Northwestern University is a private university seated in Evanston, Illinois, on a 240 acre (970,000 m²) campus along the shores of Lake Michigan. The university's professional schools are located in Chicago, on a 25 acre (101,000 m²) campus near the Magnificent Mile.
Northwestern is one of the most prestigious universities in the United States. It has a competitive admissions process and many of its schools and departments are constitently ranked among the top 10 or 20 universities.
The university was founded in 1851 by methodists and opened in 1855. The University's name, Northwestern, came from its founders' desire to serve the citizens of the United States' newly acquired Northwest Territory.
Northwestern University enrolls approximately 17,000 students and employs nearly 6,800 faculty and staff members.
Northwestern's athletic teams are nicknamed the Wildcats. Before 1924, they were known as "The Purple" and unofficially as "The Fighting Methodists." Northwestern University is a private member of the Big Ten Conference for athletics.
Northwestern University's official color is purple. (For this reason, the Chicago Transit Authority's elevated train running through Evanston is called the Purple Line. (The Purple Line stations that serve Northwestern University are Davis, Foster, and Noyes.) The phrase on Northwestern University's seal is "Quaecumque sunt vera" -- in Latin, "Whatsoever things are true."
Northwestern University's newspaper is The Daily Northwestern; its radio station is WNUR 89.3 FM.
Nearly 40 percent of Northwestern students belong to a fraternity or sorority, the highest percentage of any Big Ten university. There is also at least one secret society, The Order of Basiliaz, and a senior honorary society, DERU.
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