Princeton University

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When you will enter in the university you will find its’ motto,   “Under God’s power she flourishes.”

Princeton University is a private research university located in United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution.

Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth, as the College of New Jersey, the university moved to Newark in 1747, then to Princeton in 1756 and was renamed Princeton University in 1896. Princeton was the fourth institution of higher education in the U.S. to conduct classes.

After the deaths of Princeton’s first five presidents, John Witherspoon became President in 1768 and remained in that office until his death in 1794. During his presidency, Witherspoon shifted the college’s focus from training ministers to preparing a new generation for leadership in the new American nation. To this end, he tightened academic standards and requested investment in the college. Witherspoon’s presidency constituted a long period of stability for the college, interrupted by the American Revolution.

Nassau Hall was the college’s sole building, before the construction of Stanhope Hall in 1803. During the summer of 1783, the Continental Congress met in Nassau Hall, making Princeton the country’s capital for four months. Over the centuries and through two redesigns following major fires, Nassau Hall’s role was all-purpose building. The class of 1879 donated twin lion sculptures that installed on the entrance until 1911, when that same class replaced them with tigers.

In 1896 the college also underwent large expansion and officially became a university. Under Woodrow Wilson, Princeton introduced the preceptor system in 1905, a then-unique concept that augmented the standard lecture method of teaching with a more personal form in which small groups of students, or precepts, could interact with a single instructor, or preceptor, in their field of interest.

In 1969, Princeton University first admitted women as undergraduates in 1887. It was closed after roughly a decade of operation. After an unfruitful discussions with Sarah Lawrence College to relocate the women’s college to Princeton and merge it with the University in 1967, the administration decided to admit women and turned to the issue of transforming the school’s operations and facilities into a female-friendly campus.

The administration house and educate 650 women students at Princeton by 1974. Ultimately, 148 women, consisting of 100 freshmen and transfer students of other years, entered Princeton on September 6, 1969. Princeton enrolled its first female graduate student, Sabra Follett Meserve, as a Ph.D. candidate in Turkish history in 1961.

Outstanding students

The students who showed remarkable performance and wrote their own history were, U.S. Presidents James Madison and Woodrow Wilson graduated from Princeton. Grover Cleveland was not a student but served as a trustee for several years. John F. Kennedy spent his freshman fall at Princeton before leaving due to illness and later transferring to Harvard College. The current First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, also graduated from Princeton.


Among national universities Princeton University was ranked either first or second  by U.S. News & World Report, holding the #1 spot for 9 of those 10 years, from 2001 to 2010. The Department of History is currently ranked first in the world. Princeton University has an IBM supercomputer, which was ranked as the 89th fastest computer in the world.

Campus hall

Princeton University

Fine Hall is the tallest building on campus, although its height above sea level is not higher than the University Chapel. The main campus sits on about 500 acres   split between two municipalities, the Borough of Princeton and Princeton Township. The James Forrestal Campus is split between nearby Plainsboro and South Brunswick. The campuses are situated about one hour from both New York City and Philadelphia.

The first building on campus was Nassau Hall, completed in 1756, and situated on the northern edge of campus.

At the end of the 1800s Princeton adopted the Collegiate Gothic style for which it is known today. Implemented initially by William Appleton Potter and later enforced by the University’s supervising architect, Ralph Adams Cram, the Collegiate Gothic style remained the standard for all new building on the Princeton campus through 1960.

At the southern edge of the campus is Lake Carnegie, a man-made lake named for Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie financed the lake’s construction in 1906 at the behest of a friend who was a Princeton student. Carnegie hoped the opportunity to take up rowing would inspire Princeton students to forsake football, which he considered “not gentlemanly”

Buried in the ground at the center of the lawn south of Nassau Hall is the “Big Cannon,” which was left in Princeton by British troops as they fled following the Battle of Princeton. It remained in Princeton until the War of 1812, when it was brought to New Brunswick.

In years when the Princeton football team beats the teams of both Harvard University and Yale University in the same season, Princeton celebrates with a bonfire on Cannon Green. This occurred most recently in 2006.

Colleges with residence

There are six undergraduate residential colleges, each housing approximately 500 freshmen, some juniors and seniors.

Each college consists of a dining hall, a variety of other amenities, such as study spaces, libraries, performance spaces, and darkrooms and a collection of administrators and associated faculty.

