Merrill Edward Gates

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Merrill Edward Gates
Merrill Edwards Gates.jpg
Born April 6, 1848
Warsaw, New York
Died August 11, 1922(1922-08-11) (aged 74)
Littleton, New Hampshire
Occupation President of Rutgers University
Parents Seth Merrill Gates

Merrill Edward Gates, LL.D. (April 6, 1848 – August 11, 1922)[1] was the ninth President of Rutgers College (now Rutgers University) serving from 1882 to 1890, and the sixth President of Amherst College, serving from 1890 to 1899.

Biography[edit]

He was born at Warsaw, New York, the son of Seth Merrill Gates. Gates received his baccalaureate degree at the University of Rochester, where he achieved high honors in Mathematics, Latin and Greek, and received the English Essay Prize of the Senior year. He served as Principal for twelve years at The Albany Academy in New York, and visited the Rugby School and the University of Oxford from 1872 to 1875. Upon his return to the United States, he was offered the post of Chancellor of the University of Tennessee but declined and remained in Albany. He went abroad again in 1879, spending a year in travel and study in France, Italy, Egypt, Palestine, and Greece. Upon this second return, the University of the State of New York conferred on him a degree in honoris causa in 1880, and in 1882, both the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University and the University of Rochester awarded him the degree of Doctor of Laws. He received the LL.D. degree from Columbia University in 1891 and from Williams College in 1893. Columbia University also conferred upon him the degree of Doctorate of Humane Laws (L.H.D.) in 1887.[2]

During his tenure as President of Rutgers College, which began in 1882, Gates built the College's first dormitory, Winants Hall (completed in 1890) named for Garret E. Winants and New Jersey Hall (funded by the state) which was used for instruction in Chemistry and Biology (now home of the Economics department). Under the provisions of the Hatch Act, in 1887, Rutgers established the Agricultural Experiment Station, and under the Morrill Act of 1890, increase funding for the Scientific School. However, in 1890, Dr. Gates resigned as President, to accept the Presidency of Amherst College (from 1890-1899) in Massachusetts. After his tenure at Amherst, Gates was appointed to be Chairman of the U.S. Board of Indian Commissioners, and later named Secretary of the Board, serving from 1899 to 1912. He remained in Washington, DC presenting lectures and serving literary and philanthropic societies, and preaching in the Congregational Church.[2]

He died at his summer home in Littleton, New Hampshire, on August 11, 1922.[3]

Selected works[edit]

  • Land and Law as Agents in Educating the Indians (1885)
  • Sidney Lanier, Poet and Artist (1887)
  • International Arbitration (1897)
  • The Highest Use of Wealth (1901)
  • Men of Mark in America (1905-6) LC control no.: 06002518

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b "Merrill Edward Gates, 1882-1890". Rutgers University. Retrieved 2008-07-25. "Dr. Merrill Edward Gates (1848-1922), the first professional educator to assume the presidency of Rutgers College, was thirty-four years old when he arrived in New Brunswick to succeed the Reverend William H. Campbell in 1882. Born in Warsaw, N.Y., Gates was a graduate of the University of Rochester, where he achieved high honors in mathematics, Latin and Greek, and received the English Essay Prize of the Senior year. For twelve years he was Principal of the Albany Academy, where he extended the course of study from eight to twelve years, covering much of a college course, and increased the total attendance of the school from 70 to 300 students. Traveling to England in 1872, he visited the educational institutions at Rugby and Oxford. In 1875 he was elected Chancellor of the University of Tennessee, but declined the offer and remained in Albany. He went abroad again in 1879, spending a year in travel and study in France, Italy, Egypt, Palestine, and Greece. The University of the State of New York conferred on him an honorary degree in 1880, and in June 1882, both Princeton and the University of Rochester awarded him the degree of Doctor of Laws. Following his presidency at Rutgers, he received the L.L.D. degree from Columbia University in 1891 and from Williams College in 1893. Columbia University also conferred upon him the degree of L.H.D. in 1887." 
  3. ^ "Merrill E. Gates Dead at his Summer Home". Washington Post. 12 August 1922. Retrieved 2008-07-25. "Word was received in Washington last night that Merrill Edward Gates, of 1309 Rhode Island avenue northwest, died yesterday at Littleton, where he was spending the summer. He was 74 years old. Funeral services will be held at Bethlehem, N. H., tomorrow, and the interment will be in Warsaw, N. Y." 
Academic offices
Preceded by
William Henry Campbell
President of Rutgers University
1882–1890
Succeeded by
Austin Scott
Preceded by
Julius Hawley Seelye
President of Amherst College
1890–1899
Succeeded by
George Harris