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The Early Years

This history of the Nieman Foundation was prepared by Curator Bob Giles for the foundation’s 70th anniversary convocation.

The Nieman idea first came to Harvard in a letter written shortly after Agnes Wahl Nieman’s death in February 1936.

The letter laid out the purpose of a gift from her estate that was to “be used to constitute a fund to be known as the ‘Lucius W. Nieman and Agnes Wahl Nieman Fund,’ which shall be invested and the income thereof be used to promote and elevate the standards of journalism in the United States and educate persons deemed specially qualified for journalism, in such manner as the governing authorities of Harvard College from time to time shall deem wise…”

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