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Society of Cabell Fellows

Society of Cabell Fellows is an honor society of PhD students who have been awarded Cabell Fellowships.

Only 10 fellowships are awarded to a highly select group of incoming PhD students each year from this endowment.

Not only are the stipend amounts higher for these fellowships compared to other University fellowships but the Cabell fellows receive other benefits and activities that are based on the common interests of the Cabell Fellows.

History

In 1939, Walter Patton Murphy (1873–1942), a wealthy inventor of railroad equipment, donated $6.735 million to the School of Engineering. Murphy meant for the Institute to offer a “cooperative” education, where academic courses and practical application in industrial settings were closely integrated. In 1942, Northwestern received an additional bequest of $28 million from Murphy's estate to provide for an engineering school "second to none."

During this time Walter Murphy enlisted the services of Royal E. Cabell, a member of a law firm in Richmond, Virginia. Mr. Cabell wrote to the president of Northwestern University in February 1936, representing “a client who is much interested in the development in the United States of the science of engineering. This client is considering the matter of making either a substantial gift or bequeathing a substantial legacy toward establishing or endowing a school of engineering in one of several outstanding educational institutions.” Over the next several years Mr. Cabell negotiated with Northwestern University as Mr. Murphy finalized his plans to provide for an engineering school.

Mr. Cabell received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Northwestern University because he had been the tax attorney and the financial advisor of the University and of one of its largest benefactors.