August 3, 2016

2675 UNITED STATES (Illinois) - University of Chicago

Founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and wealthiest man in history John D. Rockefeller, the University of Chicago, a private research university, was incorporated in 1890. It is composed of the College, various graduate programs, and interdisciplinary committees organized into five academic research divisions, six professional schools, and the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies.

University of Chicago scholars have played a major role in the development of various academic disciplines, including: the Chicago school of economics, the Chicago school of sociology, law and economics theory in legal analysis, the Chicago school of literary criticism, the Chicago school of religion, and the behavioralism school of political science. Chicago's physics department helped develop the world's first man-made, self-sustaining nuclear reaction beneath the university's Stagg Field.

The first buildings of its campus (now known as the Main Quadrangles), were part of a "master plan" plotted by Chicago architect Henry Ives Cobb. The Main Quadrangles consist of six quadrangles, each surrounded by buildings, bordering one larger quadrangle, designed in a mixture of the Victorian Gothic and Collegiate Gothic styles, patterned on the colleges of the University of Oxford. After the 1940s, the Gothic style on campus began to give way to modern styles.

One of the most influential scholars and professors of this university was Mircea Eliade (1907-1986), a Romanian historian of religion, fiction writer, and philosopher. He left Romania in 1945, at the first signs of introducing the communist regime, and settled first in Paris, then, since 1956, in United States, where he had been invited by Joachim Wach to give a series of lectures at Wach's home institution, the University of Chicago.

Eliade and Wach are generally admitted to be the founders of the "Chicago school" that basically defined the study of religions for the second half of the 20th century. Upon Wach's death before the lectures were delivered, Eliade was appointed as his replacement, becoming, in 1964, the Sewell Avery Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions. In 1966, he became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

About the stamps
Two of the stamps are part of the series Modern Art in America: 1913-1931, about which I wrote here. About the other stamp, depicting the president Abraham Lincoln, I wrote here.

University of Chicago - Wikipedia
Mircea Eliade - Wikipedia

Sender: Denise
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 05.04.2014
Photo: Ron Schramm / 1995

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