List of presidents of Yale University

Yale University was founded in 1701 as a school for Congregationalist ministers. One of its ten founding ministers, Abraham Pierson, became its first Rector, the administrative and ecclesiastical head of the college. After Pierson, four more ministers served as rectors of the collegiate school, until 1745 when Yale College was chartered by the Colony of Connecticut and Thomas Clap's title was changed to president. In 1878, Yale incorporated as a university, and incumbent Timothy Dwight V became the last president of the college and the first of Yale University. The first president not ordained as a minister was Arthur Twining Hadley, inaugurated in 1899; no ordained person has held the office since.

Woodbridge Hall, location of the university president's office.

The president is elected by the Yale Corporation, the governing body of the University on which the president sits ex-officio. The corporation's bylaws state that the president is "chief executive officer of the University and as such is responsible for the general direction of all its affairs."[1] The president nominates other university officers, including the provost, secretary, and other vice presidents, for election by the corporation. Other top-level administrative positions, such as university chaplain, deans of schools, and masters of residential colleges, are appointed by the president alone.

The university's current president is Peter Salovey, a professor of social psychology who formerly served as University Provost and Dean of Yale College and received his Ph.D. from Yale's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

The Office of the President is located in Woodbridge Hall, a 1901 building erected specifically for administrative purpose.[2] The university maintains an official home for the president on Hillhouse Avenue, which hosts presidential events. Peter Salovey, inaugurated in 2013, is the first president since 1986 to use the home as his primary residence.[3]

Rectors of Yale College (1701–)Edit

Rectors of Yale College[4] birth–death years as rector
1 Abraham Pierson (1641–1707) (1701–1707) Collegiate School
2 Samuel Andrew (1656–1738) (1707–1719; pro tempore)
3 Timothy Cutler (1684–1765) (1719–1726) 1718/9: renamed Yale College
4 Elisha Williams (1694–1755) (1726–1739)
5 Thomas Clap (1703–1767) (1740–1745)

Presidents of Yale College (1740–1878) and Yale University (1878–)Edit

Presidents of Yale College[4] birth–death years as president
5 Thomas Clap (1703–1767) (1745–1766)
6 Naphtali Daggett (1727–1780) (1766–1777; pro tempore) - presidency during the American Revolution
7 Ezra Stiles (1727–1795) (1778–1795) - presidency during the American Revolution
8 Timothy Dwight IV (1752–1817) (1795–1817)
9 Jeremiah Day (1773–1867) (1817–1846)
10 Theodore Dwight Woolsey (1801–1889) (1846–1871)
11 Noah Porter III (1811–1892) (1871–1886)
12 Timothy Dwight V (1828–1916) (1886–1899) 1887: renamed Yale University
13 Arthur Twining Hadley (1856–1930) (1899–1921)
14 James Rowland Angell (1869–1949) (1921–1937)
15 Charles Seymour (1885–1963) (1937–1951)
16 Alfred Whitney Griswold (1906–1963) (1951–1963)
17 Kingman Brewster, Jr. (1919–1988) (1963–1977)
18 Hanna Holborn Gray (1930– ) (1977–1978; pro tempore)
19 A. Bartlett Giamatti (1938–1989) (1978–1986)
20 Benno C. Schmidt, Jr. (1942– ) (1986–1992)
21 Howard R. Lamar (1923– ) (1992–1993; acting)
22 Richard C. Levin (1947– ) (1993–2013 )
23 Peter Salovey (1958– ) (2013–present )


  1. ^ "The Yale Corporation Bylaws". The President and Fellows of Yale University. 28 September 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  2. ^ "New Building for Yale". The New York Times. 28 October 1900. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
  3. ^ Zorthian, Julia (25 April 2013). "Salovey to reside in president's house". Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Rectors & Presidents". Yale University Library. Retrieved 8 February 2013.