 1982, residential college teams and
student organizations played bladderball.
Yale students claim to have invented Frisbee, by tossing empty Frisbie
Pie Company tins.
Yale athletics are supported by the Yale Precision Marching Band.
"Precision" is used here ironically; the band is a scatter-style band
that runs wildly between formations rather than actually
marching. The band attends every home football game and many
away, as well as most hockey and basketball games throughout the
Yale intramural sports are also a significant aspect of student life.
Students compete for their respective residential colleges, fostering
a friendly rivalry. The year is divided into fall, winter, and spring
seasons, each of which includes about ten different sports. About half
the sports are coeducational. At the end of the year, the residential
college with the most points (not all sports count equally) wins the
Notable among the songs commonly played and sung at events such as
commencement, convocation, alumni gatherings, and athletic games are
the alma mater, "Bright College Years", and the Yale fight song, "Down
Two other fight songs, "Bulldog, Bulldog" and "Bingo Eli Yale",
Cole Porter during his undergraduate days, are still sung
at football games. Another fight song sung at games is "Boola Boola".
According to "College Fight Songs: An Annotated Anthology" published
in 1998, "Down the Field" ranks as the fourth-greatest fight song of
The school mascot is "Handsome Dan," the Yale bulldog, and the Yale
fight song (written by
Cole Porter while he was a student at Yale)
contains the refrain, "Bulldog, bulldog, bow wow wow". The school
color, since 1894, is Yale Blue. Yale's
Handsome Dan is believed
to be the first college mascot in America, having been established in
Yale has had many financial supporters, but some stand out by the
magnitude or timeliness of their contributions. Among those who have
made large donations commemorated at the university are: Elihu Yale;
Jeremiah Dummer; the Harkness family (Edward, Anna, and William); the
Beinecke family (Edwin, Frederick, and Walter); John William Sterling;
Payne Whitney; Joseph Earl Sheffield, Paul Mellon, Charles B. G.
Murphy and William K. Lanman. The Yale Class of 1954, led by Richard
Gilder, donated $70 million in commemoration of their
50th reunion. Charles B. Johnson, a 1954 graduate of Yale
College, pledged a $250 million gift in 2013 to support the
construction of two new residential colleges. The colleges have
been named respectively in honor of
Pauli Murray and Benjamin
Franklin. A $100 million contribution by Stephen Adams enabled
Yale School of Music
Yale School of Music to become tuition-free and the Adams Center
for Musical Arts to be built.
Notable alumni and faculty
List of Yale University people
List of Yale University people and List of Yale
Law School alumni
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President and Chief Justice
William Howard Taft
William Howard Taft graduated from Yale in
Yale has produced alumni distinguished in their respective fields.
This includes U.S. Presidents William Howard Taft, Gerald Ford,
George H.W. Bush,
Bill Clinton and George W. Bush; heads of
state, including Italian prime minister Mario Monti, Turkish
prime minister Tansu Çiller, Mexican president Ernesto
Zedillo, German president Karl Carstens, Philippine
president José Paciano Laurel, and Malawian president Peter
Mutharika; U.S. Supreme Court Justices Taft, Sonia
Sotomayor, Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas;
U.S. Secretaries of State John Kerry, Hillary Clinton,
Cyrus Vance, and Dean Acheson; U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury
Oliver Wolcott, Robert Rubin, Nicholas F. Brady, and Steven
United States Attorneys General Nicholas Katzenbach, John
Ashcroft, and Edward H. Levi. Confederate States Secretary of State,
Secretary of War, and Attorney General; Judah P. Benjamin.[citation
Some royals have attended, among them: Crown Princess Victoria of
Sweden, Prince Rostislav Romanov and Prince Akiiki Hosea
Academy Award Winning Actress Meryl Streep,
Yale School of Drama
Yale School of Drama class
In the arts,
Yale alumni include authors Sinclair Lewis, Stephen
Vincent Benét, John Hersey, Thornton Wilder, Doug Wright, William
Matthews, and Tom Wolfe; actors, directors and producers Paul Newman,
Henry Winkler, Vincent Price, Meryl Streep, Sigourney
Weaver, Jodie Foster, Angela Bassett, Elia Kazan,
George Roy Hill, Douglas Wick, Claire Danes, Edward Norton, Lupita
Nyong'o, James Whitmore, Oliver Stone, Brian Dennehy, Joshua
Malina, and Sam Waterston; composers Charles Ives,
Douglas Moore and
Cole Porter; visual artists Matthew Barney, Eva Hesse, Alex Israel,
Brice Marden, Wangechi Mutu, Richard Serra, and Kehinde Wiley; fine
art photography popularizer Sam Wagstaff; entertainer Rudy Vallee; and
photographer and writer Nicholas Muellner.
