January 27, 1785 — The first US state university is chartered today, the University of Georgia, in Athens, Georgia.
However, the title of oldest public university in the United States is claimed by three universities: the University of Georgia, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and The College of William and Mary.
Each has a distinct basis for the claim, North Carolina being the first to graduate a class, Georgia being the first created by charter, and William & Mary having the oldest founding date of any currently public university, though it was private for over 250 years.
Words of Wisdom
He originated the plan of the University of Georgia, drew up the charter, and with infinite labor and patience, in vanquishing all sorts of prejudices and removing every obstruction, he persuaded the assembly to adopt it.