Daniel Coit Gilman

Daniel Coit Gilman (/ˈɡɪlmən/; July 6, 1831 – October 13, 1908) was an American educator and academic.[1] Gilman was instrumental in founding the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale College,[2] and subsequently served as the third president of the University of California, as the first president of Johns Hopkins University, and as founding president of the Carnegie Institution. He was also co-founder of the Russell Trust Association, which administers the business affairs of Yale's Skull and Bones society. Gilman served for twenty five years as president of Johns Hopkins; his inauguration in 1876 has been said to mark "the starting point of postgraduate education in the U.S."[3]

Daniel Coit Gilman
Daniel Coit Gilman1
President of Johns Hopkins University
In office
Succeeded byIra Remsen
President of the University of California
In office
Preceded byHenry Durant
Succeeded byW.T. Reid
Personal details
BornJuly 6, 1831
Norwich, Connecticut, USA
DiedOctober 13, 1908 (aged 77)
Norwich, Connecticut, USA
Spouse(s)Mary Van Winker Ketcham; Elizabeth Dwight Woolsey
ChildrenAlice; Elisabeth
Alma materYale University
ProfessionAcademic administrator, educator, librarian, author
InstitutionsYale College
University of California
Johns Hopkins University
Sheffield Scientific School
Carnegie Institution
Daniel Coit Gilman's signature


Early years

Born in Norwich, Connecticut,[4] the son of Eliza (née Coit) and mill owner William Charles Gilman, a descendant of Edward Gilman, one of the first settlers of Exeter, New Hampshire, of Thomas Dudley, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and one of the founders of Harvard College, and of Thomas Adgate, one of the founders of Norwich in 1659.[5] Daniel Coit Gilman graduated from Yale College in 1852 with a degree in geography.[6] At Yale he was a classmate of Andrew Dickson White, who would later serve as first president of Cornell University. The two were members of the Skull and Bones secret society, and traveled to Europe together after graduation and remained lifelong friends. Gilman was also a member of the Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity. Gilman would later co-found the Russell Trust Association, the foundation behind Skull and Bones. After serving as attaché of the United States legation at St. Petersburg, Russia from 1853 to 1855, he returned to Yale and was active in planning and raising funds for the founding of Sheffield Scientific School. Gilman contemplated going into the ministry, and even took out a license to preach, but later settled on a career in education.[7]

Portrait Mr Gilman of Norwich.jpeg
Portrait of William Charles Gilman, father of Daniel Coit Gilman, Boston Museum of Fine Arts


From 1856 to 1865 Gilman served as librarian of Yale College, and was also concerned with improving the New Haven public school system. When the Civil War broke out, Gilman became the recruiting sergeant for the Norton Cadets, a group of Yale graduates and faculty who drilled on the New Haven Green under the oversight of Yale professor William Augustus Norton. In 1863, Gilman was appointed professor of geography at the Sheffield Scientific School, and became secretary and librarian as well in 1866. Having been passed over for the presidency of Yale, for which post Gilman was said to have been the favorite of the younger faculty, he resigned these posts in 1872 to become the third president of the newly organized University of California.[7] His work there was hampered by the state legislature, and in 1875 Gilman accepted the offer to establish and become first president of Johns Hopkins University.

Before being formally installed as president in 1876, he spent a year studying university organization and selecting an outstanding staff of teachers and scholars. His formal inauguration, on 22 February 1876, has become Hopkins' Commemoration Day, the day on which many university presidents have chosen to be installed in office. Among the legendary educators he assembled to teach at Johns Hopkins were classicist Basil Lanneau Gildersleeve, mathematician James Joseph Sylvester, historian Herbert Baxter Adams and chemist Ira Remsen.

Gilman's primary interest was in fostering advanced instruction and research, and as president he developed the first American graduate university in the German tradition. The aim of the modern research university, said Gilman, was to "extend, even by minute accretions, the realm of knowledge"[8] At his inaugural address at Hopkins, Gilman asked: "What are we aiming at?" The answer, he said, was "the encouragement of research and the advancement of individual scholars, who by their excellence will advance the sciences they pursue, and the society where they dwell."

