Colonial Colleges

On September 12, 2013 · 9 Comments

I made a passing reference to the Colonial Colleges of the United States recently in King’s College Tract. There are over four thousand colleges and universities in the U.S. that award degrees today. Only nine of them — the so-called Colonial Colleges — were chartered before the United States became an independent nation. I figured it might be useful to lists those historic nine and plot them on a map.



View Colonial Colleges in a larger map

  1. New College, 1636 in Massachusetts (now Harvard University)
  2. The College of William & Mary, 1693, in Virginia
  3. Collegiate School, 1701 in Connecticut (now Yale University)
  4. College of New Jersey, 1746 in New Jersey (now Princeton University)
  5. College of Philadelphia, 1749 (or 1740) in Pennsylvania (now University of Pennsylvania
  6. King’s College, 1754 in New York (now Columbia University)
  7. Rhode Island College, 1764 in Rhode Island (now Brown University
  8. Queen’s College, 1766 in New Jersey (now Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
  9. Dartmouth College, 1769 in New Hampshire

I’ll offer some caveats. First, the exact order has been subject to heated debate. There is an obvious prestige with an earlier founding. Dates can vary depending on how one chooses to interpret earlier institutions that may have contributed somehow to the formation of these colleges and universities. The most controversial date is probably the one recognized by the University of Pennsylvania, as noted by Wikipedia.

Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date; this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849. In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740… to retroactively revise the university’s founding date to appear older than Princeton University, which had been chartered in 1746.

Second, I plotted the current location for each institution. For example, Columbia University has existed at various Manhattan addresses as noted by Peter. I ignored the previous ones for purposes of this exercise.

The Odd Man and Woman Out



College of William & Mary

I’ll start by saying I have a ton of respect for the College of William & Mary and the City of Williamsburg, and I personally know scores of accomplished and successful people who graduated from there. It is an extremely selective school filled with very smart people. Nonetheless, Bill and Mary kept falling into the "other" list when I looked at colonial colleges as a set. For example:

  • Only William & Mary and Dartmouth didn’t change their original names. The other seven incorporated University somewhere within theirs
  • Only William & Mary and Princeton retained a reference to English British royalty (well, I guess Dartmouth too… for the Earl of Dartmouth)
  • Only William & Mary and Rutgers are not part of the Ivy League. They are also the only two colonial colleges that are public, not private institutions
  • Only William & Mary can conceivably be described as a southern school. In spite of being one of the earliest, no other institution was founded in the south before the American Revolution

Additionally, I’ve noticed an odd set of connections between William & Mary and Waste Management, Inc., the trash disposal and recycling company.

  • W&M vs. WM
  • wm.edu vs. wm.com
  • Green, Gold and Silver school colors vs. Green and Gold logo. Seriously, look at some of William & Mary’s deprecated logos and compare them to Waste Management’s logo

It seemed so odd. Was the company founded by a William & Mary alumnus or was it just one of life’s strange coincidences?


Completely Unrelated

"Brandon M" sent an email to 12MC a few days ago. He was about to go shopping and naturally consulted Google Maps (don’t we all?) before heading towards Towson Place Shopping Center in Towson, Maryland. He noticed something unusual. The Google Street View car went down every single aisle in the Center’s massive parking lot, creating one of the most redundant and least efficient set of images imaginable.

Grab the Google Man and see for yourself.

Is this common? I’d not seen something quite like this before. I told Brandon I’d post his discovery on 12MC to see if anyone in the audience could come up with similar situations so we could determine if it was an anomaly or something entirely more mundane.

On September 12, 2013 · 9 Comments

9 Responses to “Colonial Colleges”

  1. There are quite a few malls where I’ve seen Street View do that for no good reason. It happens at airports occasionally as well. Midway Island is loaded with redundant imagery across the airport and its parking lots.

    After these last two posts, I also couldn’t help myself and made a list of Canadian pre-Confederation universities and colleges:

    Séminaire de Québec, 1663, in Quebec (now Université Laval)
    Academy of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 1785, in New Brunswick (now University of New Brunswick)
    King’s College, 1789, in Nova Scotia (now University of King’s College)
    Saint Mary’s University, 1802, in Nova Scotia
    College de Saint-Boniface, 1818, in Manitoba (now Université de Saint-Boniface)
    Dalhousie College, 1818, in Nova Scotia (now Dalhousie University)
    McGill College, 1821, in Quebec (now McGill University)
    King’s College, 1827, in Ontario (now University of Toronto)
    Prince of Wales College, 1834, in Prince Edward Island (now University of Prince Edward Island)
    Acadia College, 1838, in Nova Scotia (now Acadian University)
    Mount Allison Wesleyan College, 1839, in New Brunswick (now Mount Allison University)
    Queen’s University, 1841, in Ontario
    Bishop’s College, 1843, in Quebec (now Bishop’s University
    College of Bytown, 1848, in Ontario (now University of Ottawa)
    St. Francis Xavier College, 1855, in Nova Scotia (now St. Francis Xavier University)

    • As mentioned in the earlier article, King’s College in Nova Scotia (now University of King’s College) was founded by a loyalist who was associated with King’s College in New York City (now Columbia University) after he left the American colonies and fled to Canada because of the revolution. Thus, in a sense, King’s College makes BOTH LISTS!

  2. Kevin says:

    I need to use street view to map retail locations and the availability in large shopping centers makes life much easier. SV in every row may be a bit much but I applaud this relatively new trend.

  3. Kevin says:

    the street view in plazas is much more common in Southern California from what I’ve seen.

    found one at 33.803721,-118.166222 north of Long Beach.

  4. Peter says:

    Speaking of “odd woman out,” around 100 years ago William & Mary became the first of these universities to admit women. Most of the others didn’t go co-ed until the 1960’s. Cornell, the one Ivy not on the list, has always been co-ed but wasn’t founded until the mid-1800’s.

  5. Katy says:

    Street View imagery is available for a cemetery on the south side of Chicago. It’s a bit odd and doesn’t seem very efficient. It makes more sense to have it there than a parking lot. Perhaps Brandon found a practice route for the drivers?

  6. Greg says:

    The massive parking lot at the Cedar Point amusement park in Ohio is fully covered this way, as I recall. I have a theory that weird coverage like parking lots or cemeteries happens whenever Google’s data shows that a roadway is a public road (whether it truly is or not). I’ve heard that Google gives their drivers turn-by-turn directions based on this data, which the drivers follow religiously (except when they go to Burger King and forget to turn off the camera, which is always fun to discover).

  7. stangetz says:

    Ugh…didnt realize the streetview thing until I checked our local retail strip…all kinds of views in parts of parking lots that arent used:
    http://goo.gl/maps/izGSQ

  8. David says:

    Before I moved neighborhoods, I had a chinese food delivery place for which I could never remember the name but always the location. I always found it again with google maps… The times in which we live…

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