Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Harvard University was founded in 1636, named after its first donor, John Harvard Pastor. It is the oldest higher education institution in the United States and one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in the world.
The General Court, the colonial legislature of Massachusetts, approved the establishment of Harvard. At the beginning of its establishment, Harvard College mainly trained axioms and monotheistic pastors, although it has never officially belonged to any denomination. Its curriculum and student body gradually became secularized in the 18th century, and by the 19th century, Harvard became the central cultural institution among Boston’s elite. After the American Civil War, President Charles William Eliot’s long term (1869-1909) transformed the college and affiliated professional schools into modern research universities. Harvard University became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. James B. Conant led the university through the Great Depression and World War II; he relaxed the admission requirements after the war.
The university consists of ten academic departments and the Radcliffe School of Advanced Studies. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences provides undergraduates and graduate students in a wide range of academic fields, while other colleges only provide graduate degrees, most of which are professional degrees. Harvard University has three main campuses: the Cambridge campus, which covers an area of 209 acres (85 hectares), centered on Harvard Park; the adjacent campus across the Charles River near Alston in Boston; and the medical campus in the Longwood Medical District in Boston. Harvard University’s endowment fund is worth 41.9 billion U.S. dollars, making it the largest of all academic institutions. Donated income helps undergraduate colleges and universities to recruit students without financial need and provide generous financial assistance without providing loans. The Harvard Library is the world’s largest academic library system. It consists of 79 individual libraries with a collection of approximately 20.4 million works.