Benjamin Rush, by Charles Willson Peale, 1783.

Portrait painting of Dr. Benjamin Rush seated at a table.
Full Size

One of the nation's most celebrated physicians and a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Philadelphia's Dr. Benjamin Rush also played a central role in the expansion of educational opportunity in Pennsylvania. In 1786 Rush offered a new scheme for Commonwealth education that included the establishment of state supported colleges, including Dickinson, the first college established west of the Susquehanna River.