CHAPTER IX
FROM CAMPUS TO POLITICAL ARENA

NEGOTIATIONS AT PRINCETON dragged on into the month of May. Trustees arranged a compromise that was acceptable to the moderate men of both factions; but neither of the principals would yield. The proposal was nothing new, Wilson thought, and to accept it was to forgo his fundamental judgment in the whole matter of education. When one of the friendly trustees tempted the president to resign in June, arguing that in this way he could at once confound his enemies and enhance his political position before the country, Wilson was unmoved. He would not be vindictive, and he would not make capital for himself at Princeton's expense. He would not resign in petulance, nor would he recant.

Andrew West, meanwhile, had been busily seeking financial support for his concept of a graduate college. A millionaire alumnus named Wyman had signed a will that left his fortune in the hands of two executors, one of whom was West. Wilson, reluctant fund-raiser that he was, had written a polite letter to the prospective donor, but West had taken pains to entertain Wyman's agent and to give him a flattering invitation to ride at the head of an alumni parade.

Suddenly death took old Mr. Wyman, and in taking him solved the problem of the graduate college.

On May 22, near midnight, the president of Princeton was awakened by a phone call. It was a telegram from West, reporting the filing of the Wyman will and a bequest amounting to "at least two million and maybe more." Mrs. Wilson heard enough to catch the import of the message and leaned back in her chair, close to tears. As her husband put down the receiver, he was grim. He could "lick a half-million," but this was too much. The bequest was to finance a graduate college at Princeton that was to be controlled by the board of trustees. Using the free hand that had been given to him to solicit funds, West had tied himself into the will with such firm legal bonds that Princeton would have to accept him as trustee of the Wyman millions.

Wilson could take some satisfaction in the thought that the new gift was large enough so that a separate faculty of outstanding ability

-140-

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