Benjamin Franklin Opens Pennsylvania Academy and College

As he matured, Franklin began to concern himself more with public affairs.

In 1743, he set forth a scheme for The Academy and College of Philadelphia. He was appointed president of the academy in November 13, 1749, and it opened on August 13, 1751. At its first commencement, on May 17, 1757, seven men graduated; six with a Bachelor of Arts and one as Master of Arts. It was later merged with the University of the State of Pennsylvania to become the University of Pennsylvania.

The Academy and College of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, is considered by many to have been the first American academy. It was founded in 1749 by Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin drew up the constitution for the academy, and on November 13, 1749, he was appointed its president. The academy opened August 13, 1751. Seven men graduated May 17, 1757, at the first commencement. Six graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and one with a Master of Arts.

In 1765, Drs. John Morgan and William Shippen, Jr. founded the Medical School of the College of Philadelphia, the first medical school in North America.

On September 13, 1791, State legislation united the University of the State of Pennsylvania with the Academy and College of Philadelphia, under the name the University of Pennsylvania.

Note: Since many of the early academies were actually elementary schools and the title "academy" was used indiscriminately, there is considerable controversy as to which was the first academy.