Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, was founded by Quakers and Methodists in the 1800s. It was originally located in what is today known as Trinity, before it moved to its current home in Durham in the 1890s. It also had a few different former names before tobacco and power mogul James Buchanan Duke established The Duke Endowment in 1924, at which time the university was renamed in his honor.
Today, that endowment has no reached an impressive $8.5 billion. The university also enjoys a budget of more than $2 billion each year. The prestigious private research school has seen 46 Rhodes Scholars alumnus, and 25 Churchill Scholars. There have also been over a dozen Nobel Prize winners associated with Duke.
University of California: $13.4 Billion
The University of California has one of the largest student bodies of any of the schools on this list. The public school was established in 1868 in Berkley and had a graduating class of nearly 40 people in its first year. Now, there are over 280,000 students in attendance each year. The school has 10 campuses throughout the state of California, including UC San Francisco and UC Irvine.
In 2017, University of California had an annual budget of nearly $35 billion. By the end of that same year, the UC faculty and researches had won 62 Nobel Prizes. One noteworthy alumnus from UC is Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Actors George Takei, Brenda Song and Chris Pine also attended.
University Of Virginia: $9.6 Billion
This public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia, was founded 200 years ago by Thomas Jefferson. It has an annual budget of over $1.3 billion, which perhaps lends to the fact the school has produced some top-notch engineers. It’s also seen its fair share of successful entrepreneurs, including the founders of CNET and Reddit.
The school has been named third best of all of the public universities in the U.S, by U.S News & World Report. Among the list of famous alumni from the University of Virginia: former U.S President Robert F. Kennedy, master poet Edgar Allen Poe and funny woman Tina Fey. The school is also known for having an array of secret societies, including six known societies that are active today. Among them are The Purple Shadows, The Sons and Daughters of Liberty, and the all-female group, The Thursdays.
University Of Chicago: $8.9 Billion
This private research university in Chicago, Illinois, has been around since the 1890s. It’s well-known for having renowned professional schools, including the Law School, the Booth School of Business and the Pritzker School of Medicine. The university has campuses all over the world, including in Hong Kong, Delhi, and Paris.
As of this year, there have been over 100 Nobel Prize winners to have been associated with the University of Chicago. They also boast 16 billionaire alumni, alongside members of Congress, Pulitzer Prize winners and 18 graduates who have received the MacArthur Genius Grant.
Washington University: $7.5 Billion
Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, was established in 1853, and named after the first president of the United States. The school has grown to include seven schools, including the School of Medicine, which is ranked by U.S News & World Report as the 8th best in the country. In 1976, the school added “in St. Louis,” to their name to curb confusion about where the university was located.
The U.S News & World Report also ranked Washington University in St. Louis as the 19th best undergraduate program in the country for 2020, and 11th by The Wall Street Journal for the same category. The school’s endowment this year was just over $7.5 billion, which lends to all of their amazing programs, including all of the research at the McKelvey School of Engineering. The school has more than 150 National Institute of Health inventions to its name and has played a huge role in the Human Genome Project as well.