However, Peters declined a casual inquiry from Franklin and nothing further was done for another six years.In the fall of 1749, now more eager to create a school to educate future generations, Benjamin Franklin circulated a pamphlet titled "Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania", his vision for what he called a "Public Academy of Philadelphia".On June 16, 1755, the "College of Philadelphia" was chartered, paving the way for the addition of undergraduate instruction.The institution of higher learning was known as the College of Philadelphia from 1755 to 1779.At the first meeting of the 24 members of the Board of Trustees (November 13, 1749), the issue of where to locate the school was a prime concern.Although a lot across Sixth Street from the old Pennsylvania State House (later renamed and famously known since 1776 as "Independence Hall"), was offered without cost by James Logan, its owner, the Trustees realized that the building erected in 1740, which was still vacant, would be an even better site.
The university coat of arms features a dolphin on the red chief, adopted directly from the Franklin family's own coat of arms.
Sometime later in its early history, Penn began to consider 1749 as its founding date and this year was referenced for over a century, including at the centennial celebration in 1849.
In 1899, the board of trustees voted to adjust the founding date earlier again, this time to 1740, the date of "the creation of the earliest of the many educational trusts the University has taken upon itself".
The first school of medicine in North America (Perelman School of Medicine, 1765), the first collegiate business school (Wharton School, 1881) and the first "student union" building and organization (Houston Hall, 1896) As of 2018, distinguished alumni include 14 heads of state, 25 billionaires; 3 United States Supreme Court justices; 33 United States Senators, 42 United States Governors and 158 members of the U. House of Representatives; 8 signers of the United States Declaration of Independence; 12 signers of the United States Constitution, and the current President of the United States.
Benjamin Franklin was the primary founder, President of the Board of Trustees and a trustee of the Academy and College of Philadelphia, which merged with the University of the State of Pennsylvania to form the University of Pennsylvania in 1791 (Charles Willson Peale, 1785) In 1740, a group of Philadelphians joined together to erect a great preaching hall for the traveling evangelist George Whitefield, who toured the American colonies delivering open air sermons.