© 2006 University of Chicago Library
Baptist Ministers' Conference, Chicago. Records
0.5 linear feet (1 box)
Special Collections Research Center
The Baptist Ministers’ Conference was instrumental in the founding of the University of Chicago in response to John D. Rockefeller's pledge to support the founding of a new of higher education in Chicago. The Records consist of conference minutes from 1889-1909 as well as reports on committee work and social issues.
When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Baptist Ministers' Conference, Chicago. Records, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library
The group was instrumental in the founding of the University of Chicago. In 1889, seventy delegates from local Chicago Baptist churches assembled in the Grand Pacific Hotel on LaSalle Street. They had been summoned by the Chicago Baptist Ministers' Conference and the Chicago Baptist Social Union in response to John D. Rockefeller's pledge to support the founding of a new of higher education in Chicago. He stated he would contribute $600,000 toward the first one million dollars in endowment "for a college to be established at Chicago," but only if a sum of $400,000 in additional funds was pledged by other donors before June 1, 1890. These delegates at the Grand Pacific Hotel embraced Rockefeller's challenge and launched a campaign to raise the needed funds. Once denominational sources had been exhausted and the campaign was still short of its goal, Thomas W. Goodspeed and Frederick T. Gates, the University's two principal fundraisers, turned to the non-Baptist business leaders of Chicago for support. The $400,000 goal was met and exceeded, and in the process the University acquired a new set of influential backers - commodity traders, publishers, bankers, manufacturers, and merchants - who would form the core of its support in the years to come.
The Baptist Ministers' Conference Papers consist of conference minutes from 1889-1909 as well reports on committee work and social issues.
The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:
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