Princeton University

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Princeton University

Princeton University, at Princeton, N.J.; coeducational; chartered 1746, opened 1747, rechartered 1748, called the College of New Jersey until 1896.

Schools and Research Facilities

One of the nation's foremost universities, Princeton has in addition to its noted undergraduate college and graduate school important schools of architecture, engineering, and public and international affairs. Research is carried on in many areas, including plasma physics and jet propulsion. The university is affiliated with the Brookhaven National Laboratories. The Harvey S. Firestone library (opened 1948) and the art museum house many outstanding collections. The Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, N.J., is not connected with the university.

History

Established by the "New Light" (evangelical) Presbyterians, Princeton was originally intended to train ministers, but this purpose disappeared as higher education gained hold. The college opened at Elizabeth, N.J., under the presidency of Jonathan Dickinson. Its second president was Aaron Burr, the elder, father of Aaron Burr. In 1756 the college moved to Princeton. During the American Revolution, Princeton was occupied by both sides, and the college's buildings were heavily damaged. Under John Witherspoon the college was rebuilt. During the 19th cent. the college expanded, and in 1896 Princeton became a university. Under Woodrow Wilson, Princeton introduced the preceptorial system (1905), a change that led to a greater degree of individualized instruction.

Bibliography

See T. J. Wertenbaker, Princeton, 1749–1896 (1946); C. G. Osgood, Lights in Nassau Hall (1951); and H. Craig, Woodrow Wilson at Princeton (1960).

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