|The Silliman Foundation
In the year 1883 a legacy of eighty thousand dollars was left to the President and Feloows of Yale College in the City of New Haven, to be held in trust, as a gift from her children, in memory of their beloved and honored mother, Mrs. Hepsa Ely Silliman.
On this foundation Yale College was requested and directed to establish an annual course of lectures designed to illustrate the presence and providence, the wisdom aan goodness of God, as manifested in the natural and moral world. These were to be designated as the Mrs. Hepsa Ely Silliman Memorial Lectures. It was the belief of the testator thet any orderly presentation of the facts of nature or history contributed to the end of this foundation more effectively than any attempt to emphasize the elements of doctrine or of creed; and he therefore provided that lectures on dogmatic or polemical theology should be excluded from the scope of this foundation, and that the subjects should be selected tather from the domains of natural science and history, giving special prominence to astronomy, chemistry, geology, and anatomy.
It was further directed that each annual course should be made the basis of a volume to form part of a series constituting a memorial to Mrs. Silliman. The memorial fund came into the possesion of the Corporation of Yale University in the Year 1901; and the present work constitutes the twenty-fourth volume published on this foundation.
See for further information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silliman_University