Forbes is located on the site of the historic Princeton Inn, a gracious hotel overlooking the Princeton golf course. The Princeton Inn, originally constructed in 1924, played regular host to important gatherings of renowned scholars from both the university and the nearby Institute for Advanced Studies for many years. Forbes currently houses over 400 undergraduates and a number of resident graduate students in its residential halls.

Memorial buildings

Nassau Hall is the oldest building on campus. Begun in 1754 and completed in 1756, it was the first seat of the New Jersey Legislature in 1776, was involved in the battle of Princeton in 1777 and was the seat of the Congress of the Confederation from   1783 to 1783. It now houses the office of the university president and other administrative offices, and remains the symbolic center of the campus. In 1966, Nassau Hall was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Fun, frolic and theater

A theatre named McCarter Theatre was built by the Princeton Triangle Club, a student performance group, using club profits and a gift from Princeton University student Thomas McCarter. Today, the Triangle Club performs its annual freshmen revue and spring musicals in McCarter.

Setup of organization

The Trustees of Princeton University, a 40-member board, is responsible for the overall direction of the University. It approves the operating and capital budgets, supervises the investment of the University’s contribution and oversees campus real estate and long-range physical planning. The trustees also exercise prior review and approval concerning changes in major policies, such as those in instructional programs and admission, as well as tuition and fees and the hiring of faculty members.

Museum of art

The university Art Museum was established in 1882 to give students direct, intimate, and sustained access to original work of art that complement and enrich instruction and research at the university.

There is a collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, including ceramics, marbles, bronzes, and Roman mosaics from faculty excavations in Antioch. One of the best features of the museums is its collection of Chinese art, with important holdings in bronzes, tomb figurines, painting, and calligraphy.

The museum has collections of old master prints and drawings and a comprehensive collection of over 27,000 original photographs. African art and Northwest Coast Indian art are also represented.

Distinguished libraries

The library system of university houses over eleven million books including six million bound volumes. The main university library, Firestone Library, which houses almost four million volumes, is one of the largest university libraries in the world and among the largest “open stack” libraries in existence. Many individual disciplines have their own libraries, including architecture, art history, East Asian studies, engineering, geology, international affairs and public policy.

Chapel of university

Chapel of university is the third-largest college chapel in the world, behind those of Valparaiso University and King’s College, Cambridge, England. It is known for its gothic architecture, the chapel houses one of the largest and most precious stained glass collections in the country.

The construction of Princeton University Chapel began in 1924 and was completed in 1927. The 270-foot long, 76-foot high, cruciform church has a collegiate Gothic style. It seats two thousand people.

One of the most prominent features of the chapel is its stained glass windows, which have an unusually academic leaning. Three of the large windows have religious themes: The north aisle windows shows the life of Jesus, the north clerestory shows the spiritual development of the Jews, and the south aisle shows the teachings of Jesus. It has windows on such topics as science, law, poetry, and war.

Sports and athletics

Princeton supports organized athletics at three levels: varsity intercollegiate, club intercollegiate, and intramural. It also provides “a variety of physical education and recreational programs” for members of the Princeton community.


Undergraduates fulfill general education requirements, choose among a wide variety of elective courses, and pursue departmental concentrations and interdisciplinary certificate programs. Required independent work is a hallmark of undergraduate education at Princeton. Students graduate with either the Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) or the Bachelor of Science in engineering (B.S.E.).

Kiplinger magazine ranks Princeton as the best value among private universities.

University life of students

More than 98 percent of students live in campus bedrooms. They are permitted to lodge in there for 4 years. Freshmen and sophomores must live in residential colleges, while juniors and seniors typically live in designated upperclassman bedrooms.

However, any undergraduate may purchase a meal plan and eat in a residential college dining hall. Recently, upperclassmen have been given the option of remaining in their college for all four years. Juniors and seniors also have the option of living off-campus, but high rent in the Princeton area encourages almost all students to live in university housing.

Varsity sports

Princeton is an NCAA Division I school. Its athletic conference is the Ivy League. Princeton hosts 38 men’s and women’s varsity sports. The largest varsity sport is rowing, with almost 150 athletes.

Princeton’s football team has a long history. Princeton played against Rutgers University in the first intercollegiate football game in the U.S. in 1869. Rutgers won the game. Today Princeton is a member of the Football Championship. At the end of 2010, Princeton had won 26 national football championships, more than any other school. The men’s basketball team is a successful   team; Princeton won 13 Ivy League titles.

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