Three graduates of Yale University helped the University of Georgia become the first state-chartered college in America – 237 years ago this month.
Lyman Hall, Georgia’s governor and one of three medical doctors to sign the Declaration of Independence, convinced the state legislature to charter the school. Abraham Baldwin, who would later represent the state at the 1786 Constitutional Convention, wrote its charter.
Baldwin chose his student and fellow Yale professor Josiah Meigs to be UGA’s president when it finally opened its doors in 1791. Meigs was offered $400 in expenses to move his family from Connecticut and paid $1,500 annual salary.