In 1884, Gilman was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society.[9]

Daniel Coit Gilman William Rainey Harper
Gilman and University of Chicago president William Rainey Harper, 1903

Gilman was also active in founding Johns Hopkins Hospital (1889) and Johns Hopkins Medical School (1893). He founded and was for many years president of the Charity Organization of Baltimore, and in 1897 he served on the commission to draft a new charter for Baltimore.[10] From 1896 to 1897, he was a member of the commission to settle the boundary line between Venezuela and British Guiana.[10]

Gilman served as a trustee of the John F. Slater and Peabody education funds and as a member of John D. Rockefeller's General Education Board. In this capacity, he became active in the promotion of education in the southern United States. He was also president of the National Civil Service Reform League (1901-1907) and the American Oriental Society (1893-1906), vice president of the Archaeological Institute of America, and executive officer of the Maryland Geological Survey.[11] He retired from Johns Hopkins in 1901, but accepted the presidency (1902–4) of the newly founded Carnegie Institution of Washington.

His books include biographies of James Monroe (1883) and James Dwight Dana, a collection of addresses entitled University Problems (1898), and The Launching of a University (1906).

Personal life

Daniel Coit Gilman House Baltimore Maryland 1936
Home of Daniel C. Gilman in Baltimore, Maryland

Gilman married twice. His first wife was Mary Van Winker Ketcham, daughter of Tredwell Ketcham of New York. They married on December 4, 1861, and had two daughters: Alice, who married Everett Wheeler; and Elisabeth Gilman, who became a social activist and was a candidate for mayor of Baltimore, and for governor and senator of Maryland, on the Socialist Party of America ticket. Mary Ketcham Gilman died in 1869, and Daniel Coit Gilman married his second wife, Elizabeth Dwight Woolsey, daughter of John M. Woolsey of Cleveland, Ohio, and niece of Yale president Theodore Dwight Woolsey, in 1877. Daniel Gilman's brother Dr. Edward Whiting Gilman was married to Julia Silliman, daughter of Yale Professor and chemist Benjamin Silliman. Daniel Coit Gilman died in Norwich, Connecticut.[7]


The original academic building on the Homewood campus of the Johns Hopkins University, Gilman Hall, is named in his honor. In 1897, he helped found a preparatory school called 'The Country School for Boys' on the Johns Hopkins campus. Upon relocation in 1910, it was renamed in his honor and today, the Gilman School continues to be regarded among the nation's elite private boys' schools.

On the University of California, Berkeley campus, Gilman Hall, also named in his honor, is the oldest building of the College of Chemistry and a National Historic Chemical Landmark. Named for Gilman as well is Gilman Street in Berkeley. Gilman Drive, which passes through the University of California, San Diego campus in La Jolla, CA is also named for Gilman. The Daniel Coit Gilman Summer House, in Maine, was declared a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1965.[12] Gilman High School in Northeast Harbor, Maine, was named for Daniel Coit Gilman, who was active in local educational affairs, but it was later rebuilt and christened Mount Desert High School.

Gilman High School baseball team 1922
Baseball team, Gilman High School, Northeast Harbor, Maine, 1922

Published works by Daniel Coit Gilman

Papers of Daniel Coit Gilman

The Papers of Daniel Coit Gilman were donated to Johns Hopkins University by Gilman's daughter Elisabeth, and are open on an unrestricted basis to the public at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at Hopkins. Aside from many photographs of Gilman and his contemporaries, the papers include Gilman's correspondence with leading figures of the day, including Charles W. Eliot, Sidney Lanier, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry James, James Russell Lowell, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, William McKinley, Basil Gildersleeve, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, George Bancroft, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Huxley, Andrew Carnegie, Horace Greeley, Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Henry Ward Beecher, William Osler, W.E.B. Du Bois, Booker T Washington and others.[15]

