College (Lat. collegium, a collection or assemblage).
(1.) "In its Roman signification, a college signified any association of persons for a specific purpose. In many respects it was synonymous with corpus, a body or collection of members, a corporation — with universitas, a whole as contrasted with its parts — and with societas, a company or partnership, as opposed to all the members of which it was composed. A Roman college had a common chest, and it could sue and be sued in the name of its manager (actor or syndicus), just like an incorporation with us. It required, also, to be incorporated by some sort of public authority, springing either from the Senate or the emperor. A college could not consist of fewer than three persons."
(2.) The term is applied to any company of persons associated upon some common principle; so we speak of the college of the apostles; the college of cardinals; a college or synod of bishops; and as "three" are required for a college, it has come to be usage that three bishops unite in the act of ordination of bishops.
(3.) The word "college" is used also, in England, to designate an endowed institution connected with a university, having for its object the promotion of learning. In this relation a college is a sub-corporation, i.e. a member of the body known as the University. The constitution of a college in this sense depends wholly on the will of the founder, and on the regulations which may be imposed by the visitors whom he has appointed. In Scotland and in America, the distinction between the college as the member and the university as the body has been lost sight of, and we consequently hear of the one and the other indiscriminately granting degrees, a function which in the English and in the original European view of the matter belonged exclusively to the university. Where there is but one college in a university, as is the case in the universities of Scotland and most of those in America, the two bodies are of course identical, though the functions which they perform are different. In Germany there are no colleges in the English sense; and though the universities in that country perform precisely the same functions as in Scotland, the verbal confusion between the college and the university is avoided by the latter performing the functions of both in its own name, as two separate parts of its proper duties. In France the title 'college' has a meaning totally different from: that which we attach to it: it is a school, corresponding, however, more to the gymnasium of Germany than to the grammar-school of this country. All the colleges are placed under the University of France, to which the centralizing tendencies of that country have given a meaning which also differs widely from that which the term university bears in England." SEE UNIVERSITY.