The History of Connecticut College

The College was founded in 1911, but its history began in 1909 when Wesleyan University announced that it would no longer offer admission to women. At that time, more women than ever were seeking higher education and demanding the right to vote. A committee was formed and towns across the state of Connecticut began offering prospective sites.

A New London hilltop, later described as "the finest college site in the world," was the committee's first choice, and they asked New London to raise $100,000 to ensure that their proposal would succeed. A 10-day fundraising campaign exceeded the goal by $35,000. Nearly a third of the inhabitants of the city and the surrounding communities contributed, including many children, along with virtually every business and organization.

A board of incorporators petitioned the State of Connecticut for a charter, which was granted in April 1911. The incorporators became the board of trustees, whose first responsibilities were to appoint a president and a campus architect. As it prepared to make these decisions, the board learned with some astonishment that its chairman, Morton Plant, was giving $1 million for an endowment. The future of the College was assured.

Today, Connecticut College is a thriving private, coeducational liberal arts institution known for developing extraordinary students who are drawn here by rigorous, interdisciplinary academics and an integrative residential life program, as well diverse opportunities to explore their interests through funded internships, community outreach and international study.

Read "A History of Excellence, a Look Back at Connecticut College's First Century" by President Katherine Bergeron.