This month we celebrate the 300th anniversary of Yale’s move to New Haven. In its earliest days our university was called the Collegiate School, and it was originally located in the town of Saybrook. Our admission numbers were very different then, and the Collegiate School struggled to attract students. The trustees decided to look for a new location, and on October 17, 1716, they settled on New Haven, which they declared “a very convenient place.”
The healthy partnership between Yale and New Haven today experienced some difficult periods in earlier centuries. A low point certainly came in 1824, when the discovery of a body in the medical school basement stolen from the West Haven cemetery triggered days of rioting. Since then, the city and university have weathered many challenges together. As a New Haven resident for thirty-five years—and one who has lived in many different neighborhoods from Fair Haven Heights to Edgewood and several others in between—I have witnessed extraordinary changes including a burgeoning biotech sector, the transformation of abandoned industrial buildings into homes and businesses, and the arrival of many irresistible restaurants.
Yale aspires to be a good neighbor, and we work with the city of New Haven to improve the quality of life for all residents in our community. Yale students, faculty, and employees offer exceptional resources and unusual talents to the city. In turn, we benefit from being part of this vibrant and diverse community. As we mark this special tricentennial, I invite you to join me in celebrating our incredible home in New Haven. Here’s to the next 300 years!