1839, Methodist ministers opened a new institution to train clergymen. Under the
guidance of educational innovators, this became Boston University, chartered in
1869. It was based upon the European model that included colleges, graduate schools,
and training schools for the professions. Initially scattered in buildings throughout
the city, the University purchased land and built a campus on the Boston bank
of the Charles River in the 1920s.
Admission to the new University was
without regard to sex, race, or creed, with the exception of the School of Theology.
Boston University was the first to grant a theology degree and Ph.D. degree to
women, in 1876 and 1877, respectively. Lelia Robinson graduated from Boston University's
School of Law in 1881 to become the first female member of the Massachusetts bar.
Martin Luther King, Jr., earned his Ph.D. at Boston University in 1955.
of the University's early innovators was Alexander Graham Bell, a professor in
the School of Oratory. His experiments led to the invention of the telephone.
Today Boston University is the fourth-largest independent university in
the United States, with more than 30,000 students from all 50 states and 135 countries.
Interactions with industry, commerce, finance, medicine, and technology enrich
Boston University's learning environment.
Boston University is home to
a renowned faculty, including four Nobel Prize winners: the physicist Sheldon
Glashow; the literary figures Derek Walcott and Saul Bellow; and Elie Wiesel,
an inspiring witness to the Holocaust.
John Streider in 1937 was the first surgeon to
correct a heart defect characterized by the persistence of fetal circulation after
birth, a forerunner of open-heart surgery. In 1945 Boston University's Dr. Chester
Keefer conducted the first clinical trials of penicillin, directed the production
of the drug, and controlled its rationing.
Dr. Duncan Macdonald,
working in Boston University's Physical Research Laboratory, founded ITEK Corporation
in 1957 to build electronic defense networks and photo-optical systems for reconnaissance
and space exploration.
Dr. Farouk El-Baz founded and became director
of Boston University's Center for Remote Sensing in 1985. His research using the
technology of remote sensing has led to advances in the fields of geology, geography,
environmental science, and high-technology archaeology.
devoted to the technology of light, supports research and development in engineering,
physics, chemistry, medicine, and biology and provides incubator space for start-up
companies. The Center forms business partnerships in which companies draw on the
University's expertise and resources to build actual prototypes and spawn new
University by Sally Ann Kydd, 2002 |