John Woodman Higgins Professorship in Engineering

This professorship was established in 1962 through a bequest from John Woodman Higgins, son of Milton Prince Higgins, the first superintendent of WPI’s Washburn Shops. It was his hope that the professorship would “give continuing leadership to the educational program at WPI.” The younger Higgins received a degree in electrical engineering from WPI in 1896 and joined the Plunger Elevator Company, a manufacturing firm owned by his father. When the company was sold, John Higgins and his father purchased the Worcester Ferrule and Manufacturing Company, which they reorganized as the Worcester Pressed Steel Company. John Woodman Higgins built the company into one of the city’s leading firms and was chairman at the time of his death in 1961. His interest in metalworking led Higgins to develop a passion for collecting arms and armor, and he traveled widely in search of specimens. After he had amassed a sizable collection, he built the Higgins Armory Museum, located in a state-of-the-art, glass and steel curtain wall building that he had erected beside his plant. It remains the only museum in the Western Hemisphere entirely devoted to the study and display of arms and armor.

Current Recipient: Yiming (Kevin) Rong

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Last modified: February 27, 2008 12:25:03