• C. Daryl Healea (STH’01, Wheelock’11)

    C. Daryl Healea (STH’01, Wheelock’11) is the College of Arts & Sciences assistant dean for curriculum and enrollment services and a Wheelock College of Education & Human Development lecturer in the Higher Education Administration program. He is currently writing his first book, Daniel L. Marsh and the Spectacular Development of Boston University. His summer course, The History of Boston University, will explore (remotely) the historical saga of BU and its implications for the professional practice of higher education administration. Profile

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There are 7 comments on Did You Know? 10 Fun Facts about BU

  1. Alumnus

    Such an interesting article and the incoming President will enjoy reading. For the Myles Standish Hall fans. Some history. Among all the current and past residents that lived there it included Babe Ruth and Martin Luther King, Jr. (GRS’55, Hon.’59) and Howard Stern (COM’76)- there was BU’s student-run radio station WTBU in Myles and the Myles Annex from 1969 to1997,

  2. Boston University was founded and established in 1869. The charter granted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1869 is documentation of Boston University’s establishment date. Documentation that Boston University was either founded or established in 1839 does not exist.

    1. Sorry. Boston University goes by the official “founding” date: That’s what is inscribed on granite on campus.

      The first date commemorates the year when Boston University was officially chartered. On March 26, 1869, Massachusetts Governor William Claflin signed an act to incorporate BU as a new, modern venture in higher education. Some of the oldest Commonwealth Avenue buildings memorialize that chartering year on their cornerstones by displaying the original BU seal with the Roman numerals of MDCCCLXIX (1869).

      The second, and older, date commemorates the founding of Boston University by way of its very first academic unit, the School of Theology, which was actually established in 1839 and placed in Newbury, Vt. (seminary campus pictured above in the late 1800s), before eventually migrating back to Boston. The connection of this fledgling seminary to Boston University is closer than it might initially seem. The University’s original charter (discussed above) made explicit reference to one—and only one—academic unit: the “Theological” department. Additionally, in an act signed in 1871, the Boston Theological School and Boston University where authorized to unite, and the trustees of BU were permitted to “take and enjoy all the powers, rights, privileges, franchises, property, claims, trusts, and estates appertaining in law or in equity to said Boston Theological Seminary.” Most importantly, both the 1839 theological seminary and the 1869 university were created by the very same Methodist community headquartered out of Bromfield Street in the heart of Boston’s business district. Today, BU T-shirts often carry a prominent 1839 design, and our current seal displays a different set of Roman numerals with MDCCCXXXIX (1839).

      1. My comment was about the importance of documentation. The comments themselves are not documentation, and neither is your reply. Granite stones, school emblems, seals and t-shirts are not documentation. I was already familiar with what you mentioned in your reply, and I disagree with almost all of your conclusions. Documentation rules. It’s not about what I contend, or what you contend, or what Boston University claims, or who the founders were. What’s important is what the documentation specifically shows us, and what it doesn’t show us. This is fundamental to historical accuracy. There is no specific mention of 1839 in either the 1869 charter or in the 1871 act with which Boston University acquired the Boston Theological Seminary. Boston University was an existing entity (established in 1869) when that acquisition took place. The Boston Theological Seminary was not renamed Boston University and it did not become Boston University. It became the first “department” of Boston University, with other departments of the university to follow. Only The School of Theology was established in 1839. Boston University was established 1869. That’s what the documentation shows us.

        If documentation ever surfaces definitively showing that Boston University was established in 1839, it will most likely be available for viewing at Mugar Library. Until such time, I stand by my original comments.

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