The University of Pennsylvania dates its founding to 1740, when a prominent evangelist, George Whitefield, and others established an educational trust fund and began construction of a large school building at Fourth and Arch streets in Philadelphia.
In 1749, Benjamin Franklin –- printer, inventor and future founding father of the United States –- published his famous essay, Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth, circulated it among Philadelphia's leading citizens and organized 24 trustees to form an institution of higher education. Led by Franklin, they purchased the property of the New Building and assumed the responsibility of its educational trust. In 1751, Penn opened its doors to the children of the gentry and common people alike as the "Academy and Charitable School in the Province of Pennsylvania."
More than 250 years after its founding, the University of Pennsylvania continues to achieve excellence in research and education. Penn's heritage is likewise reflected in its landscape, where a vibrant, 302-acre, urban campus boasts more than 200 buildings and many notable landmarks, including Houston Hall, the nation's first student union; Franklin Field, the country's first double-decked college football stadium; and 165 research centers and institutes.
The University of Pennsylvania remains an eminent, world-class institution for the creation and dissemination of knowledge, serving as a model for colleges and universities throughout the world.
For more information, visit www.upenn.edu