In 1853, merchant and state senator Wayman Crow and his pastor, William Greenleaf Eliot Jr., founded Eliot Seminary, which we now know as Washington University in St. Louis.
During the 1840s and 50s, waves of immigrants came to St. Louis, boosting the population of the young city. With the newcomers came a need for industrial training and basic education conducted outside of normal working hours. The first iteration of Washington University was an evening program, established on October 22, 1854.
For its first 50 years, Washington University was located in downtown St. Louis. In 1893, a committee found a new location for the growing university west of the city. In 1900, construction began on the first buildings: Busch Hall, University Hall (now known as Brookings Hall), Cupples I, and Cupples II. When completed, the buildings were leased to the organizers of the 1904 World’s Fair.
The Board of Trustees approved adding “in St. Louis” to the university’s name in 1976 to distinguish WashU from other Washingtons. And on September 17, 2006, the Hilltop Campus was renamed the Danforth Campus in honor of William H. Danforth, our 13th chancellor.
Join us in celebrating our 170th anniversary!