Greater Boston, and particularly the town of Cambridge, is renowned as one of the world’s most prestigious academic capitals. It boasts a dense concentration of celebrated institutes of higher learning, a spoil of libraries and other public resources, and a multifaceted cultural life. It also played host to a number of remarkable events in American history.
Cambridge was founded by English settlers in 1630, but originally bore the unimaginative (and distinctly Puritanical) title “Newe Towne.” In 1636 Harvard University was founded, and two years later the town's name was changed to Cambridge in honor of the famous English university. Cambridge's fledgling population was littered with Harvard's alumni and faculty, including Henry Dunster, the first president of Harvard; Nathaniel Eaton, Harvard’s first teacher; John Harvard, the great benefactor after whom the University is named; and John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts. In the winter of 1773, a little over a century after the earliest colonists had arrived, the Boston Tea Party unfolded in the harbor. This iconic episode was an important precursor to the first exchanges of fire with British forces in the Battle of Lexington and Concord, and the American Revolution began to unfold soon after.
Harvard has built a colossal reputation over the centuries. Its place at the top of the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) has remained unchallenged since the first survey was conducted in 2003. The area by which the university is surrounded is famed for its diversity – from the Boston Red Sox baseball team to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, from the iconic Citgo sign in Kenmore Square to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, there is something here to seize the imagination of every student.