In 1873, Johns Hopkins died, leaving behind a trust of $3.5 million to found a university and hospital. It was to that time the greatest gift ever to a university. Princeton's library collection was then an embarrassment of only a few books - and the library was only open one hour a week. Columbia was little better; its library opened for two hours each afternoon, but freshmen could not enter without a special permission slip. Only 10 percent of Harvard's professors had a Ph. D.
The trustees of Hopkins's estate were Quakers who moved deliberately but also decisively. Against the advice of Harvard president Charles Eliot, Yale president James Burril Angell, and Cornell president Andrew D. White, they decided to model the Johns Hopkins University after the great German universities, places thick with men consumed with creating new knowledge, not simply teaching what was believed.
-John M. Barry, The Great Influenza