University of Glasgow alumni who helped shape America

A number of American students who studied or were awarded degrees at the University of Glasgow were very much involved in the shaping of the young nation after the Revolutionary War. A few students in particular made a lasting impact politically and socially in the newly independent America.

Robert & Laurence Brooke, Register of Attested Students 1775 (GUA26680)

Robert & Laurence Brooke, Register of Attested Students 1775 (GUA26680)

Robert Brooke and his brother Laurence, attended the University of Glasgow after their father sent them to Scotland for their education. Robert was to study Law, and enrolled at the University in 1773, just at the time that the revolutionary movements back in America were at bioling point, with incidents such as the Boston Tea Party. Robert was captured by English troops before eventually making his way back to America, where he would become the tenth Governor of the state of Virginia, one of the original thirteen colonies. His policies would have a lasting influence on the state in its future endeavors, as would his name, the county of Brooke being formed in his memory in 1797.

An influential honorary graduate who made an impact on the shaping of America was Thomas Clap of Massachusetts. He was president of Yale College from 1740, and received his honorary degree from the University of Glasgow in 1748. Many of the changes and guidelines Clap set in place while he was president continue to have a lasting affect on Yale University today. He oversaw an expansion of the grounds which permitted more students to attend and was heavily involved in the expansion of the curriculum. His background in ministry helped him regiment a strict educational routine in the school which enabled it to become the institution it is today.

These men are just two of the numerous examples of students with ties to both America and the University of Glasgow who influenced the foundation of America after the Revolutionary War. Click on their links to read further biographical detail on the International Story website.

Ilana Brener, History and Politics


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