Creighton University is a Jesuit institution in Omaha, Nebraska. It is a nationally recognized, privately run university offering multidimensional study programs at the high school and college levels. It includes a free classical day college, and schools of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and law.
Named after its founder, Edward Creighton, the school was established in 1878, and became the first free Catholic college founded in the United States.
Creighton, a banker and pioneer of the telegraph industry in Nebraska, proposed to establish a free school for higher education, but he died before making provisions to carry out his proposal.
His widow, Mary Lucretia Creighton, inherited his fortune. Mary intended to carry out her husband's proposal, but she also died, leaving the dream project to her executors.
John Creighton, Edward's brother, purchased 6.2 acres of land at the northwest corner of 24th and California streets in Omaha, and erected a school building.
He later transferred the entire school, and additional securities in trust, to the Right Reverend James O'Connor, Bishop of Omaha, in July 1878. In that year, Bishop O'Connor asked the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) to operate the college, then opened its doors in September.
Bishop O'Connor surrendered his trust to a new corporation, "The Creighton University." Then he appointed five members of the Society of Jesus as its Board of Trustees in August 1879.
Desiring to fully equip the university for its educational mission, John Creighton and his wife, Sara, offered the wherewithal to complete the college buildings.
John established the John A. Creighton Medical College in 1892, and the Creighton University School of Law, in 1904. The Creighton University School of Dentistry followed in 1905.
The Pharmacy College and the Commerce College began at the university in 1905 and 1920, respectively.
The university develops individuals in an academically, spiritually, and physically oriented environment. As of 2005, it listed a total enrollment of more than 6,000 students who hail from several states and about 70 countries.