As the oldest Bavarian university, JMU can look back on a long history. Founded in 1402, it was and is not only a place of work and teaching for outstanding scientists, but also the home of a large university family and last but not least – the scene of its history.
1402 Pope Boniface IX. approves the establishment of a university in Würzburg, endowing it with papal privileges. It is the fourth university to be founded in the area of what is present-day Germany.
University facilities housed in various courts in the city: “Zum großen Löwen”, “Zum Katzenwicker”, Dechanteihof of Neumünster Church
1410 University privileges (incl. own jurisdiction) granted by Prince-Bishop Johann von Egloffstein.
1413 Rector Johann Zantfurt stabbed to death by his famulus.
1415 Due to a lack of funds, the university begins to decline.
1427 Due to the difficulty in identifying source materials, the appointment of Joh. v. Münnerstadt is the last official document that can be unambiguously assigned to the first founding of the university.
1573 Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn is elected Prince-Bishop and immediately takes up efforts to re-establish the Würzburg School of Higher Education.
1575 Emperor Maximilian II. grants university privileges.
1576 Renewed granting of papal privileges by Pope Gregor XIII.
1582 On January 2-4, the university is ceremoniously re-inaugurated by Prince-Bishop Julius Echter. University privileges are granted and the deans of the faculties of Theology, Philosophy, Law, and Medicine are appointed.
The cornerstone of the Old University and university church is laid.
1587 Decree of the statutes for the university as a whole and for the faculties.
1591 Completion of the Old University which houses the Faculties of Theology, Law, and Philosophy; consecration of the university church; Faculty of Medicine is housed in Juliusspital Hospital.
1619 Prince-Bishop Johann Gottfried von Aschhausen lays the foundations for the general university library.
1631 Conquest of Würzburg by the Swedes, a five-year interruption in university activities, and valuable parts of the library’s collections taken to Uppsala.
1695 Botanical garden completed in the garden of Juliusspital Hospital under Prince-Bishop Johann Gottfried von Guttenberg.
1727 Individual endowment funds of the university are merged to form a joint pool of assets, leading to a considerable improvement of the university’s ability to act and reform.
1734 Issue of new Academic Regulations by Prince-Bishop Friedrich Karl von Schönborn leads to the establishment of German as the language of instruction, as well as the promotion of jurisprudence and practice-oriented education.
1749 Karl Philipp von Greiffenklau takes office. One of the first professorships for experimental physics in Germany is created; this discipline separates from the Faculty of Philosophy.
1757 Completion of an astronomical observatory in the belfry of the university church.
1773 Dissolution of the Jesuit Order and the end of its predominant influence on the Faculties of Theology and Philosophy. Appointment of professors with enlightened views.
1782 Creation of a professorship for chemistry and pharmacy under Prince-Bishop Franz Ludwig von Erthal. His support also helps reform the Faculty of Medicine, which becomes one of the leading medical faculties in Germany.
1802 As a consequence of secularization, Würzburg falls under Bavarian rule. The university loses its privileges and rights as mediatized prince and landowner.
1803 New Organization Act for the university, abolition of its ecclesiastical/Catholic bias, substantial additions to the library’s collections from the dispossessed Church, considerable limitation of corporate self-government, and the first appointments of outside lecturers.
1806 Grand Duchy of Würzburg under Ferdinand of Tuscany, the repeal of the university’s re-organization of 1803, and neglect of the university.
1814 Würzburg falls permanently under Bavarian rule. The university is given new statutes.
1828 State no longer in control of the university, partial re-introduction of university self-government, ministerial commissioner still not bound to accept results of elections for Chancellor.
1832 Founding of the Aesthetical Attribute, the future Martin von Wagner Museum of the university.
1833 More than one third of Würzburg’s university professors are dismissed under King Ludwig I. for showing liberal tendencies.
1849 New statutes for the Bavarian universities issued by King Maximilian II. introduce major improvements for students and university institutions. As a result, there is a considerable increase in the number of students.
from 1850 onwards Construction of numerous university buildings to accommodate facilities for medicine (near Juliusspital Hospital/Pleicherwall), the natural sciences (on Koellikerstraße and present-day Röntgenring), and dentistry (at Pleichertor), as well as the psychiatric clinic (at Schalksberg).
1858 Martin von Wagner donates his entire art collection and a large part of his fortune to the Aesthetical Attribute of the university. Establishment of the Martin von Wagner Museum, which evolves into an important museum of antique art after the additional purchase of the Feoli Collection (1872) with about 500 Greek and Etruscan pieces of pottery.
1878 Division of the Faculty of Philosophy into a philosophical-historical and a mathematical-scientific section.
1896 Marcella O’Grady is the first female student to be admitted to the university.
The New University on Sanderring is opened.
1903 The Kingdom of Bavaria admits women into university studies at the state institutions in Munich, Würzburg, and Erlangen. In the autumn term, three women and 1,286 men enroll at JMU.
1919 Professor Wilhelm Wien and JMU students play an important part in liberating the hostages taken by the “Revolutionärer Aktionsausschuss”, a revolutionary action group that had occupied the train station, Würzburg Residence and Marienberg Fortress. A general students’ committee (Allgemeiner Studentenausschuss, AStA) is founded to tackle the problems and shortages after the war.
1921 Founding of the “Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften bei der Universität Würzburg” (Society for the Promotion of Sciences at the University of Würzburg) that is still active today under the name of Universitätsbund.
Opening of the university clinic “Luitpoldkrankenhaus”.
1929 Construction of Studentenhaus dining and service facilities at Sanderrasen.
1933 Enforced political conformity of universities and introduction of the “Führer Principle”. Appointment of the Rector by the National Socialist regime. Gradual dismissal of non-conformist lecturers and expulsion of Jewish students.
1937 Institution of an autonomous Faculty of Natural Sciences.
1945 Almost 90 percent of the city and the university are destroyed in an air raid on March 16. Only six months later, on October 1, the university re-opens and teaching resumes in the Faculty of Catholic Theology. Teaching in the Faculties of Philosophy and Natural Sciences resumes in January 1946 and in the Faculties of Medicine and Law in 1947.
1963 Martin von Wagner Museum re-opens in the south wing of the Würzburg Residence. Decree of Bavarian Parliament initiates the relocation of large parts of the university from the city center to an area in the outskirts of the city (Hubland). Between 1971 and 1978, new university buildings are built including the university library, the philosophy building, and buildings for the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy as well as the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy.
1968 New university statutes come into effect. A College of Rectors becomes responsible for the management of the university, and a Chancellor becomes responsible for administrative matters. The Economic and Social Sciences separates from the Legal and Political Sciences and becomes the university’s sixth Faculty.
1972 Integration of the Pedagogical College as the seventh Faculty (of Education).
1974 The Bavarian Higher Education Act comes into effect, which leads to the re-structuring of the university: Presidential constitution, new central institutions and faculty organization into 13 departments, academic institutions, and operational units. Abolition of AStA and Student Parliament.
1976 Appointment of a five-member Presidential College as the governing body of the university.
1977 Dissolution of the Department of Education due to new teacher-training policies.
1985 Ceremonial inauguration of the “Neubaukirche” after its conversion into an assembly hall for festivities 40 years after its destruction during World War II.
1992 Biocenter is constructed at Hubland Campus.
1993 Microstructure Laboratory is built at Hubland Campus.
1997 The relocation of the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy is completed when the Institute for Physical Chemistry moves to Hubland Campus.
1998 First technological degree program (Nanostructure Technology) is offered.
1999 The Institute for Computer Science is established at Hubland Campus.
2002 The 600-year anniversary celebration of Egloffstein University.
2004 New construction for the Center of Operative Medicine (ZOM) on the medical campus in the district of Grombühl.
2007 Concentration on ten core faculties: Dissolution of the Faculty of Geosciences, relocation of Geology and Paleontology to the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, and integration of Geography into the Faculty of Philosophy I – the Faculties of Philosophy I and II merge to become the new Faculty of Philosophy I, and the former Faculty of Philosophy III is re-named the Faculty of Philosophy II.
2009 A new building is constructed to accommodate the Rudolf Virchow Center and the Research Center for Infectious Diseases at the Surgical Clinic.
Center for Internal Medicine (ZIM) opens on the medical campus.
Acquisition of Leighton Barracks (Campus Hubland North).
2011 Completion of the first construction phase on Wittelsbacherplatz (lecture halls and library).
Inauguration of Campus Hubland North, completion of the Lecture and Seminar Building at Hubland South, and completion of the Central Laboratory Building.
2014 The Faculty of Philosophy II is re-named the Faculty of Human Sciences, and the former Faculty of Philosophy I is re-named the Faculty of Arts. Historical, Philological, Cultural and Geographical Studies are offered.