Chicago Tribune

Miss Helen Culver’s Present to Chicago University.
Extension Work to be Pursued on the West Side.
Donation Made in Memory of Charles J. Hull.

One million dollars, the gift of Miss Helen Culver of this city, was received by the University of Chicago yesterday. This announcement caused great surprise at the university, as the donation was a surprise.

Ten days ago President W. R. Harper received a letter from a woman with whom he was not acquainted, saying she had long intended making the university a gift, and asking him to call. This note was signed by Helen Culver. Last Tuesday evening, on the occasion of a second interview, Miss Culver informed Dr. Harper she would give the university $1,000,000 and yesterday the Executive committee of the Board of Trustees of the university received the following communication:

"Chicago, Dec. 14, 1895. — To the Trustees of the University of Chicago:

"It has long been my purpose to set aside a portion of my estate to be used in perpetuity for the benefit of humanity. The most serious hindrance to the immediate fulfilment of the purpose was the difficulty of selecting an agency to which I could intrust the execution of my wishes. After careful consideration I concluded that the strongest guaranties of permanent and efficient administration would be assured if the property were intrusted to the University of Chicago.

Terms of the Gift.

"Having reached this decision without consulting the University authorities, I communicated it to President Harper with the request that he would call on me to confer concerning the details of my plan. After further consideration I now wish to present to the University of Chicago property valued at $1,000,000, an inventory of which is herewith transmitted. The whole gift shall be devoted to the increase and spread of knowledge within the field of the biological sciences.

"By this I mean to provide that the gift shall develop the work now represented in the several biological departments of the University of Chicago by the expansion of their present resources; that it shall be applied in part to an inland experimental station and to a marine biological laboratory; that a portion of the instruction supported by this gift shall take the form of University Extension Lectures on the West Side of Chicago. These lectures shall communicate in form as free from technicalities as possible the results of biological research. One purpose of these lectures shall be to make public the advances of science in sanitation and hygiene.

"To secure the above ends a portion, not to exceed one half of the capital sum thus given, may be used for the purchase of land, for equipment, and for the erection of buildings.

"The remainder, or not less than one half the capital sum shall be invested and the income therefrom shall constitute a fund for the support of research, instruction, and publication.

"Among the motives prompting the gift is the desire to carry out the ideas and to honor the memory of Mr. Charles J. Hull who was for a considerable time a member of the board of trustees of the old University of Chicago. I think it appropriate therefore to add the condition that, wherever it is suitable, the name of Mr. Hull shall be used in designation of the buildings erected and of endowments set apart in accordance with the terms of this gift.

Yours very truly,

Hull House Land Included.

Included in the gift is the land on which Hull House stands. This is owned by Miss Culver, but it will be given to the university, which, in a measure, will, therefore, establish a sort of a protectorate over that famous institution. Dr. Small said last night Dr. Harper was authority for the statement Hull House’s land was in the gift, but Dr. T. W. Goodspeed, Secretary of the Board of Trustees, said it was not included.

At Hull House it was said the building is on land owned by Miss Culver, which is leased by the company until 1920. The idea was expressed that Miss Culver probably has conveyed the land to the university, but nothing, it was said, would be done to affect in any way the workings of the establishment.

Who Miss Culver Is.

Miss Culver is a resident of the West Side, living near Ashland and Washington boulevards, opposite Union Park. Almost all of her life was passed in the family of Charles Jerald Hull, and at the time of his death, which occurred in Houston, Tex., Feb. 12 1889, she received almost all his immense estate, which consisted primarily of property in the City of Chicago. Miss Mary French, who was for many years a tutor to Miss Fredrika Hull, lives with her. She is now 60 years of age and has not taken a prominent part socially in this city, preferring rather to devote her energies to benevolent and charitable institutions.

Her desire now is to carry out as she believes the wishes of Mr. Hull, and the different buildings and laboratories will bear his name, this being his expressed wish.

Miss Culver has consulted with her attor-

( 4) -ney, William Wade Grinstead, and the Board of Trustees was informed yesterday that as rapidly as possible the deeds to the property, which represents $1,000,000 and includes real estate in all parts of Chicago, will be transferred to them.

Work Will Begin

This gift means that in the early part of next month the University of Chicago will have added to the endowment and building funds $3,000,000, this last $1,000,000 securing $1,000,000 of John D. Rockefeller’s conditional gift of $2,000,000.

President Harper at 8 o’clock last evening had just returned from Miss Culver’s home, at which time she had consented to make the news of the donation public.

"It is a great step forward," he said, "and it means a great deal to the university. And the fact that it comes so unexpectedly makes it even more pleasant. Our biological department will be far ahead of anything in this country, or even in the world. There will be the Hull Biological Laboratory, located on the university grounds; the Hull Marine Biological Laboratory, somewhere on the Atlantic coast; the Hull Inland Experimental Station, which probably will be located on Lake Geneva, and the Hull professorships.

Dr. T. W. Goodspeed, Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the university, said:

"It is another great day for us. Miss Culver feels she is carrying out the wishes of Mr. Hull. She is a West Side woman, and wants that part of the city benefited, as she asks extension lectures be given over there."

Prof. H. H. Donaldson, Dean of the Ogden School of Science, said:

"Our facilities for work in the biological department have not been equal to the demand. The chief feature of this gift is the combination of so many closely allied departments. The possibilities for work to the students in this department cannot be excelled when it is completed. Mr. Hull, I understand, was especially interested in biology and social science, and this is one reason why Miss Culver suggests this department as one to be benefited by her gift.

Prof. C. O. Whitman of the department of zoology said nothing had ever happened while he had been at work in his department that had given him so much satisfactions.

Prof. A. W. Small of the sociological department said: "Hull House is part of the property Miss Culver gives the university and our former interest in that institution will be greatly increased. This gift will give the greatest facilities possible for work in which all sociologists will be interested."


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