See also


  1. ^ "Obituary: Dr. Daniel C. Gilman". Nature. 78 (2034): 641. 22 October 1908. doi:10.1038/078640a0.
  2. ^ "Daniel Coit Gilman". (1908/1909) Obituary Record of Graduates of Yale University Deceased during the Academical Year Ending in June, 1909 (68): 1012–7.
  3. ^ "Education: At Johns Hopkins". 1 March 1926. Retrieved 20 May 2017 – via www.time.com.
  4. ^ William Charles Gilman, father of Daniel, and a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, relocated from Exeter, New Hampshire to Norwich, Connecticut in 1816, where he founded a highly successful factory to manufacture nails.The life of Daniel Coit Gilman
  5. ^ Exeter, New Hampshire Franklin, Fabian (1910). The Life of Daniel Coit Gilman. Harvard College Library: Dodd Mead. p. 1.
  6. ^ Fabian Franklin (1910). The Life of Daniel Coit Gilman. Dodd, Mead and Company.
  7. ^ a b c "Daniel Coit Gilman, A Biography; Fabian Franklin Tells the Life Story of a Great Educational Organizer and Administrator" (PDF). The New York Times. May 21, 1910. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
  8. ^ Andrew Delbanco, "The Decline and Fall of Literature". The New York Review of Books, 4 November 1999
  9. ^ "MemberListG". Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  10. ^ a b New Century Reference Library, 1907
  11. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Gilman, Daniel Coit" . Encyclopedia Americana.
  12. ^ Polly M. Rettig and S. S. Bradford (March 8, 1976). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Daniel Coit Gilman Summer Home; "Over Edge"" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-06-22. and Accompanying photos, exterior, undated (137 KB)
  13. ^ John Mark Glenn papers, 1890–1958 (John Glenn was the first person to head the Russell Sage Foundation.)
  14. ^ "Glenn, Mary Wilcox - Social Welfare History Project". 11 February 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Daniel Coit Gilman Papers, The Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University" (PDF). Retrieved 20 May 2017.

Further reading

  • Francesco Cordasco, The Shaping of American Graduate Education; Daniel Coit Gilman and the Protean Ph.D., Rowman and Littlefield, Totowa, New Jersey, 1973, ISBN 0-87471-161-4

External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
Henry Durant
President of the University of California
Succeeded by
John Le Conte

Coit may refer to one of the following.

Battle of Cat Coit Celidon, a battle in Arthurian legends

Coit Albertson, American actor

Coit Cleaners, cleaning company from California

Coit D. Blacker, Special Assistant to the President

Coit Tower, landmark in San Francisco

Daniel Coit Gilman, American educator

James Milnor Coit, American teacher

John Coit Spooner, senator from Wisconsin

Joshua Coit: American lawyer and politician

Judson B. Coit Observatory, the astronomical observatory of the Boston University

Lillie Hitchcock Coit, firefighter and eccentric

Moses Coit Tyler, American author

Stanton Coit, writer on ethics

Daniel Coit Gilman Summer House

Daniel Coit Gilman Summer House, also known as Over Edge, is a historic house on Huntington Lane, a private road off Huntington Road in Northeast Harbor, Maine. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965 for its association with Daniel Coit Gilman (1831-1908), the president of Johns Hopkins University and a leading advocate of graduate education in the United States. The house is still used as a private summer residence.

Daniel Gilman

Daniel Gilman may refer to:

Daniel Coit Gilman (1831–1908), American educator and academician

Daniel Hunt Gilman (1845–1913), railroad builder

Druid Ridge Cemetery

Druid Ridge Cemetery is located just outside the city of Baltimore in Pikesville, Maryland at 7900 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore Co., MD 21208. Among its monuments and graves are several noted sculptures by Hans Schuler and the final resting places of:

Felix Agnus, American Civil War general and newspaper publisher

Alfred Blalock, pioneering cardiovascular surgeon

Dorothy Benjamin Caruso, widow of tenor Enrico Caruso

William Jones "Boileryard" Clarke, baseball player and coach

Claribel Cone, physician and art collector

Etta Cone, famous art collector along with her sister who together helped establish the Baltimore Museum of Art

Walter Dandy, one of the fathers of neurosurgery

Anthony Hastings George, British Consul-General.

Jennis Roy Galloway, Baltimore-born World War II Commander, later Managing Director of Union Carbide India, Ltd

Elisabeth Gilman, daughter of Daniel Coit Gilman and prominent Maryland socialist and civil liberties advocate

John F. Goucher, namesake of Goucher College

Virginia Hall, Baltimore-born World War II spy for the British Special Operations Executive

Eli Jones Henkle, U.S. Congressman, 5th District of Maryland

John Charles Linthicum, U.S. Congressman, 4th District of Maryland

Art Modell, owner of professional football teams

Curt Motton, professional baseball player

Rosa Ponselle, celebrated soprano

Lady Kandace Pierce, Carter Memorial COGIC

Thomas Rowe Price, Jr. (1898-1983), investment banker and founder of T. Rowe Price

Carl Vernon Sheridan, World War II Medal of Honor recipient

Hugh H. Young, pioneering urologist

Edward Tompkins

Edward Tompkins (1815–1872) was an American lawyer. He is best known for endowing a chair at the University of California where he had been elected to the board of regents.

