Established in 1693, the College of William & Mary is the second-oldest educational institution in the United States; just a few decades younger than the prestigious Harvard University. Commissioned by King William III and Queen Mary II, the college received royal patronage until 1776, when it was declared as a public establishment. A public research university since 1906, the college currently has a strength of nearly 8,500 students and offers a diverse range of undergraduate and graduate courses. Set amidst a beautiful 1,200 acre (485.62 hectares) campus, the property is home to a multitude of historical pieces of architecture such as the Earl Gregg Swem Library, the Matoaka Amphitheater, and the Crim Dell bridge. Most notable alumni include Robert M. Gates, Mike Tomlin, Christina Romer, John Stewart and David M. Brown.