From the Editors

OHSU Meets Knight’s $500 Million Challenge Grant: A Historical Reflection

The big news from Oregon Health and Science University is that they have met Phil Knight’s $500 million challenge grant. To celebrate, take a look at the recent article that Benjamin Soskis, a HistPhil co-editor, wrote for the Chronicle of Philanthropy on the history and contemporary significance of challenge grants. Challenge grants are “in many respects, the quintessential American philanthropic instrument,” Soskis writes, “straddling the divide between a respect for the prerogatives of wealth and responsiveness to democratic imperatives.” The first generation of Gilded Age philanthropists embraced the challenge grant, but also recognized its limitations. This latest generation would be wise to do the same, suggests Soskis.

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