Gilman School

The Gilman School is a private preparatory school for boys located in the Roland Park neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1897 as the Country School for Boys, it was the 1st country day school in the United States. Gilman enrolls approximately 1,003 students, ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade, under the instruction of 146 faculty members. It is a member of the Association of Independent Maryland Schools and the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association.Described by author C. Fraser Smith as "Baltimore's most prestigious preparatory academy," Gilman enjoys strong academic and athletic reputations. In 2002, Worth Magazine rated Gilman among the top 30 feeder schools in the U.S., signifying the high rate of matriculation by Gilman graduates at top colleges and universities. Its graduates are known to be intensely loyal to the school. Approximately 75% of the Board of Trustees are graduates of the school, one of the highest percentages of any educational institution in the United States. Of Gilman's 16 varsity athletic programs, 15 have won conference championships since 2000, and in recent years its football, track & field, and lacrosse teams have appeared at or near the top of national rankings.The school takes its name from Daniel Coit Gilman, the first president of The Johns Hopkins University and an early supporter of efforts by Anne Galbraith Carey to form an all-boys day school. Prominent graduates of Gilman include author Walter Lord, sportswriter Frank Deford, former Arizona Governor Fife Symington, former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich, former United States Senator Daniel Brewster, Congressman John Sarbanes, and internationally renowned composer Christopher Rouse.

Henry Durant

Henry Durant (June 18, 1802 in Acton, Massachusetts – January 22, 1875 in Oakland, California) was the founding president of the University of California.

Homewood Campus of Johns Hopkins University

The Homewood campus is the main academic and administrative center of the Johns Hopkins University. It is located at 3400 North Charles Street in Baltimore, Maryland. It houses the two major undergraduate schools: the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering.

J. Maxwell Miller

J. Maxwell Miller, aka Joseph Maxwell Miller (December 23, 1877 - 1933) was an American sculptor born in Baltimore, Maryland. He studied at the Maryland Institute School of Art and Design and at the Rinehart School of Sculpture with William Rinehart in Baltimore. He also studied with Raoul Verlet at the Julian Academy in Paris.Miller was a member of the National Sculpture Society and exhibited at their 1923 exhibition where he showed a bas relief portrait of Daniel Coit Gilman and a number of medals.He became the Director of the Rinehart School of Sculpture in 1923, a position he held for the last decade of his life.Miller lived most of his life in Baltimore, where he died in 1933.

Miller's pupils included Mary Blackford Fowler.

Johns Hopkins University

The Johns Hopkins University is a private research university in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1876, the university was named for its first benefactor, the American entrepreneur, abolitionist, and philanthropist Johns Hopkins. His $7 million bequest (approximately $144.5 million in today's dollars)—of which half financed the establishment of Johns Hopkins Hospital—was the largest philanthropic gift in the history of the United States up to that time. Daniel Coit Gilman, who was inaugurated as the institution's first president on February 22, 1876, led the university to revolutionize higher education in the U.S. by integrating teaching and research. Adopting the concept of a graduate school from Germany's ancient Heidelberg University, Johns Hopkins University is considered the first research university in the United States. Over the course of several decades, the university has led all U.S. universities in annual research and development expenditures. In fiscal year 2016, Johns Hopkins spent nearly $2.5 billion on research.Johns Hopkins is organized into 10 divisions on campuses in Maryland and Washington, D.C. with international centers in Italy, China, and Singapore. The two undergraduate divisions, the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering, are located on the Homewood campus in Baltimore's Charles Village neighborhood. The medical school, the nursing school, and the Bloomberg School of Public Health are located on the Medical Institutions campus in East Baltimore. The university also consists of the Peabody Institute, the Applied Physics Laboratory, the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, the School of Education, the Carey Business School, and various other facilities.Johns Hopkins was a founding member of the American Association of Universities. Johns Hopkins University is often cited as among the world's top universities. The university is ranked 10th among undergraduate programs at National Universities in U.S. News & World Report latest rankings, and 10th among global universities by U.S. News & World Report in its 2019 rankings, as well as 12th globally in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Over the course of more than 140 years, 37 Nobel laureates and 1 Fields Medalist have been affiliated with Johns Hopkins. Founded in 1883, the Blue Jays men's lacrosse team has captured 44 national titles and joined the Big Ten Conference as an affiliate member in 2014.

