Board History

The "Million Dollar Letter" (click for full image)

In 1914, Asa G. Candler donated one million dollars and 75 acres of land to create a school of higher learning in Atlanta.

Within months of the famous "Million Dollar Letter," the School of Theology opened its doors. Other educational units followed suit.

A charter for the new university was granted to the 16 members of the Educational Commission of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1915. These men—who included Asa Candler and his brother, former Emory President Bishop Warren Akin Candler—were authorized to serve temporarily as the trustees of Emory until the next quadrennial General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. That conference, held in 1918, elected a board of 30 members, and the board has been self-perpetuating ever since.

Soon thereafter, the Emory College trustees, chaired by Asa Candler, voted to transfer all of the college's assets to the university and make the college the core of the undergraduate arts and sciences. Candler led Emory University as its board chair until his death in 1929.