The Corporation has decided to extend the deadline of the first half of the Divinity School's fund drive "for a reasonable interim period" past 1954, President Pusey said in an interview yesterday.
Previously, the Corporation had set January, 1954 as the date by which the fund drive had to raise two million dollars from outside sources if it were to get a half-million dollar grant from the Corporation. Although less than $800,000 has been raised to date, Pusey said the Divinity project was "significant enough" to extend the deadline.
He emphasized, however, that once on its feet, the School, like any other University graduate school, would have to be able to support itself financially.
Re-emphasizing his belief that "there is nothing in religion that is hostile to learning," Pusey also announced that the selection of the new Dean of the Divinity School would precede the selection of the University Professor of Christianity.
He added that the Dean would not hold the position of chairman of the University Board of Preachers. Ex-Dean Willard L. Sperry held both posts until his retirement last year.
Pusey asserted that the current local rejuvenation of religious interest was part of a nation-wide movement, and that he believed it could be non-sectarian at the University. He emphasized that such a rejuvenation need not interfere with any other aspects of the University.
"It is generally acknowledged that the Divinity School has not been as vigorous and successful in recent years as it might have been," Pusey said. "And it is my feeling that we must bring it up to the high standards of the rest of the University."
The attempt to build up the Divinity School was originated over a year before Pusey's appointment, when a national fund-raising committee was appointed, and headed by John Lord O'Brian '98, prominent New York lawyer. This committee set four million dollars as its goal.