University of Chicago
Established in 1856, the University of Chicago is a private research university based in the urban center of Chicago, the third most populous city in the United States. Outside of the Ivy League, Chicago is one of America’s top universities, and holds top-ten positions in various national and international rankings.
Beyond the arts and sciences, Chicago has a glowing reputation for its professional schools, including the Pritzker School of Medicine, the Booth School of Business, and the Harris School of Public Policy Studies. University of Chicago alumni are responsible for the development of many academic disciplines, such as sociology, economics, law, and literary criticism.
The college’s crest sees a phoenix rising from the ashes, a reference to the fire, foreclosure, and demolition of the Old University of Chicago campus, with the current University of Chicago emerging triumphantly in its place in 1890. The old university was founded through a land endowment from the controversial senator Stephen Douglas, a supporter of slavery who authored the Kansas-Nebraska act. By contrast, the new University of Chicago was co-educational and funded through donations from wealthy Chicagoans and the oil magnet John D. Rockefeller.
Today, the University of Chicago has approximately 16,000 students enrolled, with a male to female ratio of 56:44. A quarter of all students hail from overseas, a nod to the institution’s progressive credentials.
Students run more than 400 clubs and societies, which consist of a typical mix of sports teams, arts, cultural and religious groups, academic and political groupings, and societies that promote eclectic common interests. Among the more famous examples are the University of Chicago bowl team, which has won 118 tournaments and 15 national championships, while the university\’s competitive Model United Nations team was the top ranked team in North America in 2013–14 and 2014–2015.
If you have an interest in media and film, then you’re well catered for: the university is home to the longest continuously running student film society Doc Films and publishes several newspapers and magazines. Budding thespians can join renowned improvisational theater troupe Off-Off Campus, or learn how to broadcast at the university-owned radio station WHPK.
Notable faculty members past and present include 29 Nobel laureates and former US president Barack Obama. Illustrious alumni come in practically every field, including the novelists Philip Roth and Saul Bellow, political movers and shakers such as pollster Nate Silver and Obama strategist David Axelrod, pioneering balloonist Jeannette Piccard, and the fictional archaeologist Indiana Jones.