is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and a member of the Ivy League. It was founded on September
8, 1636 by a vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, making it the oldest institution of higher education in the United States. Originally
called simply the New College
, it was named Harvard College on
March 13, 1639, after its first principal
donor, John Harvard, a former student of
Cambridge University. The earliest known official reference
to Harvard as a "university" rather than a "college" occurred in the new Massachusetts constitution of 1780.