Chicago University was founded on July 1, 1891, when William Rainey Harper was elected its first president. Due to the constant migrations, population growth and industrialization of America at the beginning of the XX century, many institutions of higher education focused on issues vital for national development. Chicago University made substantial contributions to these developmental programs. In 1942, a prototype for the world's first nuclear reactor was constructed on the university's campus.
Currently the university is comprised of twelve campuses, including professional schools, a Library, the Undergraduate College, the Press, the Hospitals and the Lab School. There are four divisions within Chicago University: Social Sciences, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences and Humanities. The professional schools include the Law School, the Divinity School, the School of Social Service Administration, the Pritzker School of Medicine and the Harris School of Public Policy Studies. Each ranks highly nationwide.
According to US News, the Law School of the university ranks sixth, while the Divinity School ranks second and the School of Social Service Administration ranks third. The University Of Chicago Business School has produced leaders of the business world. In addition to professional schools, the university operates many off-campus research institutions, in addition to its membership in the University Research Association. Chicago University can boast the first Department of Sociology in the United States, which is affiliated with such scholars as George Herbert Mead, Ernest Burgess and Albion Small.
The student life of the university is rich and varied. The sports teams, known as Maroons participate in the University Athletic Association and the NCAA Division III. The university develops relations with the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, a consortium of 12 Midwestern research universities. Founded in 1892, the university paper Chicago Maroon is published every Tuesday and Friday. Among the most celebrated extracurricular groups are Model United Nations, the Chess Club and the University of Chicago College Bowl Team.
The university is proud of its faculty members, who have obtained 80 Nobel Prizes, 12 Pulitzer Prizes, 220 Guggenheim Fellowships, 26 Macarthur Fellowships, and 3 National Medals of the Arts, 11 National Humanities Medals, 6 Fields Medals and an Abel Prize. At various times the undergraduates of the university won 5 Marshall, 3 Truman, 3 Churchill and 2 Cambridge scholarships.
The students and faculty members of the university have been elected Presidents and Chancellors of such outstanding institutions as the University of Oxford, Yale University, Stanford University, Northwestern University and the University of California. Among the widely reputed faculty are James Cronin, Gary Becker, Vladimir Drinfeld, James Heckman, William Landes, Kevin Murphy, Michael Turner and Martha Nussbaum.
Chicago University is sometimes confuses with the University of Illinois at Chicago, which is a public research university.