The Quaterly Academy: 1655-1672
Like Leiden, Franeker, Groningen and Utrecht, proud seventeenth-century Nijmegen wanted to own a university. This would give the most important city of Gelderland a fitting prestige. In vain, in 1648, Nijmegen resisted the choice by the States of Gelre of Harderwijk as the site of a Gelderland university. In 1655, the city decided to open an 'illustrious school' with professors of Theology, Philosophy and Law. Just one year later, when a Professor of Medicine was appointed, the school was elevated to a university, the Quaterly Academy. After an initial period of prosperity, with a growing number of professors and steady increase to some 70 students, things went downhill from 1665 onwards. A plague epidemic broke out, other universities lured professors away with better salaries, and the French invasion of 1672 was disastrous for all scholarly activity. Afterwards, the Quaterly Academy languished for a while, but lack of finances forced it to close its doors for good in 1679. Less than a quarter of a century after its foundation, the existence of Nijmegen's first university had come to an end.