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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

$32,000,000, to the General Education Board, which he had previously endowed with $11,000,000. The letter announcing this gift, read at a meeting of the board on February 7, is as follows:

 
New York, Feb. 6, 1907.
General Education Board,
54 William Street,
New York City.

Gentlemen: My father authorizes me to say that on or before April 1, 1907, he will give to the General Education Board income-bearing securities, the present market value of which is about thirty-two million dollars ($32,000,000), one third to be added to the permanent endowment of the board, two thirds to be applied to such specific objects within the corporate purposes of the board as either he or I may, from time to time, direct; any remainder not so designated at the death of the survivor to be added also to the permanent endowment of the board.

Very truly,
John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
 

The board has acknowledged this great gift in the following terms:

The General Education Board acknowledges the receipt of the communication of February 6, 1907, from Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., a member of this body, announcing your decision to give to the board for the purpose of its organization, securities of the current value of $32,000,000. The General Education Board accepts this gift with a deep sense of gratitude to you and of responsibility to society. This sum, added to the $11,000,000 which you have formerly given to this board, makes the General Education Board the guardian and administrator of a total trust fund of $43,000,000.

This is the largest sum ever given by a man in the history of the race for any social or philanthropic purpose. The board congratulates you upon the high and wise impulse which has moved you to this deed, and desires to thank you, in behalf of all educational interests whose developments it will advance, in behalf of our country whose civilization for all time it should be made to strengthen and elevate, and in behalf of mankind everywhere, in whose interests it has been given and for whose use it is dedicated.

The administration of this fund entails upon the General Education Board the most far-reaching responsibilities ever placed upon any educational organization in the world. As members of the board, we accept this responsibility, conscious alike of its difficulties and its opportunities.

We will use our best wisdom to transmute your gift into intellect and moral power, accounting it a supreme privilege to dedicate whatever strength we have to its just use in the service of men.

The work of the General Education Board has in the main been confined to gifts to certain denominational colleges on condition that they collect three times the amount appropriated, but the present gift is not limited to higher education. It is said that agricultural education in the south will be especially assisted. It will be observed that Mr. Rockefeller and his son reserve the right to dispose of two thirds of the capital in accordance with the purposes of the board. This is a wise provision, as the money would probably be of greatest use if distributed to assist existing institutions without other conditions than their deserts, or to establish new institutions. A centralized control of higher education, however indirect, has dangers as well as advantages.

 

SCIENTIFIC ITEMS

M. Chauveau, of the section of agriculture, has been elected president of the Paris Academy of Sciences to succeed M. Poincaré, of the section of mathematics.—Professor Ernest W. Brown, who this year goes from Haverford College to Yale University, has been awarded the Adams prize of Cambridge University, for his work on the motion of the moon.—Professor William James, of Harvard University, our most eminent student of philosophy and psychology, celebrated his sixty-fifth birthday on January 11, and retired on January 22 from the active work of his chair.