History of Northwestern University

History Of Northwestern University

History of Northwestern University

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The history of Northwestern University can be traced back to a May 31, 1850 meeting of nine prominent Chicago businessmen who shared a desire to establish a university to serve the Northwest Territories. On January 28, 1851, the Illinois General Assembly granted a charter to the Trustees of the North Western University making it the first recognized university in Illinois. While the original founders were devout Methodists and affiliated the university with Methodist Episcopal Church, they were committed to non-sectarian admissions.

John Evans purchased of land along Lake Michigan in 1853 and Philo Judson began developing the plans for what would become the city of Evanston. The first building, Old College, opened on November 5, 1855.

Northwestern first fielded an intercollegiate football team in 1882 and later became a founding member of the Big Ten Conference. Northwestern became affiliated with professional schools of law, medicine, and dentistry throughout the Chicago area in...
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