Anna M. Harkness

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Anna M. Harkness
Born October 25, 1837
Dalton, Ohio
Died March 27, 1926(1926-03-27) (aged 88)
New York City, New York
Resting place
Lake View Cemetery
Residence New York City
Occupation Philanthropist
Spouse(s) Stephen V. Harkness
Children Charles W. (1860-1916)
Florence (1864-1895)
Edward S. (1874-1940)

Anna Maria Harkness (née Richardson) (October 25, 1837 – March 27, 1926) was an American philanthropist.

She married Stephen Vanderburgh Harkness, a businessman of Cleveland, Ohio, in 1851. They were parents of Charles Harkness, Florence and Edward Stephen Harkness. Anna's husband Stephen was an early investor with John D. Rockefeller and became the second-largest shareholder in Standard Oil before his death in March 1888.

Anna Harkness lost her daughter Florence on July 29, 1895, shortly after Florence's marriage to Louis Severance in Cleveland, Ohio. Louis Severance was a philanthropist and had been the Treasurer of Standard Oil. Anna M. Harkness and Louis Severance donated the funds for the construction of the Florence Harkness Memorial Chapel at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

After Anna's and Stephen's son Charles W. Harkness died in 1917, Anna Harkness gave $3 million to Yale University for the construction of Memorial Quadrangle in Charles' memory including Harkness Tower, the most visible symbol of Yale on the New Haven skyscape.

In 1918 Anna Harkness established the Commonwealth Fund with an initial gift of $10 million and made her son Edward its president. Forbes listed Edward as the 6th wealthiest individual in the U.S. in 1918 just behind names like John D. Rockefeller, Willam Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. This fund bankrolled the establishment of the Harkness Fellowships and the construction of St. Salvator's Hall at the University of St Andrews, the Butler Library at Columbia University, and many of the undergraduate dormitories at Harvard and Yale Universities (known as "houses" and "residential colleges," respectively).

Anna Harkness donated another $3 million to Yale in 1920 to increase faculty salaries.[1]

Anna Harkness also made gifts to Hampton and Tuskegee Institutes, the New York Public Library, the Museum of Natural History in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Zoological Society and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. The Harkness Pavilion at Columbia Physicians and Surgeons is named for the family.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Reports Made to the President of Yale University By Yale University. President's Office, (1921)