The San Jos? Academy was founded on this site in 1850, as Edward Bannister's English and Classical School, and held it first graduation ceremony - the earliest in the state - in December, 1851. A private, non-sectarian preparatory school teaching English and the classics, the Academy, while not under the direct control of the Methodist Church, was distinctly Methodist in tone. Its principal, Reverend Edward Bannister, later became president of the University of the Pacific. The San Jos? Academy can therefore be considered a forerunner of California's oldest chartered college.