The History of Connecticut College

The College was founded in 1911, although its history began a few years earlier when one men’s institution in the state, which had begun opening its doors to women, abruptly closed them. 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 offered prospective sites for the first woman’s college in Connecticut.

New London won the bid with a hilltop, later described as "the finest college site in the world." The city also raised $135,000 — $35,000 more than the original goal — to solidify the commitment. 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.