DECEMBER 14, 1955
NEW YORK—It certainly is a wonderful thing to have the Ford Foundation give 500 million dollars to the nation's privately supported colleges, universities and hospitals. The idea is to help raise the salaries of teachers in the privately supported liberal arts and science colleges and universities, and for this purpose 210 million dollars is allotted. Last March, 50 million dollars was appropriated for this purpose and those two amounts will go into endowments which will mean a four percent increase in salaries in 615 schools, based on 1954-55 payroll schedules.
Where hospitals are concerned 3,500 voluntary nonprofit hospitals for the public will benefit from a fund of 200 million dollars. The hospitals are not allowed to use this money for operating expenses or services currently being performed, but otherwise they can use it as they need it.
In addition, 90 million dollars is to be given to privately supported medical schools. This sum also will be on an endowment basis.
This grant should mean a great deal both in the educational field and in the medical field.
I was delighted to see that Bard College, which is up in my area of the Hudson Valley, is to be helped. President Case, I know, has felt the need of raising the teachers' salaries, but the college's financial condition was such that he did not feel he was able to do so.
This action is of far-reaching importance because it will give us better quality in our teachers, since it will attract people who would like to teach but in many cases have found it impossible to do so when they could earn in some other profession a decent living for their families. In teaching it meant they could barely exist.
As far as the hospitals are concerned, I know that for many hospitals this will mean the addition of services which without capital of this kind, these hospitals could never have afforded to perform.
The Ford Foundation is one of our richest foundations, and it is a remarkable example that has been set by a man and his family in the responsibility of returning to the country real benefits when one has received great opportunities.
It is true that those who earn much of this world's goods can always feel that it is through their own efforts that they have accomplished these ends. But in a democracy where we feel that all of us, when we are fortunate, owe something to the nation that has given us these opportunities, it is remarkable to have an example such as is set by the generosity of a whole family.
This does not mean, of course, that the Ford family has suffered hardships. It means that a great sense of responsibility has been shown, and I think all of us as citizens should be proud to have this example in our midst and express our appreciation both of the founder of this fortune and to his entire family.