The New York Times/1925/12/14/Louvain's $1,000,000 Fully Subscribed
Completion of Library Fund is Announced by Dr. Butler and Secreary Hoover.
$125,000 TRUST PROVIDED
Sum Made Up of Small Gifts From American Students, Teachers, Police and Women's Clubs.
The American fund of $1,000,000 to rebuild the historic Library of Louvain University in Belgium, which was pillaged and burned in the World War, was announced as completed yesterday by Herbert Hoover, Secretary of Commerce, and Dr. Nichols Murray Butler, President of Columbia University. The close of the drive was marked by an additional gift of $382,500 by the Commission for Relief in Belgium Educational Foundation, of which Mr. Hoover is President, bringing the commission's total to $432,500. The grand total now assured, it was said, would not only restore the library but also provide a trust of $125,000 for its upkeep.
Authority was accordingly cabled yesterday to resume the reconstruction of the Louvain Library, which was halted a week ago with only $500,000 officially in sight. Another half million dollars had been needed to complete the work on the desired scale. The initial $500,000 had been raised by an American committee headed by Dr. Butler, but when the cost of construction was found to be greater than the original estimates Dr. Butler informed the authorities at Louvain last January that the committee had taxed the full capacity of its available list of small donors.
Appealed to Hoover
The Belgians appealed to Secretary Hoover to undertake the raising of the balance. He obtained personal contribution amounting to $292,000, it was announced, which included an additional donation from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, of which Dr. Butler is head, and which brought the Carnegie Endowment gift to a total of $157,000. The $382,500 gift which finally clinched the success of the drive was voted by the Commission for Relief in Belgium Educational Foundation at its December meeting last week.
The million-dollar fund as a whole, the joint announcement of Secretary Hoover and Dr. Butler yesterday said, "represents gifts of a few pennies each from more than half a million American school children and school teachers; gifts of one dollar or more from students of practically every college, university, academy and preparatory school in the country; from the police forces of several cities, including in excess of $8,000 from New York's 'finest'; from fire departments, also including several thousand dollars from New York City; from professorial and alumni associations, library staffs, women's clubs and a vast number of individuals. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace made a large contribution at the inception of the work to cover cost of collection, and the staff did the clerical work free of cost."
Dr. Butler Directed Fund
"Dr. Butler was asked," a statement said, "to undertake the task of rebuilding the library as an expression of friendship from American students of all ages, regardless of racial origin or religious faith, to Belgian students who had been despoiled by war of their centuries-old library. The library was planned as a magnificent monument to this purpose."
The Executive Committee of the fund in New York included Bishop William T. Manning, Cardinal (then Archbishop) Hayes, Darwin P. Kingsley, Thomas W. Lamont, Herbert Putnam, Justice Victor J. Dowling, George Barr Baker and Henry S. Haskell. Group committees of men and women of equal standing in other communities assisted in its work.
The plans for restoring the library were drawn by Warren & Wetmore of New York City. The work is now about one-half completed, and the entire building is expected to be dedicated in the Summer of 1927 in celebration of the five hundredth anniversary of the founding of the University of Louvain, it was announced yesterday.