Lawrence Gilman

Lawrence Gilman (July 5, 1878 in Flushing, New York – September 8, 1939 in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire) was a U.S. author and music critic.

Lawrence Gilman was the son of Arthur Coit Gilman and Bessie (Lawrence) Gilman, and the grandnephew of educator Daniel Coit Gilman. Lawrence Gilman studied art at Collins Street Classical School in Hartford, Connecticut under William M. Chase. He also taught himself music in theory and practice on several instruments, including organ and piano.

From 1896 to 1898, he worked for the New York Herald, then from 1901 to 1913 as a music critic for Harper's Weekly, where he advanced to the position of managing editor. From 1915 to 1923, he worked as a critic in multiple arts for the North American Review, and for the Herald Tribune from 1925 on.

On August 1, 1904, he married Elizabeth Wright Walter, with whom he had one child, "Betty" Elizabeth Lawrence Gilman in 1905.

Gilman earned later notoriety for his scathing negative reviews of compositions that later became known as classics. He described George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, for example, as trite, feeble, conventional, vapid, fussy, futile, lifeless, stale, derivative and inexpressive. He was similarly dismissive of Gershwin's later Porgy and Bess

List of National Historic Landmarks in Maine

This is a complete List of National Historic Landmarks in Maine. The United States National Historic Landmark program is operated under the auspices of the National Park Service, and recognizes structures, districts, objects, and similar resources according to a list of criteria of national significance. The state of Maine is home to 44 of these landmarks, displaying the state's maritime heritage, as well as literary, archeological, religious, and a wide array of other themes.

One site in the state, Wickyup, had its landmark designation withdrawn after it was destroyed by fire, and another, the schooner Roseway, was relocated to Boston, Massachusetts. The state is also the location of the National Park Service's only International Historic Site, the St. Croix Island International Historic Site, important in both U.S. and Canadian history as the site of the first French settlement of Acadia in 1603.

Léopold Philippe d'Arenberg

Leopold Philippe of Arenberg (October 14, 1690 – March 4, 1754) was the 4th Duke of Arenberg, 10th Duke of Aarschot and an Austrian Field Marshal.

Nature worship

Nature worship is any of a variety of religious, spiritual and devotional practices that focus on the worship of the nature spirits considered to be behind the natural phenomena visible throughout nature. A nature deity can be in charge of nature, a place, a biotope, the biosphere, the cosmos, or the universe. Nature worship is often considered the primitive source of modern religious beliefs and can be found in theism, panentheism, pantheism, deism, polytheism, animism, totemism, shamanism, paganism. Common to most forms of nature worship is a spiritual focus on the individual's connection and influence on some aspects of the natural world and reverence towards it.

New International Encyclopedia

The New International Encyclopedia was an American encyclopedia first published in 1902 by Dodd, Mead and Company. It descended from the International Cyclopaedia (1884) and was updated in 1906, 1914 and 1926.

Prometheus Bound and the Oceanids

Prometheus Bound and the Oceanids (German:Prometheus, beklagt von den Okeaniden) is an 1879 marble sculpture by German sculptor Eduard Müller, located at Museumsinsel in Berlin, Germany.

Russell Trust Association

The Russell Trust Association is the business name for the New Haven, Connecticut based Skull and Bones society, incorporated in 1856.The Russell Trust was incorporated by William Huntington Russell as its president, and Daniel Coit Gilman as its first treasurer. Gilman later went on to become president of the University of California at Berkeley and Johns Hopkins University before leaving to become the first president of the Carnegie Foundation. Gilman also served as one of the first board members of the Russell Sage Foundation.

In 1943, by special act of the Connecticut state legislature, its trustees were granted an exemption from filing corporate reports with the Secretary of State, which is normally a requirement.From 1978 until his death in 1988, business of the Russell Trust Association was handled by its single trustee, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. partner John B. Madden. Madden started with Brown Brothers Harriman in 1946, under senior partner Prescott Bush. According to a 2016 filing with the IRS, the Russell Trust Association (filing as RTA Incorporated) has assets of $3,906,458, including the structure at 64 High St. in New Haven, Connecticut. According to the IRS filing, the Association engages in "educational programs — structured programs of intellectual inquiry, sensitivity training and personal development for students of Yale University focusing on topics of intellectual, political or cultural importance. Recent topics have included homeland security, corporate governance and US international relations."The business and political network of the Skull and Bones was detailed by Hoover Institution scholar Antony C. Sutton in the exposé, America's Secret Establishment. Social organizations connected to the Russell Trust network include Deer Island Club, which also operates as a corporation.

