Rules and orders relating to a Professor of the Mathematicks, of Natural and Experimental Philosophy, in Harvard College, 18 January 1726: Records of the Harvard Corporation. Professorship records : statutes of University professorships: Harvard Corporation. Professorship papers
About this Item
- Harvard University , Corporation.
- 2 leaves (.18 cubic feet, 1 portfolio folder)
- Harvard University Archives
This folder contains a single document describing the "rules and orders" of the Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. The document begins by defining the subjects to be taught by the Hollis Professor including natural and experimental philosophy, elements of geometry, and the principles of astronomy and geography. It then outlines the number of public and private lectures to be given to students, how much extra time the professor should spend with students reviewing any difficulties they may encounter understanding class subject matter discussed, and stipulates that the professor's duties shall be restricted solely to his teaching activities and not involve him in any religious activities at the College or oblige him to teach any additional studies other than those specified for the Hollis Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. Furthermore, the rules establish the professor's salary at £80 per year and allow the professor to receive from students, except those students studying theology under the Hollis Professor of Divinity, an additional fee as determined by the Corporation and Board of Overseers, to supplement his income. Moreover, the rules assert that all professorship candidates selected by the Harvard Corporation must be approved by Thomas Hollis during his lifetime or by his executor after his death. Finally, the rules state that the Hollis professor take an oath to the civil government and declare himself a member of the Protestant reformed religion. This document is signed by Thomas Hollis and four witnesses, John Hollis, Joshua Hollis, Richard Solly, and John Williams.
In 1726, Thomas Hollis (1659-1731), a wealthy English merchant and a long-time benefactor of Harvard College, donated £1200 to Harvard College for the establishment of a professorship in "Mathematicks and of Natural and Experimental Philosophy." Hollis became acquainted with Harvard College in 1690, after his maternal uncle, Sir Robert Thorner, bequeathed £400 to the school. Following his uncle's example, Hollis began in 1719 to make regular donations of books to the College Library and funds "for the assistance of pious young men, who were destined for the ministry." Recognizing the importance of an educated ministry, Hollis later endowed a professor of Divinity at Harvard College in 1721. Hollis is acknowledged as the most generous benefactor of Harvard College in the first century of its existence.