Since its founding, the University of Kansas has embodied the aspirations and determination of the abolitionists who settled on the curve of the Kaw River in August 1854. Their first goal was to ensure that the new Kansas Territory entered the union as a free state. Another was to establish a university. Nearly 150 years later, KU has become a major public research and teaching institution of 28,000 students and 5 different campuses. As a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, the University of Kansas consistently ears high rankings for its academic programs. KU is committed to expanding innovative research and commercialization programs in Kansas and beyond.