The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Vanderbilt University
VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY, an institution of learning in the western suburbs of Nashville, Tenn. It was chartered in 1872 as the Central university of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, but the efforts to raise funds for its organization were unsuccessful. In 1873 Cornelius Vanderbilt of New York gave to the enterprise $500,000, and the institution was named in his honor. He has since increased this amount to nearly $700,000, $300,000 of which is to remain as a permanent invested endowment. One of the conditions upon which this gift was made was that Bishop McTyeire of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, should become president of the board of trust. This post was accepted by Bishop McTyeire, upon whom has fallen the chief responsibility of organizing the institution. L. C. Garland, LL. D., was chosen chancellor, and the Rev. T. O. Summers, D. D., dean of the theological faculty, and ex officio vice chancellor. A plot of 75 acres was purchased, the corner stone of the university was laid April 28, 1874, and on Oct. 4, 1875, the institution was opened for students. It has a theological department with four professors, a law department with three, a medical department with eleven, and a department of philosophy, science, and literature with eleven. The total number of students in 1875-'6 was 300. It has a library of 6,000 volumes, scientific apparatus that cost more than $50,000, and extensive geological and mineralogical cabinets. The plan of instruction is elective. The dormitory system is not used; students board in private families. Tuition is free to all in the theological department, and in the literary and scientific department to all preparing for the ministry.