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WU History FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the history of Washington University in St. Louis. Pages maintained by University Archives.

Institutions which share the Washington name

Washington University's original name of "Eliot Seminary" was changed in 1854 to "Washington Institute in St. Louis". In 1857, the institution's name was changed again to "Washington University". In 1976, the words "in St. Louis" were added to the University's name in order to better identify our institution in the national media.

Washington University takes its name from President George Washington. However, Washington University in St. Louis is not the first institution to bear the name of the nation's first president. Washington College, located in Chestertown, Maryland, has been known by that name since its founding in 1782.

Research by our Public Affairs Office has found that Washington University in St. Louis shares the name "Washington" with several institutions of higher education. Below are names of the universities with whom our institution shares the Washington name, in alphabetical order. Information about the names of the institutions has been added, when it was known. As additional information becomes available, it will be added to this space.

Please note that this list covers two-year and four-year colleges. It does not attempt to cover the many primary and secondary schools named for George Washington, nor does it take into account cities, libraries, public parks, and streets named after Washington.