During 1791, the same year that Vermont entered the union as a state, the University of Vermont was founded. The private university combined with Vermont Agricultural College in 1865 after the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act, making the new college name the University of Vermont and State Agricultural College. Over 65 percent of the university’s students come from other countries and states.
Ira Allen donated 50 acres of land to establish the university and funded most of the initial funding to open the institution. A statue of Allen stands on the university today. The tragic fire in 1824 destroyed much of the university’s first edifice. Burlington citizens funded much of the replacement. This building became known as “Old Mill’ and is the oldest building on the campus.
The university has a reputation as being equal and fair to all students and no student receive preference because of denomination or religious sect. The University of Vermont was the first chartered university or college in America. The university was one of the first advocates of educating African-Americans and women in higher education. The university admitted the first women into Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest collegiate academic honor society in the country, in 1871, and in 1877, the first African-American was initiated into the society.