The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, ranked 5th in the United States. Founded in 1861, the institute has always put a strong emphasis on technology, applied science, and engineering. Today, it is a 4 year, private not-for profit university with a concentration in doctoral and research.
Although the school was founded in 1861, it did not open until 1865 due to the start of the Civil War two days after founding. The first classes were finally held in the Mercantile Building. The years that followed were met with financial shortages and repeated attempts by Harvard to merge the two schools. Although they resisted the proposition for several years, MIT found they could no longer sustain the overcrowded facilities. The merger with Harvard began but was quickly protested by faculty, students, and alumni until the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court struck the deal down.
Thankfully, much of the school’s expansion to its current location was funded by an anonymous donor, Mr. Smith. It was later discovered that it was the founder of Eastman Kodak, George Eastman. Over an eight-year span, Eastman donated 20 million dollars (over $200 million today) and Kodak stock to MIT.
The school would go on to work on technology throughout the Second World War and Cold War, including radar, computers, and inertial guidance. Notable alumni include several foreign leaders, founders of notable companies such as Dropbox, Campbell Soup, and Texas Instruments, the astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and I.M. Pei, the architect behind the Lourve Pyramid.
Today, MIT stands on a 168-acre campus along the Charles River Basin in Cambridge, MA. About 11,500 students attend the school every year. The university has continued to stand by its motto “Mens et manus”, or “Mind and hand.”
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