The Methodist Episcopal Church founded Emory College in 1836 in the small Georgia town of Oxford. The little school struggled for decades, and finally began to prosper in the late 1800s. By 1914, the Methodist Church was looking to create a university in the South, and Emory College was looking to expand.
Asa Candler, founder of The Coca-Cola Company, wrote the "million-dollar letter" to offer seed money, and he sweetened the deal by donating land in Atlanta. Emory University received a DeKalb County charter to build at its present location in 1915. The soft drink company president's brother was Emory alumnus and former president, Methodist Bishop Warren Candler, who returned to serve as its first chancellor on the new campus.
The Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Company has given rise to family fortunes for the Candlers, the Woodruffs, the Goizuetas and others who have been extraordinarily generous to Emory. The philanthropy of these and other donors has enabled Emory's growth and empowered its ambition to become one of the nation's leading universities. It's unofficially considered poor school spirit to drink other soda brands on campus.more » « less