Northwestern University

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"The Arch," the main entrance to Northwestern's Evanston campus

Northwestern University is a private university situated in Evanston, Illinois, on a 240 acre (970,000 m²) campus along the shores of Lake Michigan. Several of the university's professional schools are located in Chicago, on a 25 acre (101,000 m²) campus near the Magnificent Mile. US News & World Report ranks Northwestern 11th among national doctoral research universities. Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management consistently ranks as one of the world's top graduate business programs.

As of August 31, 2004, Northwestern University's endowment and assets totaled $4.34 billion.

Northwestern University enrolls approximately 14,000 full-time students (including approximately 8,000 undergraduates) and employs nearly 7,100 faculty and staff members.

Northwestern University's student newspaper is The Daily Northwestern.



The university was founded in 1851 by Methodists and opened in 1855 with two faculty members and ten students. The University's name, Northwestern, came from its founders' desire to serve citizens of the states that occupied the area of the former Northwest Territory: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

Northwestern University's official color is purple. (For this reason, the Chicago Transit Authority's elevated train running through Evanston is called the Purple Line. (The Purple Line stations that serve Northwestern University are Davis, Foster, Noyes and Central.) The phrase on Northwestern University's seal is Quaecumque sunt vera -- in Latin, "Whatsoever things are true" from Phillipians 6:8


On the Saturday before Memorial Day every year, an all-day music festival known as Armadillo Day, or Dillo Day as is more commonly used, is held out on the Northwestern Lakefill. The event was founded as a small party on the lakefill by a group of students from Texas, hence the Armadillo. Last year's headliner was Funk legend George Clinton.

Also, every year during winter, on the weekend before reading week, over 1000 student participate in Dance Marathon. The event raises over a half of a million dollars every year for local charities.

Student Body

Northwestern University's admissions were ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the "most selective" in the nation. Among national universities, the publication ranks Northwestern 11th overall. As of the 2004-2005 academic year, there were 7,840 undergraduates and 6,119 graduate students enrolled. An additional 1,100 students were enrolled in the School of Continuing Studies.

For the undergraduate class of 2008, entering school in fall of 2004, there were 15,637 total applicants, with 29.9% admitted. 40.9% of admitted students, or 1,915 enrolled. Of the students that matriculated in the class of 2008, 28.1% were admitted under the Early Decision program. Of minorities enrolled in the class of 2008, 5.5% are African-American, 16.4% are Asian-American or Pacific Islanders, 6.4% are Hispanic and less than 1% claim Native American ancestry. The class is 53.8% female and 46.2% male. The mean high school rank was 94th percentile and the combined SAT score was 1398 out of 1600. This puts it as the most selective Big Ten university, more competitive than academic rivals Michigan and Wisconsin.

According to numbers posted by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, 36% of Northwestern students were affiliated with a fraternity or a sorority in Spring 2004. This is the highest number of students involved in Greek life at any Big Ten University.


Northwestern's athletic teams are nicknamed the Wildcats. Before 1924, they were known as "The Purple" and unofficially as "The Fighting Methodists." The name Wildcats was bestowed upon the university by a writer for the Chicago tribune. The Mascot is Willie The Wildcat. Northwestern University is the only private university member of the Big Ten Conference, of which it was a founding member. Northwestern has eight men's and eleven women's Division I sports teams. Notable programs that are perenially ranked in the Top 20 include men's swimming, and women's tennis, fencing and lacrosse. In 2005 Northwestern won the national championship in Women's Lacrosse. The women's lacrosse team was founded less than a decade ago, but the lady wildcats were able to defeat many long-established east-coast schools to capture the school's first national championship in over 50 years.

Schools, colleges and departments

  • Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (founded 1851)
  • School of Communication (1878)
  • School of Continuing Studies (1933)
  • School of Education and Social Policy (1926)
  • Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science (1909)
  • Graduate School (1910)
  • Medill School of Journalism (1921)
  • School of Law (1859)
  • J. L. Kellogg School of Management (1908)
  • Feinberg School of Medicine (1859)
  • School of Music (1859)
  • Dental School (1891-2001)

Notable alumni

Actors and other celebrities

External links

For other schools named Northwestern please see the Northwestern College article.


Template:Big Ten Conferencefr:Université du Northwestern


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