Jacob Gould Schurman (May 22, 1854 - August 12, 1942), American educationist, was born at Freetown, Prince Edward Island of Dutch descent, his Loyalist ancestors having left New York in 1784.
While a student at Acadia College, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, in 1875, he won the Canadian Gilchrist scholarship in the University of London, from which he received the degree of BA in 1877 and that of MA in 1878, and in 1877-1880 studied in Paris, Edinburgh and (as Hibbert Fellow) in Heidelberg, Berlin and Göttingen.
He was professor of English literature, political economy and psychology at Acadia College in 1880-1882, of metaphysics and English literature at Daihousie College, Halifax, NS, in 1882-1886, and of philosophy (Sage professor) at Cornell University in 1886-1892, being Dean of the Sage School of Philosophy in 1891-1892. In 1892 he became the third president of Cornell University, a position he kept until 1920.
He was chairman of the First United States Philippine Commission in 1899, and wrote (besides a part of the official report to Congress) Philippine Affairs--A Retrospect and an Outlook (1902). With J. E. Creighton and James Seth he founded in 1892 The Philosophical Review. He also wrote Kantian Ethics and the Ethics of Evolution (1881); The Ethical Import of Darwinism (1888); Belief in God (1890), and Agnosticism and Religion (1896).
Schurman served as United States Ambassador to China between 1921 and 1925, and then as Ambassador to Germany between 1925 and 1929. He retired to Bedford Hills, New York in 1930.
This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.