Students on the onset of a career-defining decision will consider multiple options to narrow down to the best university or program, providing them with the best avenue to tackle the challenges in a profession they like to pursue. Auburn University is one of the world’s prestigious universities, adding more legends to the long list of scientists and theorists. It is a public research university in Alabama with more than 25,000 undergraduate students, making it the second-largest university in the state. If you are planning to pursue any program offered at Auburn University, you must consider learning more about it. Understanding the history will help introduce you to the academic world within those massive walls. Let us take a tour through the history of Auburn University.

More About the Auburn University

Auburn University

The Alabama Legislature chartered the institution in 1856, and it was guided by the Methodist Church from 1859. Reverend William J. Sasnett was the first president of the university right from the school opened in 1859, and the first batch had only eighty students and a faculty of ten. Most people are unaware of the connection of Auburn with the Civil War and the Reconstruction-era South. The college was closed during the war, but classes were held in “Old Main.” But all classes were suspended later, turning the campus into a training ground and “Old Main” into a hospital for the wounded in the Army.

After the Civil War had ended, the school reopened in 1866. That was the only closure for the college, and since then, the institution has been working without breaks. The State of Alabama took over the control of the institution from the Methodist Church. Upon this transfer of property, an Act was passed to provide the school with 240,000 acres of Federal land for a mechanical and an agricultural college. All the land-grant institutions under the provision of the act were supposed to teach military tactics. Officers were also trained on these grounds. Most students in the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama were a part of the cadet program by the late 19th century. Two cadets had to be nominated from every county in the state.


Although the original curriculum focused on agriculture and engineering, the trend followed a different pattern when William Leroy Broun started teaching classics and sciences. In 1982, football was being played, and women were admitted to the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama. Polo was the main sport on campus, gradually superseded by football. Almost all the non-disabled male students of the Polytechnic Institute joined the Army, but their careers were short-lived. A lot of other groups were sent out for training in radio and mechanics.

It was in 1960 that the university was granted the required status by the Alabama Legislature. All of this was followed by the renaming of the school to Auburn University.