Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 175



Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.

Page 175

distributed all over the country, called for special investigation and personal contact. Bok selected Mrs. Lyman Abbott for this piece of delicate work, and, through the wide acquaintance of her husband, she was enabled to reach, personally, every case in every locality, and bring personal help to bear on it. These cases mounted into the hundreds, and the good accomplished through this quiet channel cannot be overestimated.

The lack of opportunity for an education in Bok’s own life led him to cast about for some plan whereby an education might be obtained without expense by any one who desired. He finally hit upon the simple plan of substituting free scholarships for the premiums then so frequently offered by periodicals for subscriptions secured. Free musical education at the leading conservatories was first offered to any girl who would secure a certain number of subscriptions to The Ladies’ Home Journal, the complete offer being a year’s free tuition, with free room, free board, free piano in her own room, and all travelling expenses paid. The plan was an immediate success: the solicitation of a subscription by a girl desirous of educating herself made an irresistible appeal.

This plan was soon extended, so as to include all the girls’ colleges, and finally all the men’s colleges, so that a free education might be possible at any educational institution. So comprehensive it became that to the close of 1919, one thousand four hundred and fifty-five free scholarships had been awarded. The plan has now been in operation long enough to have produced some of the leading singers and instrumental artists of


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