Thomas Craig (mathematician)

Thomas Craig was a professor at Johns Hopkins University and a proponent of the methods of differential geometry.

Thomas Craig was born December 20, 1855, in Pittston, Pennsylvania. His father Alexander Craig immigrated from Scotland, and worked as an engineer in the mining industry.

Thomas Craig first studied civil engineering at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, where a teacher William J. Bruce was a mentor to him. Thomas took his C.E. degree in 1875. He taught high school in Newton, New Jersey while continuing to study mathematics. He entered into correspondence with Benjamin Peirce and Peter Guthrie Tait.Thomas Craig was one of the prime movers of Johns Hopkins University when it was launched by Daniel Coit Gilman in 1876. Craig and George Bruce Halsted were the first Hopkins Fellows in mathematics. James Joseph Sylvester had been invited to lead a graduate program in mathematics but would only be doing that. Craig was needed to teach differential calculus and integral calculus.

The first year there were only fifteen students studying mathematics, but by 1883 there were 35.

In 1879 Craig took his Ph.D. degree with a dissertation "The representation of one surface upon another, and some points in the history of curvature of a surface". He became an instructor at Johns Hopkins that year, but also took up work at the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. In that capacity he produced the text for A Treatise on Projections for workers at the Geodetic Survey. Craig and Simon Newcomb read Leo Königsberger's Theory of Functions also.

Thomas married Louise Alford, daughter of General Benjamin Alvord, on May 4, 1880. The couple raised two daughters, Alisa and Ethel.

After 1881 Craig was totally committed to Johns Hopkins, particularly anticipating Arthur Cayley's lectures on theta functions when he came over for the Spring semester of 1882. Besides the calculus courses, Craig taught differential equations, elliptic functions, elasticity, partial differential equations, calculus of variations, definite integrals, mechanics, dynamics, hydrodynamics, sound, spherical harmonics, and Bessel functions.When the American Journal of Mathematics was launched in 1877 Craig was tasked with recording expenses, as these were underwritten by Johns Hopkins University. His report at the end of 1882 gave the total just under ten thousand dollars.

Thomas Craig died May 8, 1900. With information supplied by Luther P. Eisenhart, Simon Newcomb wrote the notice in the American Journal of Mathematics

William Edward Story

William Edward Story (April 29, 1850 – April 10, 1930) was an American mathematician who taught at Johns Hopkins University and Clark University.

William was born in Boston to Isaac Marion Story (1818-1901) and Elizabeth Bowen Woodberry (1817-1888). He attended high school in Somerville, Massachusetts, and entered Harvard University in the fall of 1867. He graduated with honors in mathematics and began graduate study in Germany in September 1871. In Berlin he attended lectures of Weierstrass, Ernst Kummer, Helmholtz and Dove. In Leipzig he heard Karl Neumann, Bruhns, Mayer, Van der Müll, and Engelmann. He earned a Ph.D. in Leipzig in 1875 with a dissertation "On the algebraic relations existing between the polars of a binary quantic."

W.E. Story began his teaching career at Harvard as a tutor. With the establishment of Johns Hopkins University in 1876, Story was recruited by Daniel Coit Gilman as an Associate. J. J. Sylvester led the program in mathematics. Until 1879, Story was the only other instructor in mathematics besides Sylvester. Story was instrumental in starting two publication projects: The Johns Hopkins University Circulars was a student paper detailing classes and attendees. American Journal of Mathematics was also started as a joint effort of Sylvester and Story, but soon Story was replaced by Thomas Craig as managing editor. In 1893 Story became an associate professor; he taught courses on quaternions, elliptic functions, invariant theory, mathematical astronomy and mathematical elasticity. Story also introduced introductory courses for graduate students, surveying the entire field. The monthly Mathematical Seminary became a weekly mathematical society, divided into three parts; Story oversaw the section on geometry and quaternions.When Clark University was established in 1889, President G. Stanley Hall hired Oskar Bolza and Story to lead the mathematics department. Henry Taber was hired as docent, he had studied with Story at Johns Hopkins. Solomon Lefschetz and other mathematicians contributed to making Clark the leading site for mathematics in the USA until 1892 when University of Chicago eclipsed it.

Clark University ceased its graduate program in 1919 and Story retired in 1921.


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