Dodge-Osborn Hall

Dodge-Osborn Hall (1960), which is part of Woodrow Wilson College bears the names of two New York families with many Princeton associations. It was given in memory of Cleveland H. Dodge 1879 and William Church Osborn 1883 (hon. LL.D. 1942) by members of their families and by the Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation.

THE DODGES

Cleveland H. Dodge (1860-1926) was the son of William Earl Dodge, Jr., industrialist and philanthropist, whose father was one of the founders of Phelps, Dodge, and Company, dealers in copper and other metals, one of the organizers of the Young Men's Christian Association in America, and a liberal benefactor of a college, later the American University of Beirut, which was founded by another son, D. Stuart Dodge.

Cleveland H. Dodge succeeded his father as national president of the Y.M.C.A. and was for many years president of the trustees of Robert College in Istanbul. He and his father gave Dodge Hall in memory of his brother, W. Earl Dodge 1879, who died a few years after graduation (Murray-Dodge). Cleveland H. Dodge was a trustee of Princeton and a liberal contributor to its funds during the presidency of his classmate Woodrow Wilson. He was also the largest contributor to Wilson's presidential campaign funds in 1912 and 1916. During the First World War he directed the United War Work Campaign, which raised $170,000,000 for the Y.M.C.A., the Knights of Columbus, the Salvation Army, and other relief organizations. He also headed campaigns for the Red Cross, the Y.M.C.A. and repeated appeals for relief of sufferers in the Near East. To all of these charities he was himself a liberal contributor. In 1918 he sent his check for $1,000,000 to the Red Cross, and that same year, outbidding all other competitors, paid the Red Cross $55,000 for the presidential proclamation of its appeal bearing the personal signature of his old classmate.

Cleveland H. Dodge's twin sons distinguished themselves in education and philanthropy. Bayard Dodge '09 (hon. D.D. 1928) was president of the University of Beirut in Lebanon and after his retirement, a lecturer in Princeton's Department of Near Eastern studies. Cleveland E. Dodge '09 (hon. Phil.D. 1959) was president of the Near East Foundation, chairman of the board of trustees of Teachers College of Columbia University, a leader and benefactor of the Y.M.C.A., and an alumni trustee of Princeton. In 1972, in recognition of Bayard and Cleveland E. Dodge's service to Princeton and the Near East, members of their families established twin chairs in the University's Department of Near Eastern Studies bearing their names.

THE OSBORNS

William Church Osborn 1883 (1862-1951) was the son of William Henry Osborn, railroad president and philanthropist and one of the exposers of the Tweed Ring in New York City. His older brother, Henry Fairfield Osborn 1877, D.Sc. 1880 (hon. LL.D. '02), donor of the Osborn Clubhouse, was Princeton's first professor of comparative anatomy and later president of the American Museum of Natural History in New York; one of his two Princeton sons, Fairfield Osborn '09 (hon. D.Sc. 1957) was president of the New York Zoological Society and a leading conservationist, widely known for his book, Our Plundered Planet.

A lawyer, William Church Osborn was generally regarded as one of New York's first citizens. Although he never ran for office, he was active in the political life of his city and state, serving as organizer and president of the Society to Prevent Corrupt Practices at Elections, as chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee, as founder, president, and chairman of the Citizens Budget Commission. He was for fifty years president or chairman of the board of the Children's Aid Society and was also president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A trustee of the University for almost forty years, he served as chairman of the Princeton Fund Committee for a decade, and was a principal organizer of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. The trustees later created a professorship in the School in his memory. Mrs. William Church Osborn was a sister of Cleveland H. Dodge; she gave the Dodge Professorship of History.

The William Church Osborns had three Princeton sons, the eldest of whom, Frederick H. Osborn '10, was a major-general in charge of the army's educational program during the Second World War, deputy representative of the United States on the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission, president of the Population Council, and a trustee of the University during the administrations of Presidents Dodds and Goheen.

By 1975, twenty-four members of four generations of the Dodge and Osborn families had attended Princeton.


From Alexander Leitch, A Princeton Companion, copyright Princeton University Press (1978).

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