Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years



EARLY in 1882 Dr. Charles 0. Thompson yielded to the insistence of the trustees of Rose Polytechnic Institute that he come to Terre Haute, Indiana, to become first president of their institution. The offer of this post had been made to him time after time for nearly a decade, but he had steadfastly held to his conviction that it was his duty to remain at Worcester. The final call was flattering. The Rose trustees convinced him that they had been unable to find a man so well qualified to inaugurate the new school, and that the opening would be still longer delayed if he did not come. They also promised him a generous remuneration which he could not afford to ignore.

This new technical institute, designed on the Worcester plan, had been incorporated in 1874. It was made possible through the gifts of Chauncey Rose, which included ten acres of land, two buildings, and a substantial endowment. The buildings were completed in 1879, but no steps were taken to engage a teaching staff until Dr. Thompson had accepted the presidency. He was given full authority not only in the choice of his assistants but in outlining a curriculum. His salary was to be $4,000 and the free occupancy of a house, which was to be constructed under his supervision. He was also to be given $10,000 outright to compensate for the loss


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