In 1838 the state territorial legislature passes a bill to establish a University “at or near
Madison, the seat of government.” Ten years later, on July 26, 1848, The University of Wisconsin
was established by the Wisconsin Legislature. Stating it is to be governed by a board of regents.
The initial plan by Chancellor John H. Lathrop
in 1850 called for a quadrangle with a large central building at the top of the hillside flanked by
four dormitory buildings. This was Bascom, North and South Halls. The two other dormitories were
never built. The original drawings were by architect John F. Rague.
February 5, 1849 the first class was held at The Madison Female Academy under the direction of
. (Located on the site where
Madison/Central High School
would later be located) Classes
continued here until North Hall was ready in 1851.
In 1854 the first degrees awarded to Levi Booth and Charles T. Wakeley.
1863 the first women admitted in the Normal Department, 1874 the Female College is closed and women
officially receive full coeducational status.