I CAN'T ENDURE TO
Rockefeller blamed his ailments on charity. [I investigated as I could, and worked myself almost to a nervous breakdown in groping my way, without sufficient guide or chart, through this ever-widening field of philanthropic endeavor,] he would write in his memoirs. Reverend Strong, Bessie Rockefeller's father-in-law, wanted $20 million from the tycoon to create a Baptist university in Manhattan. But a young, passionate minister, Frederick T. Gates, conducted a survey showing greater need for a Baptist school in booming Chicago.
Rockefeller liked Gates's scientific approach and was still a midwesterner at heart. In 1889 he pledged to give $600,000 (nearly $10.9 million today) to help establish the University of Chicago if other donors gave $400,000. He helped to choose the trustees and the president, the brilliant Rev. William Harper, who had earned a doctorate from Yale at 18. The university opened in 1892, with Rockefeller's son-in-law Charles Strong on the faculty. Two Rockefeller aides soon joined the board of directors. Small wonder that Life magazine called the school [ Ye Rich Rockefeller University.] When university president Harper