The University of Pennsylvania (commonly referred to as Penn or UPenn) is a private, Ivy League university, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Penn considers itself the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States,[note 2] as well as the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies. It is also one of the Colonial Colleges. Incorporated as The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, Penn is one of 14 founding members of the Association of American Universities.
Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder, advocated an educational program that focused as much on practical education for commerce and public service as on the classics and theology. Penn was one of the first academic institutions to follow a multidisciplinary model pioneered by several European universities, concentrating multiple "faculties" (e.g., theology, classics, medicine) into one institution. It was also home to many other educational innovations. The first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), the first collegiate business school (Wharton, 1881) and the first student union (Houston Hall, 1896), were all born at Penn.
Much of Penn's architecture was designed by the Cope & Stewardson firm, whose principal architects combined the Gothic architecture of the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge with the local landscape to establish the Collegiate Gothic style. The present core campus covers over 279 acres (1.13 km2) in a contiguous area of West Philadelphia's University City district; the older heart of the campus comprises the University of Pennsylvania Campus Historic District. All of Penn's schools and most of its research institutes are located on this campus. The surrounding neighborhood includes several restaurants and pubs, a large upscale grocery store, and a movie theater on the western edge of campus.
Penn's library began in 1750 with a donation of books from cartographer Louis Evans. Twelve years later, then-provost William Smith sailed to England
to raise additional funds to increase the collection size. More than 250 years later, it has grown into a system of 15 libraries (13 are on the contiguous campus) with 400 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees and a total operating budget of more than $48 million. The library system holds 6.01 million book and serial volumes as well as 4.21 million microform items. It subscribes to over 68,000 print serials and e-journals.
is where the Quakers play football, field hockey, lacrosse, sprint football, and track and field (and formerly soccer). It is the oldest stadium still operating for football games and was the first stadium to sport two tiers. It hosted the first commercially televised football game, was once the home field of the Philadelphia Eagles, and was the site of early Army – Navy games. Today it is also used by Penn students for recreation such as intramural and club sports, including touch football and cricket. Franklin Field hosts the annual collegiate track and field event "the Penn Relays."
Penn's home court, the Palestra
, is an arena used for men's and women's basketball teams, volleyball teams, wrestling team, and Philadelphia Big Five basketball, as well as high school sporting events. The Palestra has hosted more NCAA Tournament basketball games than any other facility. Penn baseball plays its home games at Meiklejohn Stadium.