Jahangirnagar University was formally launched on 12 January 1970 under the Jahangirnagar Muslim University Ordinance, 1970 and this days is observed as University Day. At the time of starting, its name was Jahangirnagar Muslim University, and the initial plan was to operate this university as like as Aligarh Muslim University. But after the independence of Bangladesh, its name changed as Jahangirnagar University under the act of Jahangirnagar University Act' 1973.
The university was established in 1970 by the government of Pakistan by the Jahangirnagar Muslim University Ordinance, 1970. During the first two years, it operated as a project. Its first Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mafiz Uddin Ahmad (Ph.D in Chemistry, University of Illinois, Chicago) took up office on September 24, 1970. The first group of students, a total of 150, was enrolled in four departments: Economics, Geography, Mathematics and Statistics. Its formal inauguration was delayed until January 12, 1971, when the university was launched by Rear Admiral S. M. Ahsan, the Chancellor.