Princeton University

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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 StudyInstitute for Advanced Study,
at Princeton, N.J.; chartered 1930, opened 1933. It differs from a university in that it offers no curriculum or examinations, and confers no degrees. Founded with a gift from Louis Bamberger and Mrs.
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 at Princeton, N.J., is not connected with the university.


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 DickinsonDickinson, Jonathan,
1688–1747, American Presbyterian clergyman, a founder and first president of the College of New Jersey (now Princeton Univ.), b. Hatfield, Mass., grad. Yale, 1706.
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. Its second president was Aaron Burr, the elder, father of Aaron BurrBurr, Aaron,
1756–1836, American political leader, b. Newark, N.J., grad. College of New Jersey (now Princeton). Political Career

A brilliant law student, Burr interrupted his study to serve in the American Revolution and proved himself a valiant soldier in
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. 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 WitherspoonWitherspoon, John,
1723–94, Scottish-American Presbyterian clergyman, political leader in the American Revolution, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, b. Haddingtonshire (now East Lothian), Scotland. He was educated at the Univ. of Edinburgh.
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 the college was rebuilt. During the 19th cent. the college expanded, and in 1896 Princeton became a university. Under Woodrow WilsonWilson, Woodrow
(Thomas Woodrow Wilson), 1856–1924, 28th President of the United States (1913–21), b. Staunton, Va. Educator

He graduated from Princeton in 1879 and studied law at the Univ. of Virginia.
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, Princeton introduced the preceptorial system (1905), a change that led to a greater degree of individualized instruction.


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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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Princeton University


a major educational and scholarly center in the USA. Founded in 1746 as a college in Princeton, N.J., Princeton has been a university since 1896. Among those who studied at Princeton were J. Madison, H. Lee, and T. W. Wilson, who served as president of the university from 1902 to 1910.

Education at Princeton is conducted, for the most part, in accordance with individualized study plans. In 1974 there were more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students and about 800 principal faculty members. The university is a major center of scholarly research.

As of 1974, Princeton University’s divisions included the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the School of Architecture and Urban Construction, and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. It had departments of astrophysics, physics, mathematics, geology, biology, chemistry, economics, philosophy, politics, sociology, psychology, religion, Romance languages and literatures, Germanic languages and literatures, and physical education. The James Forrestal Research Center, which has divisions of aeronautics, space research, technology, and a plasma physics laboratory, is associated with the university.

Also as of 1974 the Princeton University libraries had more than 2 million volumes. Princeton is financed by private sources.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Princeton University

(body, education)
Chartered in 1746 as the College of New Jersey, Princeton was British North America's fourth college. First located in Elizabeth, then in Newark, the College moved to Princeton in 1756. The College was housed in Nassau Hall, newly built on land donated by Nathaniel and Rebeckah FitzRandolph. Nassau Hall contained the entire College for nearly half a century. The College was officially renamed Princeton University in 1896; five years later in 1900 the Graduate School was established.

Fully coeducational since 1969, Princeton now enrolls approximately 6,400 students (4,535 undergraduates and 1,866 graduate students). The ratio of full-time students to faculty members (in full-time equivalents) is eight to one.

Today Princeton's main campus in Princeton Borough and Princeton Township consists of more than 5.5 million square feet of space in 160 buildings on 600 acres. The University's James Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro consists of one million square feet of space in four complexes on 340 acres.

As Mercer County's largest private employer and one of the largest in the Mercer/Middlesex/Somerset County region, with approximately 4,830 permanent employees - including more than 1,000 faculty members - the University plays a major role in the educational, cultural, and economic life of the region.
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