Eliphalet Nott (1773–1866) - American Education
Educator, clergyman, inventor and, for an unprecedented 62 years, the president of Union College, the first college chartered by the state government of New York after the Revolution. Born in Connecticut, Nott began teaching in a district school when he was 16, but he eventually went to Brown University, where he bypassed his bachelor’s degree and earned an M.A. in 1795—the same year the New York state legislature chartered Union College in Schenectady as part of the University of the State of New York. Ordained as a Presbyterian minister, he moved to New York, where he founded an academy in Cherry Valley, serving as minister, teacher and principal. In 1798, he moved to Albany, where he campaigned for reform of the Albany public system and was named a trustee of Union College. In 1804 he was named president of the college and began a career as one of the most progressive innovators in early 19th-century higher education. He introduced medical studies along with courses in agriculture and gardening, foreign languages and engineering—innovations adopted by almost all but the most elitist American colleges such as HARVARD and YALE. He was responsible for construction of an astronomical observatory at Union, and, while there, he invented and patented 30 scientific and engineering devices, including the first anthracite coal base-burning stove.