King’s College

Hamilton Hall and Alexander Hamilton’s statue at the present day Columbia University. Once known as King’s College established in 1754, educated some of America’s important figures including Alexander Hamilton studying law.

King’s College was founded in 1754 by the royal charter of King George II of England where it got its name and is now known as Columbia University. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in New York State. When King’s College was founded there was much debate and controversy on the topics of location and religious association. The college’s first classes were for the future leaders of the colonial society to help their understanding and qualify them for their roles. In 1767, King’s College opened its very first medical school, the first American school to award a M.D. degree. During the American Revolution the growth of the school had come to a halt, but still remained to have its significance on American life. Some of the schools trustees and earliest students were John Jay, Alexander Hamilton, Gouverneur Morris, and Robert R. Livingston who were all very important figures in American life.

In 1784 the college reopened under the name of Columbia College, as it embraced and reflected the many diversity of its new leaders and students.  After the move to Forty-Ninth Street and Madison avenue Columbia began to shape itself as a modern university. The Columbia School of Law was soon added as well as the country’s first mining school in the late 19th century. The university also affiliated themselves with the Barnard College, a college for woman, as well as the Teachers College. Then yet another move and renaming occurred, Columbia University now located in Morningside Heights. The studies of sciences and liberal arts flourished, their medical program partners with The Presbyterian Hospital, and the major of international relations was a new addition to the curriculum. Columbia University remains standing and continues to flourish and grow, new buildings being added. Columbia University has a building Hamilton Hall named after Alexander Hamilton, who studied law under its name of Kings College, as well as a statue of him at the entrance of this building.