University of Pennsylvania, Obtaining a Charter
Benjamin Franklin first circulated an essay in support of his plan to create an institution of higher education in Philadelphia in 1749. With the support of a number of Philadelphia’s leading citizens, Franklin opened an academic secondary school and a charity school. The governor and proprietors of the colony incorporated them in 1753. Two years later, the College of Philadelphia received its charter, creating the institution that later became the University of Pennsylvania. The charter named the organization, granted it the power to own land, and outlined the scope of its mission. A confirmatory charter of June 16, 1755, added the power to appoint a provost and professors.