Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years

welfare of the Institute. As early as 1882, a graduate, Henry P. Armsby, '71, had appeared on the Commencement platform to speak in behalf of the alumni. Three years later the Alumni Association requested and gained representation on the board of examiners. Then, in 1891, one of the fondest hopes of alumni was realized when Charles G. Washburn, '75, was elected to the Board of Trustees. He had served as president of the Alumni Association since 1885 and, despite his annual protests, was reelected until 1894.

Alumni suppers were annual events of increasing interest and duration. They were held usually at the Bay State House and were preceded by business sessions, which oftentimes were adjourned until after supper. Guests included members of the faculty and trustees. Beginning in 1888, the members of the graduating class were also included among the guests.

Samuel N. Jennison, '71, served as secretary of the Association from its beginning in 1873 until 1889, when he was succeeded by John F. Kyes, '76. In 1892, William L. Chase, '77, took over the duties of secretary. Longest service to the Association was that given by Edward K. Hill, '71, its treasurer from 1879 to 1898. His annual reports were often made to balance by an item "Amount due the Treasurer. " Such deficits were usually made up by assessments on members. The organization was rather informal up to 1891, when a new constitution and by-laws were adopted and the Association was incorporated as a Massachusetts corporation, May 20, 1891. Three years of discussion preceded this move. In 1891 the Association elected as its first honorary member a young man whose friendship for the Institute had been constant since boyhood and who later was to become one of its most vigorous trustees - James Logan.

The business discussed at the annual meetings included means of aiding the Institute both in its educational program and in finances. Beginning in 1886, two alumni were designated as a visiting committee for each Institute department. The following year and for many years thereafter each


[WPI] [Library] [Contents] [Back] [Forward]

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