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Concerned about the paucity of institutions of higher learning in the developing Midwest, renowned St. Louis merchant Wayman Crow and his pastor, William Greenleaf Eliot Jr., led the creation of Washington University in St. Louis in 1853. Waves of immigrants flowed into St. Louis throughout the 1840s and 1850s, expanding the population of the nascent metropolis. With the influx of refugees an urgent demand for education arose — both industrial training and basic general courses that could be completed outside of regular working hours. Washington University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It is a member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the American Council on Education (ACE), the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU), the Association of American Universities (AAU), the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), and the University Research Association (URA). It is ranked #107 in the QS US University Ranking 2022. It is ranked #14 in National Universities (tie), #17 in Best Value Schools and #375 in Top Performers on Social Mobility (tie) as per the reports by US News and World Report.
The campuses of Washington University in St. Louis is close to the city's cultural core, with museums, performance venues, dynamic entertainment and food districts, one of the nation's largest civic parks, and beautiful, tree-lined neighborhoods rich in history and variety. The campuses are well served by the region's light rail and bus systems, as well as major interstate highways. The institution covers more than 2,000 acres and has around 150 important buildings. The university has over 250 programs and 5,500 courses leading to associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in a wide range of traditional and interdisciplinary subjects, with minor concentrations and personalized programs available. The University top’s offerings are in the field Biology/Biological Sciences, Computer Science, Econometrics and Quantitative Economics, Experimental Psychology and Finance. Accomplishments and Alumni Washington University has been transformed by William H. Danforth. He stabilized the university's finances, created deeper links with the St. Louis community, and led to the university's position as a national and international leader in higher education, first as vice chancellor for medical affairs and then as the university's 13th chancellor from 1971 to 1995. 70 new academic chairs, a $1.72 billion endowment, dozens of new buildings, and a tripling of the number of gift-supported scholarships are just a few of his achievements as chancellor. The university’s list of accomplishments is unending. The university has more than 100,000 alumni all across the world. Some of the notable names are Tennessee Williams, American playwright, Peter Sarsgaard, American actor and Steve Fossett, American businessman
The University has a total of 15,539 students enrolled. There are 14,185 full-time students and 1,354 part-time students among them. Students come from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands, representing over 100 nationalities. 90% of undergraduates are from outside of the state, with approximately half coming from more than 500 miles away. At Washington University in St. Louis, there are over 380 undergraduate student groups and more than 150 graduate student groups. Some of the top employers of university are Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Bayer and Mastercard.
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