Harvard University is famous as the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The university was founded by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636. Although founded in a Puritan colony, Harvard has no religious affiliation. The school’s famous alumni include quite a few U.S. presidents, including John Adams, Franklin Roosevelt, and John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
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The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) is nestled in the center of Southern California’s most exciting metropolis. The university was founded in 1919 as the southern branch of the state’s public university system; however, it soon grew too large for its location and the Westwood campus was built less than a decade later. The school opened its doors to graduate students in 1934, and the School of Public Health was founded in 1961.
Known as Caltech, the California Institute of Technology is one of the nation’s premier technical schools. The university prides itself on its technological achievements, and 31 of its faculty and alumni have gone on to win the Nobel Prize. The list of Caltech Nobel honorees includes Linus Pauling, Roger Sperry, and Robert Grubbs.
Duke University has a long and storied history, beginning in the mid-1800s. The university was founded as a private school, and its name was changed to Trinity College when it became associated with the Methodist Church shortly before the Civil War. In 1892, the college was moved to Durham, and rechristened Duke University in 1924, after a prominent college official. Today, the Duke family oversees an endowment that provides funding for educational initiatives in the region.