The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia. The University claims a founding date of 1740, and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum. Today, innovation is fostered by a combination of faculty, collaboration, facilities, and resources.