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November 26, 1935

Charles M. Pratt, former officer of the Standard Oil Company and eldest son of the company’s co-founder, died at his home in Glen Cove, L.I. A Vassar trustee from 1896 until 1920, Mr. Pratt gave nearly a million dollars to the college for, among other things, Pratt House, the Outdoor Theater, Vassar Lake (briefly referred to as Pratt Lake) and—with his wife, Mary Morris Pratt ’80—Taylor Hall. President MacCracken, noting Mr. Pratt’s generosity and his modesty, said that his gifts were usually “given confidentially.”

Pratt’s gift to the million dollar campaign launched with MacCracken’s inauguration was a typical example. “One morning,” the president told The Miscellany News, “a chauffer entered Dr. MacCracken’s office, handed him a box and asked him to sign a receipt. When the package was opened it was found to contain one hundred $1,000 bonds, given by Mr. Pratt, confidentially.”

The Years