Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut, founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut. The university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. Originally chartered as the "Collegiate School", the institution traces its roots to 17th-century clergymen who sought to establish a college to train clergy and political leaders for the colony. In 1718, the College was renamed "Yale College" to honor a gift from Elihu Yale, a governor of the British East India Company. In 1861, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences became the first U.S. institution to award the Ph.D. Yale became a founding member of the Association of American Universities in 1900. Yale College was transformed, beginning in the 1930s, through the establishment of residential colleges.
Yale comprises 15 academic schools with 12 residential colleges. Its central campus is in downtown New Haven, and additional lands in rural Connecticut and Horse Island hold the Yale golf course and nature preserves. The university's assets include an endowment valued at $20.8 billion as of 2013, the second-largest of any academic institution in the world.