Other Elites

Elite private colleges that are not aforementioned:

California Institute of Technology

The mission of the California Institute of Technology is to expand human knowledge and benefit society through research integrated with education. We investigate the most challenging, fundamental problems in science and technology in a singularly collegial, interdisciplinary atmosphere, while educating outstanding students to become creative members of society.

University of Chicago

The University of Chicago was founded in 1890 by the American Baptist Education Society and oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, who later described the University of Chicago as ?the best investment I ever made. The land for the new university, in the recently annexed suburb of Hyde Park, was donated by Marshall Field, owner of the Chicago department store that bears his name.

William Rainey Harper, the first president, imagined a university that would combine an American-style undergraduate liberal arts college with a German-style graduate research university. The University of Chicago quickly fulfilled Harper’s dream, becoming a national leader in higher education and research.

Duke University

Duke University was created in 1924 by James Buchanan Duke as a memorial to his father, Washington Duke. The Dukes, a Durham family that built a worldwide financial empire in the manufacture of tobacco and developed electricity production in the Carolinas, long had been interested in Trinity College. Trinity traced its roots to 1838 in nearby Randolph County when local Methodist and Quaker communities opened Union Institute. The school, then-named Trinity College, moved to Durham in 1892. In December 1924, the provisions of James B. Duke’s indenture created the family philanthropic foundation, The Duke Endowment, which provided for the expansion of Trinity College into Duke University.

As a result of the Duke gift, Trinity underwent both physical and academic expansion. The original Durham campus became known as East Campus when it was rebuilt in stately Georgian architecture. West Campus, Gothic in style and dominated by the soaring 210-foot tower of Duke Chapel, opened in 1930. East Campus served as home of the Woman’s College of Duke University until 1972, when the men’s and women’s undergraduate colleges merged. Both men and women undergraduates now enroll in either the Trinity College of Arts & Sciences or the Pratt School of Engineering. In 1995, East Campus became the home for all first-year students.

Northwestern University

Northwestern is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on two lakefront campuses in Evanston and Chicago. By any measure, Northwestern ranks among the premier universities in the nation, combining the resources of a major research university with the intimacy of a small college. The number of undergraduates here is relatively small — only 7,900 — yet, with more than 80 formal academic concentrations in six undergraduate schools, we offer an astonishing range of study.

Northwestern’s excellence is evident in many ways: test scores and class rank of entering students, library holdings, the success of our graduates. What sets us apart from many other large universities, however, is our commitment to undergraduate teaching: Our faculty teach more than 95 percent of the courses on campus, and the opportunities for undergraduates to do research projects or independent study are plentiful.

Johns Hopkins University

The Johns Hopkins University, founded in Baltimore in 1876, was the first university in the Western Hemisphere founded on the model of the European research institution, where research and the advancement of knowledge were integrally linked to teaching. Its establishment began a revolution in U.S. higher education. The university is named for its initial benefactor, Baltimore merchant Johns Hopkins, whose $7 million bequest, the largest U.S. philanthropic gift to that time, was divided evenly to finance the establishment of both the university and The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St. Louis, a medium-sized, independent university, is dedicated to challenging its faculty and students alike to seek new knowledge and greater understanding of an ever-changing, multicultural world. The university has played an integral role in the history and continuing growth of St. Louis and benefits in turn from the wide array of social, cultural and recreational opportunities offered by the metropolitan area to its more than 2.8 million residents.

The mission of Washington University in St. Louis is the promotion of learning – learning by students and by faculty. Teaching, the transmission of knowledge, is central to our mission, as is research, the creation of new knowledge.