Thomas Hager: We were talking about the expansion of the university under your presidency and the post-war boom must have helped that.
Lee DuBridge: Well, you see, it was just a great piece of good luck that Vannevar Bush, who had been the head of the OSRD - all the war
research - said to the President, "There must be a way of continuing the government support of research around the country."
And he started propaganda to get the government to set up mechanisms for supporting research. Well, the Office of Naval Research
beat him to it. Well, not beat him to it, because he had encouraged that too, but they were supporting research during the
war, of course, and they supported many things at MIT.
Thomas Hager: Oh yeah, it was a huge funding organization at the time. The Office of Naval Research was-
Lee DuBridge: Yeah. So it turned itself to peacetime as well as to military - mostly peacetime research support. And Caltech and other
universities were receiving substantial funds undreamed of before the war. For example, when I went back to Rochester after
the war for a little while before I came out here and already the naval research - the Office of Naval Research - had promised
us money for a new cyclotron at Rochester, which was built after I left. And so the research started first with the Office
of Naval Research, then came the National Science Foundation, then came the support of research by the military services.
The Air Force, for example, soon became interested in our aeronautics department. And so things boomed, as you say, after
Thomas Hager: Yeah. And Caltech managed that transition from private foundation funding, primarily, to primarily federal funding fairly
smoothly? Was it - it was not a difficult transition?
Lee DuBridge: No. It worked out alright. The private funding didn't by any means cease; it also expanded. When I came here, the private
endowment was $15,000,000. It's now $500,000,000. Our annual budget from private funds was negligible and is now many millions
of dollars, anyway.