Professor Charles Gillispie’s Legacy of Intellectual Leadership
New Sachs Scholarship and Charles C. and Emily R. Gillispie Chair in the History of Science
Charles Gillispie, Princeton’s Dayton-Stockton Professor of History Emeritus, epitomized the qualities associated with an ideal professor: rigorous scholarship and a devotion to students.
“He was ‘old school’ at its best, from his uncompromising scholarly standards to his unparalleled devotion to the bow tie and plaid,” said Professor of History Emily Thompson *92, who studied under Professor Gillispie as a graduate student. “He tempered the precision of science with the grace of the humanities, bridging the two cultures with intelligence and style.”
Professor Gillispie, who died in 2015 at age 97, co-founded the University’s internationally recognized Program in History of Science and helped to establish one of Princeton’s most esteemed awards, the Daniel M. Sachs Class of 1960 Graduating Scholarship. His life’s work continues, thanks to gifts he made to the University through life income gifts which provided payments to him during his lifetime, and a bequest from his estate. The remainders from his pooled income funds, charitable gift annuities, and charitable trusts, combined with a gift from his estate, have established an endowment for the Charles C. and Emily R. Gillispie Chair in the History of Science—his wife, Emily, predeceased him in 2013—and a new Sachs scholarship that brings students from England to study at Princeton.
His bequest also provides support for the weekly History of Science Program Seminars he attended well into his nineties. “Our program is still animated by Charles’s intellectual rigor and the vigorous discussions that flourished under his leadership,” said Angela Creager, the Thomas M. Siebel Professor in the History of Science.