B Y   T H E   N U M B E R S

Endowed professorships

• In 1827, according to "A Princeton Companion," the newly formed Alumni Association of Nassau Hall stressed the importance of collecting funds for the endowment of professorships.

• But it was not until 1857 that Silas Holmes of New York City gave Princeton's first endowed chair -- in "belles-lettres'' -- which was named for him.

• Others soon followed: in 1864 John Blair gave a professorship in geology that bears his name; in 1869 Samuel Dod gave one in mathematics in memory of his father, Professor Albert Dod; in 1870 John Woodhull, a local physician, founded a chair in modern languages; and in 1872 John Green gave a physics professorship in honor of Professor Joseph Henry.

• By 1900 there were 16 endowed professorships; by 1932 there were 35; by 1957 there were 65; and by 1976 there were 98.

• According to the University Register, there were 172 endowed professorships at the beginning of the 2000-01 academic year.

May 7, 2001
Vol. 90, No. 27
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