Tulane University (officially The Tulane University of Louisiana or simply TU) is a private, nonsectarian research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. Founded as a public medical college in 1834, the school grew into a comprehensive university in 1847 and was eventually privatized under the endowments of Paul Tulane and Josephine Louise Newcomb in 1884. Tulane is a member of the Association of American Universities and the colloquial Southern Ivy League. The university was founded as the Medical College of Louisiana in 1834 partly as a response to the fears of smallpox, yellow fever and cholera in America. The university became only the second medical school in the South, and the 15th in the United States at the time. In 1847, the state legislature established the school as the University of Louisiana, a public university, and the law department was added to the university. Subsequently, in 1851, the university established its first academic department. The first president chosen for the new university was Francis Lister Hawks, an Episcopalian priest and prominent citizen of New Orleans at the time.