7. Fordham University, 1841
Fordham University founded in 1841 by the Irish immigrant and Bishop of the Diocese of New York, John Jay Hughes and originally known as St. John’s College. Fordham was the first Catholic institution of higher education in the northeastern U.S. With dreams of building a seminary, Hughes purchased 100 acres of land at Rose Hill in the Bronx – it wasn’t until the 1960s that Fordham’s second Lincoln Center campus developed.
However, Hughes desperately needed money to fund it. Thus, in addition to raising $10,000 locally, he went fundraising for money in Europe, showing the poor status of many Catholics in America at the time.
Hughes then employed exiled Jesuits, who arrived in the 1840s, as teachers, and the school has expanded its programs since then. Its name became “Fordham” in 1907, two years after the establishment of its law and medical schools.