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This Day in Georgia History

July 16, 1914

Million Dollar Letter

Six months after retiring as president of the Coca-Cola Co., Asa Candler made a formal offer to give $1,000,000 to create a new Methodist university in the East. The offer - known as the “Million Dollar Letter” - came in a letter to his brother, Methodist bishop Warren Candler. Bishop Candler revealed the offer at a meeting of the church’s Educational Commission in Atlanta. Commission members immediately voted to accept the donation, chose Atlanta as the site, and named Bishop Candler as the first chancellor of what would become Emory University. The movement for a new Methodist university came after a March 1914 Tennessee court decision that Vanderbilt University was under the control of its board of Trustees - not the Methodist Church.