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Frequently Asked Questions
Who was Seeley G. Mudd?

Seeley Greenleaf Mudd (1895-1968) received his M.D. from Harvard University and was a practicing cardiologist before becoming a member of the California Institute of Technology faculty. He was later dean and professor at the School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. A member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Southern California, Dr. Mudd also served as a trustee of Pomona College, Stanford University, the California Institute of Technology, and the Carnegie Institute of Washington.

Dr. Mudd was keenly interested in promoting higher education, and during his lifetime he contributed more than $10 million to private colleges and universities. His will established a $44 million fund for American university and college buildings. The Seeley G. Mudd Fund of Los Angeles was created to support educational excellence through grants for the construction of buildings for teaching, learning, and research.

The Mudd Fund stipulated that the institution requesting funds would pay at least half the cost of the new building. In the case of the Mudd Manuscript Library at Princeton University, the trustees of this fund made a grant of $1,125,000 to Princeton toward the $2,500,000 needed for a manuscript library. The balance was contributed by other donors, many of whom were alumni or relatives of alumni.

Many colleges and universities applied for grants from the Mudd Fund, and, as a result, many campuses have buildings named after Seeley G. Mudd. There is a Mudd Library at Yale University, Duke University, Lawrence University (Appleton, WI), and Pomona College (Claremont, CA). The University of Southern California has a large medical complex named for Dr. Mudd, and Howard University's College of Medicine also has a Mudd Medical Building. Mudd science buildings can be found at the University of Denver, Colby College (Waterville, ME), and Lehigh University. There is a Seeley G. Mudd Chapel at Whitworth College (Spokane, WA). These are only a few of the buildings funded by Dr. Mudd's Foundation.

A question frequently asked about Seeley G. Mudd is whether or not he was related to Samuel A. Mudd, the Maryland doctor imprisoned for aiding John Wilkes Booth after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. The answer is only very distantly as the two men were fifth cousins thrice removed. Seeley G. Mudd is the great-great-great-great-great-grandson of Henry "Harry" Mudd (1685-1736). Samuel A. Mudd is the great-great-great-grandson of Henry Mudd's older brother, Thomas Mudd, Jr. (1679 or 1680-1739). Henry and Thomas Jr. were two of Thomas Mudd's (1647-1697) children. Thomas Mudd had three wives, but both Thomas Jr. and Henry were born to Sarah (Boarman) Matthews. Thomas Mudd immigrated to America from Austria circa 1665. He is believed to be the first Mudd to have arrived in America, though it is possible that he also came with two of his brothers.


Nancy M. Shader (2003)
Christopher Shannon (2007)


Last modified: Tuesday, 24-Apr-2012 14:04:20 EDT