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May 31, 1947

Daniel Coit Gilman, Creator of the American Type of University

JAMA. 1947;134(5):487. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880220071032

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Abstract

The life and the scholarly and academic ideals and accomplishments of Daniel Coit Gilman, first president of Johns Hopkins University, are described in this stimulating volume. When Gilman accepted this post in 1875 there was no true university in his sense, or in the European sense, in this country. Gilman's ideal was the establishment of an institution in which scholars "should be free to pursue their own researches, stimulating their students to prosecute study with a truly scientific spirit and aim." Gilman was not interested in just another undergraduate college whose professors would be burdened with "doing the duty of schoolmasters." His ideas were immediately accepted by the board of trustees and were financed with the (then) munificent endowment of $3,500,000, most of which was in Baltimore and Ohio stock, which some years later became worthless. The spirit of Gilman carried this idea into full fruition in the quarter century

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