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With a rich history, the University of Virginia's earliest beginners go back to an idea formed by Thomas Jefferson in 1802. Together with James Monroe, Jefferson founded the university in 1817, and it was chartered by the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1819. From early in its history, it offered independent schools of medicine, law, arts, and many others, and also did not require religion to be involved in education, or offer degrees in religious subjects.
Today, it is also known for its historic secret societies.