This, the first post in our debuting series where we’ve chosen to highlight landmarks of the community, is sponsored by the Wilmington personal injury lawyers at My Delaware Lawyer.

From its roots as a private academy in 1743, the University of Delaware of the modern day is a research-intensive, technologically advanced university with global impact. Read on as we share some more information regarding this Wilmington monument.

UD in Wilmington

One of the oldest universities in the U.S., the University of Delaware traces its roots to 1743 when a petition by the Presbytery of Lewes expressing the need for an educated clergy led the Rev. Dr. Francis Alison to open a school in New London, Pennsylvania.

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Alison’s first class was “possibly the most distinguished in terms of the later achievements of its members, taken as a whole, of any class in any school in America,” expressed John Munroe, a historian. Indeed, those first students would go on to become statesmen, doctors, merchants and top scholars. Among them were Thomas McKean, George Read and James Smith who signed the Declaration of Independence; Read also signed the U.S. Constitution.

By 1765, Alison’s school relocated to Newark where it opened as a degree-granting institution in 1834 and was renamed Delaware College in 1843. In 1867, the college was designated one of the nation’s historic Land Grant colleges. Subequently, a women’s college opened in 1914 with 58 students, and in 1921, the two colleges joined to become the University of Delaware.

Since 1950, UD has quadrupled its enrollment and greatly expanded its faculty and academics and its influence in the world. In 2009, the University purchased a 272-acre parcel of land adjacent to the Newark campus that previously had been a Chrysler Plant. That site, now the Science, Technology and Advanced Research Campus, is home to the University’s Health Sciences Complex and is being developed as a space combining business, research, education and more.

The Present-Day Story

UD’s alumni tell the University’s own story of achievement — from that first class that boasted three signers of the Declaration of Independence to a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, a Tony Award winner and even the former vice president of the United States. Furthermore, the distinguished faculty includes internationally known authors, scientists and artists. A sturdy foundation can be found in the state-of-the-art facilities that support UD’s academic, research and service activities. And lastly, an exciting tudy-abroad program and expanding international partnerships further enhances the students’ education as global, not merely local, citizens.

The University of Delaware’s Values

The values of the University of Delaware are woven throughout the institution: in their mission statement, in classrooms, offices and laboratories, and of course, in e actions of faculty and students. These include academic freedom, diversity and inclusion, innovation, community, and finally service.

If you’ve enjoyed this brief highlight of the University of Delaware in Wilmington, feel free to peruse the other articles on our blog which were also spawned at the behest of My Delaware Lawyer’s Wilmington personal injury lawyers.