7 - St. John's College
St. John's College has a long, rich history dating back to the founding of our nation. Its earliest incarnation, a grammar or preparatory school named after King William III, was founded in Annapolis in 1696, one year after Maryland's capital was moved here from St. Mary's City.
Ten-year-old Francis Scott Key, future author of "The Star-Spangled Banner," was among the grammar school students who participated in the college's opening exercises in 1789. Key graduated from St. John's in 1796 and went on to practice law, first in Frederick and later in Georgetown.
Today, St. John's is a private, four-year college, nationally recognized for its interdisciplinary great books program. The college welcomes the community to Francis Scott Key Auditorium in Mellon Hall to attend concerts and lectures, and to experience the community of learning that St. John's seeks to inspire. St. John's College is dedicated to the notion that freedom of thought is achieved through a liberal arts education.