Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Promotion of a Better Understanding on the Part of American Citizens of the other Peoples of the World at the University of Chicago in 1923

Over the weekend I was scanning through a book entitled The Story of The University of Chicago 1890-1925 by Thomas Wakefield Goodspeed (1925) and was pleased to find the following paragraph:

"In the very last days of President Judson's administration, Mr. and Mrs. M. Haddon MacLearn and the sons of Mr. Harris, Albert W. Harris, Norman D. Harris, Hayden B. Harris, and Stanley G. Harris, gave the University $150,000 for the endowment of the Norman Wait Harris Memorial Foundation, in memory of Norman Wait Harris, for many years one of the leading business men of Chicago and head of the Harris Trust and Savings Bank. The fund was given in the name of Mrs. N.W. Harris. The income of this endowment was to be expended for the "promotion of a better understanding on the part of American citizens of the other peoples of the world, thus establishing a basis for improved international relations a a more enlightened world order." The first conferences under the Harris Foundation were held at the University during the Summer Quarter of 1924. Lectures were delivered by eminent Men of other countries and heard with great interest." (p. 186-187)

The fact that this endowment was established in 1923 to promote better understanding between Americans and other peoples of the world is impressive and interesting to me. What is equally impressive is that the Norman Wait Harris Memorial Foundation Fund is still in existence and is one of the oldest endowments at the University of Chicago. You can learn more about how the Norman Wait Harris Memorial Foundation Fund is being used here.

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