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Traditions & History

has grown and evolved for 300-plus years, passing many milestones and forging traditions along the way. 

The university traces its roots to the 1640s, when colonial clergymen led an effort to establish a local college in the tradition of European liberal education. In 1701 the Connecticut legislature adopted a charter “to erect a Collegiate School.” The school officially became College in 1718, when it was renamed in honor of Welsh merchant Elihu , who had donated the proceeds from the sale of nine bales of goods together with 417 books and a portrait of King George I.

Take a stroll through ’s three centuries of history, and learn about the traditions that have become part of the fabric of our university.