Education: The Munificent Monsieur

Never before, as far as the oldest Old Oxonian could recall, had the University Congregation been convened during the "Long Vac." But last week, with almost a month of vacation still ahead, the Hebdomadal Council (Oxford's "cabinet") summoned a special session of Congregation (the academic legislature). To the black-gowned, curious dons, Dean John Lowe of Christ Church broke an exciting piece of news.

An anonymous Frenchman had offered Oxford £1,500,000 ($6,000,000)—biggest gift ever received from a foreigner, and second largest in modern times.* There were a few strings attached. Most of the money...

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