Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years

interest that early graduates felt in Institute affairs led to the formation, in 1873, of an alumni association. On July 30 of that year a meeting was held in the Boynton Hall chapel, at which officers were elected and a constitution was adopted. Only graduates of the Institute were eligible for membership. The first president was E. F. Tolman, '71. There were three vice presidents, H. P. Armsby, '71, P. J. Denny, '72, L. B. Morgan, '73, a secretary, S. S. Jennison, '71, and a treasurer, W. M. Wheelock, '73.

The following year the Association held its first annual supper at the Lincoln House. Thereafter these suppers were held at the Bay State House. At the meeting in 1874 the alumni made their first recommendation to the trustees. It was a resolution urging that bachelor degrees be conferred upon all graduates. This received favorable action by the trustees within a year, and was so reported at the next Association meeting.

Alumni officers, except the secretary and treasurer, served three-year terms. Mr. Jennison held office until 1889; Mr. Wheelock until 1879; E. K. Hill, '71, who then succeeded him as treasurer, served until 1898. F. E. Appleton, '74, was president from 1876 to 1879, E. P. Howe, '71, from 1879 to 1882. Much time during the early meetings was given to discussing constitutional amendments. At the close of each business session the alumni listened to representatives of the faculty, trustees, and their own membership until far into the night. Beginning in 1877, the members of the graduating class were invited to be guests at the annual supper.

The first attempt at alumni fund raising was made in 1881, when the Association started a subscription for the purchase of a portrait of John Boynton. This project was completed three years later, at which time the portrait was presented to the trustees and hung in the chapel. At the meeting in 1881 the Association also took steps to inaugurate a fund which, when sufficiently large, should be applied for the benefit of the Institute


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Last Modified: Fri Jul 30 11:15:25 EDT 1999