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A History of the University of Chicago, Founded by John D. Rockefeller

The First Quarter-Century

The initial steps which led to the founding of the great educational institutions of the world are known in very few instances. Seldom was any record even made of them, their significance not being recognized when the events occurred. The author of this work, Thomas Wakefield Goodspeed, was intimately connected with the persons and events involved in the founding of the University of Chicago in 1891. His detailed account of that institution’s first twenty-five years, originally published in 1916, reveals that the chief participants were aware from the beginning of the magnitude and importance of their enterprise.

As Goodspeed shows, once the main roles were cast—in the persons of John D. Rockefeller and William Rainey Harper—the University of Chicago was irrevocably headed for greatness. Without the support of both of these men it would never have become one of the nation’s major universities in a mere quarter century. Although Harper died in 1906, his innovative mind and unflagging energy left an indelible mark on the university during the fifteen years of his presidency. The study provides detailed information on the founding of the university, the procurement of funds, the recruitment of faculty, the construction of buildings, student life, and the problems of continuing growth.

540 pages | 22 p. of halftones | 5.875 x 9 | © 1916

Chicago and Illinois

Education: Higher Education

Table of Contents

Introduction by Frederick T. Gates, L.L.D.

I. The Preparing of the Way
The first University of Chicago
The Baptist Union Theological Seminary
John D. Rockefeller
First appeals to Mr. Rockefeller
Morgan Park project
Dr. A. H. Strong and the New York University plans
Dr. W. R. Harper
Dr. H. L. Morehouse and the American Baptist Education Society
Frederick T. Gates

II. The Inception of the Plan
First proposed by Mr. Rockefeller
Dr. Harper’s efforts
Mr. Gates and the Education Society
The Committee of Nine
Mr. Rockefeller’s initial subscription
The launching of the enterprise
III. The Beginning of the Movement
The Committee of Thirty-six
Effort among Chicago Baptists
Effort among Baptists outside Chicago
Mr. Gates visits the East
Effort among Chicago business men
Alumni of the Old University
Aid from the Jews
Final success
Anniversaries in Chicago
First Board of Trustees
Dr. Harper elected President
IV. The First President
William Rainey Harper
Early life
Connection with Denison University and Baptist Union Theological Seminary
Yale University
Estimates of him by Dr. A. H. Strong and Dr. G. W. Northrup
Election to the Presidency
Difficulties encountered in securing his acceptance
Becomes President
V. The Education Plan
The plan of the work of President Harper
First outlined in official bulletins
The five divisions
Senate, Council, and Boards
The academic year
Classification of courses
Plan well received by educators
Features which were modified
Features remaining unchanged
VI. First Steps in Expansion
Only a College founded at the outset
Mr. Rockefeller gives a million dollars to make the College a University
The Divinity School
Plan of organization
Enlargement of site
Ogden Graduate School of Science
A million dollars from Mr. Rockefeller
A million dollars from Chicago
Enlargement of the Faculty
VII. Students and Faculty
Expectations of attendance
Students report themselves
Applications for professorships
Selection of Faculty committed to President Harper
Difficulties encountered
The making of appointments
VIII. The Earlier Buildings
Problems of the Committee on Buildings and Grounds
Divinity and Graduate Dormitories
Cobb Lecture Hall
Temporary gymnasium and library building
Snell Hall
Kelly Hall
Beecher Hall
Nancy Foster Hall
Kent Chemical Laboratory
Walker Museum
Ryerson Physical Laboratory
The President’s House
IX. The First Year
Opening exercises
Professors and students
Site and buildings
Christian Union
Receptions to the Faculty
Student activities
Student publications
Social life
University Extension
The Press
Telescope from Mr. Yerkes
Mr. Rockefeller makes additional gifts
Mr. Ryerson begins half-million-dollar fund
X. The University and Its Benefactors
More than ten thousand givers
Those who gave fifty thousand dollars or more
Givers of smaller amounts
The Trustees
John D. Rockefeller
His many contributions
His efforts to keep the expense within the income
The end of deficits
His final gift
The extent of his benefactions
XI. The Second Era of Building
Haskell Oriental Museum
Miss Helen Culver and the Hull Biological Laboratories
Charles T. Yerkes and the Yerkes Observatory
Green Hall
The development in Chicago in the spirit of giving
XII. Further Expansion
Astronomy and the Yerkes Observatory
The Journals
New departments
Miss Culver and the Biological Departments
The School of Education
The Medical School
The Law School
Enlargement of site
Mr. Rockefeller gives large tracts north and south of the Midway Plaissance
The Founder’s final gift
XIII. A Third Period of Building
Some small structures
Ellis Hall
Heat, light, and power plant
Press Building
Charles Hitchcock Hall
Hutchinson Hall
Mitchell Tower
Reynolds Club
Leon Mandel Assembly Hall
Frank Dickinson Bartlett Gymnasium
Law School
Emmons Blaine Hall
Belfield Hall
Lexington Hall
XIV. Some Important Departments
The Morgan Park Academy
The Divinity School
The Divinity houses
The Chicago Theological Seminary
Libraries, laboratories, and museums
The graduate schools
Board of Recommendations
The Business Department
XV. Some Important Events
The Quadrangle Club
The Summer Quarter
The University Congregation
The Quinquennial
The Founder’s first visit
The University Preachers
The Decennial
The Founder’s second visit
Honorary degrees
The Decennial Publications
The death of President Harper
The election of President Judson
The Fifteenth Anniversary
Retiring allowances
Contribution of H. W. Williams
XVI. The Later Buildings of the First Quarter-Century
The William Rainey Harper Memorial Library
The Ryerson Physical Laboratory Annex
The Grand-Stand and Wall
The Howard Taylor Ricketts Laboratory
The Julius Rosenwald Hall
The Classics Building: Hiram Kelly Memorial
The Ida Noyes Hall
The Theological Building
XVII. The Developing University
Educational work committed to the Faculties
"Founded by John D. Rockefeller"
Founder’s Day
The University Settlement
Student Councils
Board of Student Organizations
Religious work
Student organizations
The "Alma Mater"
Academic freedom
The title of Associate
Student publications
The alumni
Class gifts
President Judson’s efforts to shorten curriculum
Statement of Dean Angell
Service to the public
The Honor Commission
The Cost of Arms and Seal
Trustees and Faculty
"Spirit of the University"
Developments which can be put into figures
-Statement Submitted to the Board of Trustees at Its First Meeting, July 9, 1890, by F. T. Gates, Corresponding Secretary of the American Baptist Education Society
-Articles of Agreement between the Baptist Theological Union, Located at Chicago, and the University of Chicago
-First Faculty, 1892-93
-Some of the More Important Museum Collections
-Names of Some of the Larger Contributors
-Contributions of John D. Rockefeller
-System of Retiring Allowances
-Board of Trustees of the University of Chicago, 1915-16
-Board of Trustees of the Baptist Theological Union, 1915-16
-Board of Trustees of the Disciples’ Divinity House, 1915-16
-Board of Directors of the Ryder Divinity House, 1915-16
-Board of Directors of the Chicago Theological Seminary, 1915-16
-Board of Trustees of Rush Medical College, 1915-16

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