List of presidents of Yale University

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Yale University was originally founded in 1701 as a school for Congregationalist ministers. One of its ten founding ministers, Abraham Pierson, became its first Rector, the administrative and ecclesiastical head of the college. After Pierson, four more ministers served as rectors of the collegiate school, until 1745 when Yale College was chartered by the Colony of Connecticut and Thomas Clap's title was changed to president. In 1878, Yale incorporated as a university, and incumbent Timothy Dwight V became the last President the college and the first of Yale University. The first president not ordained as a minister was Arthur Twining Hadley, inaugurated in 1899; no ordained person has held the office since.

Woodbridge Hall, location of the university president's office.

The President is elected by the Yale Corporation, the governing body of the University on which the president sits ex-officio. The Corporation's bylaws state that the President is "chief executive officer of the University and as such is responsible for the general direction of all its affairs."[1] The President nominates other university officers, including the Provost, Secretary, and other Vice Presidents, for election by the Corporation. Other top-level administrative positions, such as University Chaplain, Deans of schools, and Masters of residential colleges, are appointed by the President alone.

The university's current President is Peter Salovey, a professor of social psychology who formerly served as University Provost and Dean of Yale College and received his Ph.D. from Yale's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

The Office of the President is located in Woodbridge Hall, a 1901 building erected specifically for administrative purpose.[2] The university maintains an official home for the President on Hillhouse Avenue, which hosts presidential events. Peter Salovey, inaugurated in 2013, is the first President since 1986 to use the home as his primary residence.[3]

The Reverend Ezra Stiles, by Samuel King

Rectors of Yale College (1701–)[edit]

Rectors of Yale College[4] birth–death years as rector
1 The Reverend Abraham Pierson (1641–1707) (1701–1707) Collegiate School
2 The Reverend Samuel Andrew (1656–1738) (1707–1719) (pro tempore)
3 The Reverend Timothy Cutler (1684–1765) (1719–1726) 1718/9: renamed Yale College
4 The Reverend Elisha Williams (1694–1755) (1726–1739)
5 The Reverend Thomas Clap (1703–1767) (1740–1745)

Presidents of Yale College (1740–1878) and Yale University (1878–)[edit]

Presidents of Yale College[4] birth–death years as president
5 The Reverend Thomas Clap (1703–1767) (1745–1766)
6 The Reverend Naphtali Daggett (1727–1780) (1766–1777) (pro tempore) - presidency during the American Revolution
7 The Reverend Ezra Stiles (1727–1795) (1778–1795) - presidency during the American Revolution
8 The Reverend Timothy Dwight IV (1752–1817) (1795–1817)
9 The Reverend Jeremiah Day (1773–1867) (1817–1846)
10 Theodore Dwight Woolsey (1801–1899) (1846–1871)
11 The Reverend Noah Porter III (1811–1892) (1871–1886)
12 The Reverend Timothy Dwight V (1828–1916) (1886–1899) 1887: renamed Yale University
13 Arthur Twining Hadley (1856–1930) (1899–1921)
14 James Rowland Angell (1869–1949) (1921–1937)
15 Charles Seymour (1885–1963) (1937–1951)
16 Alfred Whitney Griswold (1906–1963) (1951–1963)
17 Kingman Brewster, Jr. (1919–1988) (1963–1977)
18 Hanna Holborn Gray (1930– ) (1977–1978) (pro tempore)
19 A. Bartlett Giamatti (1938–1989) (1978–1986)
20 Benno C. Schmidt, Jr. (1942– ) (1986–1992)
21 Howard R. Lamar (1923– ) (1992–1993) (acting)
22 Richard C. Levin (1947– ) (1993–2013 )
23 Peter Salovey (1958– ) (2013- )


  1. ^ "The Yale Corporation Bylaws". The President and Fellows of Yale University. 28 September 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "New Building for Yale". The New York Times. 28 October 1900. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Zorthian, Julia (25 April 2013). "Salovey to reside in president's house". Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Rectors & Presidents". Yale University Library. Retrieved 8 February 2013.