“I have found that strict business methods go a long way in securing the interest of rich people. It has been my constant aim at Tuskegee to carry out, in our financial and other operations, such business methods as would be approved of by any New York banking house.” – Booker T. Washington, _Up From Slavery_(1901)
Presidential Commentary by Dr. Brian Johnson
One of the surest indicators of how an organization might manage another’s resources-fiscal or otherwise-is to consider how this same organization manages its own, and Mr. Washington’s desire to manage Tuskegee Institute in a manner that “would be approved of by any New York banking house” is quite telling. In both its “financial and other operations,” Mr. Washington wanted to ensure that the practices of Tuskegee Institute (University) were such that it would appeal to the persons who could help fiscally advance and develop the University the fastest-“rich people”. While it is true that Mr. Washington received a great many gifts from persons who were not wealthy-make no mistake-many of the most pivotal and significant gifts came from persons with wealth. For the founding Principal and President of Tuskegee Institute (University) well understood that if he was going to attract the “interest” of persons with means then he would have to follow the very practices that were used in managing such means.
Brian L. Johnson, Ph.D.
7th President, Tuskegee University