Six years later, the school’s first campus was built with the permission of the Ottoman Sultan in close proximity to the Rumeli Fortress and, in 1871 as the number of students grew, the school moved to its current location. Due to some tensions with Hamlin and the faculty, in 1877 the trustees elected George Washburn (treasurer for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions) as president. In Washburn’s long tenure, he brought distinguished scholars to the school as professors, which helped further establish the school’s high academic reputation.
When Christopher Robert, the school’s leader and main benefactor, died in 1878 he left a considerable portion of his wealth to the school, which became the foundation for an endowment. By 1863, 912 students of varying nationalities had attended the school, with 76 graduates. By 1903, through the formation of a new group of trustees, the school was both expanded and revitalized. When Dr. Caleb F. Gates became president in 1903, the school’s attendance increased dramatically as the Young Turk movement began to change the country with a higher demand for Western education.