Raccoon University was founded at some point before the Second World War, with the faculty building designed by a Japanese architect. The bell tower, iconic to the city, was completed in the 1940s at the latest.[note 1] The university's first President was named William A. FitzGerald. During the t-Virus outbreak that ravaged the city in September 1998, Mueller and Jenkins created an antidote for the virus, named Daylight. Though Jenkins managed to contact his friend George Hamilton, by the time the doctor arrived on campus, Jenkins was already dead. Mueller decided to test out his ultimate creation, the TyrantThanatos, releasing it into the University, where it massacred a team of UBCS agents carrying out "Operation: Emperor's Mushroom."
As a small group of survivors explored the campus and obtained Daylight, they witnessed the murder of Mueller by UBCS monitor Nikolai Zinoviev, barely managing to escape in time thanks to the C-4 Explosives Zinoviev planted to cover his own exit. After a final battle with the mutilated Thanatos, the survivors were airlifted out of the city by members of the Raccoon Fire Department. Raccoon University was annihilated along with the rest of the city minutes later during the U.S. Government's airstrike.
The idea of a university came from Resident Evil planner Yasuyuki Saga. Though there is no mention of the university in the release version of the game, the idea of a university was re-visited in the prototype Resident Evil 2, with Elza Walker introduced as a Raccoon University student. A university lecturer also appeared in the 1997 radio play, Makoba Village Tragedy.
The university appeared in a promotional map of Raccoon City drawn for Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, and was called the "City College of Raccoon" in BradyGames' translation used in Resident Evil Archives.