Time Magazine co-founder Henry Luce, Morgan Stanley
founder Harold Stanley,
Blackstone Group founder Stephen A.
United Airlines founder William Boeing,
FedEx founder Frederick W. Smith, chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings
Time Warner president Jeffrey Bewkes, Electronic Arts
co-founder Bing Gordon,
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi,
and CEO Ben Silbermann, sports agent Donald Dell, and
John Templeton all hail from Yale.
In academia, distinguished Yale graduates and faculty have included
theologian and religious scholar Kathryn Tanner, philosopher of
religion John E. Hare, literary critic and historian Henry Louis
Gates, economists Irving Fischer, Mahbub ul Haq, and Paul Krugman;
Nobel laureates in Physics,
Ernest Lawrence and Murray Gell-Mann;
Fields Medalist John G. Thompson; Human Genome Project director
Francis S. Collins; "father of biochemistry" Russell Henry Chittenden;
neurosurgeon Harvey Cushing; pioneering computer scientist Grace
Hopper; chairman of Caltech's
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Jet Propulsion Laboratory Committee
Clark Blanchard Millikan; education philosopher Robert Maynard
Hutchins; pioneer in fractal geometry Benoit Mandelbrot;
mathematician/chemist Josiah Willard Gibbs; and U.S. National Women's
Hall of Fame member and biochemist Florence B. Seibert.
Former Yale students in the sporting arena include "The perfect
oarsman" Rusty Wailes; Olympic silver medalist rower Josh West; runner
Frank Shorter; baseball executives
Theo Epstein and George Weiss, and
baseball players Ron Darling, Bill Hutchinson, and Craig Breslow;
basketball player Chris Dudley; football players Dick Jauron, Kenny
Hill, Calvin Hill, Gary Fencik, Chuck Mercein, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and
"Father of American Football" Walter Camp; nine-time
U.S. Squash men's
champion Julian Illingworth; ice hockey player Chris Higgins; figure
skater Sarah Hughes; swimmer Don Schollander; and Olympic figure
skater Nathan Chen.
Yale also counts among its former students Secretary of State,
Secretary of War
Secretary of War and U.S. Senator John C. Calhoun; Peace Corps
founder Sargent Shriver; urban planner Robert Moses; child
psychologist Benjamin Spock; architects Maya Lin,
Eero Saarinen and
Norman Foster; television personalities Stone Phillips, Dick Cavett
and Anderson Cooper; pundits Garry Trudeau, William F. Buckley, Jr.
and Fareed Zakaria; pioneer in electrical applications Austin
Cornelius Dunham; inventors Samuel F.B. Morse, Eli Whitney, and John
B. Goodenough; patriot and "first spy" Nathan Hale; lexicographer Noah
Webster; and theologians Jonathan Edwards and Reinhold Niebuhr.
Yale in fiction and popular culture
List of Yale University people
List of Yale University people and Yale in
Yale University, as one of the oldest universities in the United
States, is a cultural referent as an institution that produces some of
the most elite members of society and its grounds, alumni, and
students have been prominently portrayed in fiction and U.S. popular
culture. For example, Owen Johnson's novel, Stover at Yale, follows
the college career of Dink Stover and Frank Merriwell, the model
for all later juvenile sports fiction, plays football, baseball, crew,
and track at Yale while solving mysteries and righting
Yale University also is featured in F. Scott
Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby". The narrator, Nick Carraway,
wrote a series of editorials for the Yale News, and Tom Buchanan was
"one of the most powerful ends that ever played football" for Yale. In
the popular TV show The Simpsons,
Mr. Burns is a Yale alumnus.
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