LOWELL INSTITUTE, an educational foundation in Bos ton, Mass. "As the prosperity of my native land, New England, which is sterile and unproductive, must depend hereafter, as it has heretofore depended, first on the moral qualities, and secondly on the intelligence and information of its inhabitants; I am de sirous of trying to contribute towards . . ." these objects. Thus John Lowell, Jr., wrote in his will, and provided a fund for public lectures in the city of Boston. He died in 1836. The fund, then, amounted to about $250,000; in 1928 it was over $1,500,00o.
He provided for two kinds of lectures, one popular and the other "more erudite and particular"; or, as we should say, more ad vanced and systematic. The first of these have been given annually for 88 years, many of them by eminent scholars from Europe. The other kind commenced somewhat later, and in one form or another have been regularly maintained. In both cases the Lowell Institute, as the foundation is called, works in conjunction with other institutions; for Lowell, dreading the temptation of costly structures without adequate means of support, provided that no portion of the capital should be used for such buildings. Most of the popular lectures are delivered in a hall of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; others, of a definitely religious character, in King's Chapel. According to the will, the popular lectures were to be free, while for the more advanced courses a charge for each term of the price of two bushels of wheat was permitted. The
courses include : (I) university extension courses, arranged by a committee representing all the institutions of higher learning in and around Boston; (2) a school of engineering, carried on in conjunction with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and designed to supply a gap between professional engineers and administrators of industry on the one hand and skilled workmen on the other. At first it was called the School for Industrial Fore men ; but as it prepares men for positions well above those of fore men it is now called simply the Lowell Institute school. It fills an important place not covered by any other in the community.
A strange provision was made by the testator for the adminis tration of the fund. He appointed a single trustee, and as visitors the trustees of the library known as the Boston Athenaeum. To them accounts are annually rendered, but they exercise no control over the management. The trustee for the time being he empow ered also to designate his successor, enjoining him to choose in preference some competent male descendant of the testator's grandfather, who bears the name of Lowell. As the first incum bent he selected his cousin, John Amory Lowell; and the trustee ships of this kinsman and his son and grandson have now covered nearly a century. Owing to the laws of Massachusetts on exemp tion from taxation of charitable funds, the trustee of the institute is now by statute a corporation sole. (A. L. L.)