An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

College of Philadelphia

In 1740 a charity school was founded in Philadelphia by George Whitefield. Trustees for an academy were named on Nov. 13, 1749. In Dec., 1749, the trustees of the academy bought the Charity School building. Classes began on Sept. 16, 1751. On July 16, 1755, a new charter was granted and the school was named “The Trustees of the College, Academy, and Charitable School of Philadelphia.” The Rev. William Smith was named provost of the school in 1755. The first commencement was held on May 17, 1757. On Nov. 27, 1779, the legislature voided the charter of the college and created the Trustees of the University of the State of Pennsylvania. Smith resigned as provost. Thus there were two institutions. On Sept. 30, 1791, an act of the state legislature united the University of the State of Pennsylvania and the College of Philadelphia as the University of Pennsylvania. Although this school was not exclusively a church institution, the Anglican influence dominated until the Revolution. Episcopal leaders included two presidents of the board of trustees and five provosts.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.