Auburn University (AU or Auburn) is a public university located in Auburn, Alabama, United States. With more than 20,000 undergraduate students, and a total of over 25,000 students and 1,200 faculty members, it is one of the largest universities in the state.
Auburn University was chartered on February 7, 1856, as the East Alabama Male College, a private liberal arts school affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1872, the college became the state’s first public land-grant university under the Morrill Act and was renamed the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama. In 1892, the college became the first four-year coeducational school in the state. The curriculum at the university originally focused on arts and agriculture. This trend changed under the guidance of Dr. William Leroy Broun, who taught classics and sciences and believed both disciplines were important in the overall growth of the university and the individual. The college was renamed the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (API) in 1899, largely because of Dr. Broun’s influence. The college continued expanding, and in 1960 its name was officially changed to Auburn University to acknowledge the varied academic programs and larger curriculum of a major university. It had been popularly known as “Auburn” for many years. In 1964, under Federal Court mandate AU admitted its first African American student. Auburn University is among the few American universities designated as a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research center.