Yale has grown and evolved for 300-plus years, passing many milestones and forging traditions along the way.
The university traces its roots to the 1640s when colonial clergymen led an effort to establish a local college to preserve the tradition of European liberal education in the New World. In 1701 the charter was granted for a school “wherein Youth may be instructed in the Arts and Sciences (and) through the blessing of Almighty God may be fitted for Publick employment both in Church and Civil State.”
The school officially became Yale College in 1718, when it was renamed in honor of Welsh merchant Elihu Yale, who had donated the proceeds from the sale of nine bales of goods together with 417 books and a portrait of King George I.
Yale is committed to improving the world today and for future generations through outstanding research and scholarship, education, preservation, and practice. Yale educates aspiring leaders worldwide who serve all sectors of society. We carry out this mission through the free exchange of ideas in an ethical, interdependent, and diverse community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni.