The University of Minnesota Twin Cities is the second largest institution of higher education in the Midwest of the US by enrolment and the largest of a university system with several campuses spread across Minnesota.
Founded in 1851, it is a public research university belonging to the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, a membership group of higher education institutions in the Midwest.
As the largest of five campuses across the University of Minnesota system, its more than 50,000 students make it the sixth largest campus student body in the US overall.
It has more than 300 research, education, and outreach centres and institutes, on everything from the life sciences to public policy and technology.
The university also became a member of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) in 2007, and has led data analysis projects searching for gravitational waves – the existence of which were confirmed by scientists in February 2016.
Notable University of Minnesota alumni include eight Nobel Prize laureates, two Pulitzer Prize winners, and two vice-presidents of the United States – Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale.
Bob Dylan also enrolled before dropping out, and former UK deputy prime minister Nick Clegg won a scholarship to study there for a year.
Twin Cities is located on the Mississippi river and has buildings on both river banks. One of the oldest buildings on campus is Pillsbury Hall, which was built using sandstone from around the state.
The Golden Gophers are the institution’s intercollegiate sports team, with the university competing as a member of both the Big Ten Conference, one of the oldest collegiate athletics conferences in the US, as well as the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
Some 60 per cent of matriculants to the university are considered Minnesota residents, and some 40 per cent are out-of-state residents, according to the university’s statistics.
An estimated 78,190 donors brought the university’s total endowment value in 2015 to about $351 million.