Elihu Yale was born near Boston, educated in London, and served with the British East India Company, eventually becoming governor of Fort Saint George, Madras, in 1687. He amassed a great fortune from trade and returned to England in 1699. Yale became known as a philanthropist; upon receiving a request from the Collegiate School in Connecticut, he sent a donation and a gift of books. After subsequent bequests, Cotton Mather suggested the school be named Yale College, in 1718.
A statue of Nathan Hale stands on Old Campus at Yale University. There isa copy of that statue in front of the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Yet another stands in front of Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts (where George H.W. Bush (’48) went to prep school and joined a secret society at age twelve). Nathan Hale, along with three other Yale graduates, was a member of the “Culper Ring,” one of America’s first intelligence operations. Established by George Washington, it was successful throughout the Revolutionary War. Nathan was the only operative to be ferreted out by the British, and after speaking his famous regrets, he was hanged in 1776. Ever since the founding of the Republic, the relationship between Yale and the “Intelligence Community” has been unique.