Incorporated 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. school to award the PhD. 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: 12 now exist and two more are planned. Yale employs over 1,100 faculty to teach and advise about 5,300 undergraduate and 6,100 graduate and professional students. Almost all tenured professors teach undergraduate courses, more than 2,000 of which are offered annually.
The University's assets include a US $19.4 billion endowment, the second-largest of any academic institution. Yale libraries hold 12.5 million volumes in more than two dozen libraries. 49 Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the University as students, faculty, and staff. Yale has produced many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and several foreign heads of state. Yale Law School is particularly well-regarded and the most selective law school in the United States.
Yalies compete intercollegiately as the Yale Bulldogs in the NCAA Division I Ivy League. Yale and Harvard University share a strong athletic rivalry, which traditionally culminates in The Game and the Harvard-Yale Regatta. The official color of the university and its athletic teams is Yale Blue. Declan and Holly J. are currently attending there.