Chicago, University of

Chicago, University of

Independent university in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. It was founded in 1890 with an endowment from John D. Rockefeller. William Rainey Harper, its first president (1891–1906), did much to establish its reputation, and under Robert M. Hutchins (1929–51) the university came to be recognized for its broad liberal arts curriculum. The world's first department of sociology was established there in 1892 under Robert E. Park. In 1942 it was the site of the first controlled self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, under the direction of Enrico Fermi. Other notable achievements include the development of carbon-14 dating and the isolation of plutonium. More than 70 scholars associated with the University of Chicago have been awarded Nobel Prizes in their fields. The university comprises an undergraduate college, several professional schools, and centres for advanced research, including the Oriental Institute (Middle Eastern studies), Yerkes Observatory, the Enrico Fermi Institute, and the Center for Policy Study. The university operates the Argonne National Laboratory.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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