Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years

of Vermont. His successor for two years was Charles A. Holden who then joined the staff of the Thayer School at Dartmouth. At the end of 1899 Professor White resigned. He had been head of the department for sixteen years, during which time there had been rapid advances in Civil Engineering, with many of which he had been unable to keep pace. That his withdrawal had been suggested was well understood, and almost universally approved. After a few years in the vicinity of Worcester he returned to the Northwest as a railroad locating engineer. His successor was a tall, lanky young man with seven years of sound engineering experience since his graduation from the Thayer School in 1892. Arthur W. French was thirty-one. He had been associate professor in the Thayer School for two years, had been in charge of paper mill construction in Colorado and Nebraska, engineer of bridges on the Colorado & Southern R. R. and, just prior to his appointment, an engineer at the Niagara branch of International Paper Co. He set to work in the fall of 1899 to revise the department curriculum and to bring its work to a high plane. The following year he chose as instructor Howard C. Ives, Yale, '98, who had a keen though theoretical interest in Railroad Engineering.

The year 1896 witnessed the greatest turn-over in the faculty that the Institute had experienced. Friction in relationships between the academic and shop departments at last produced fire. First to resign was Prof. George I. Alden, head of the Mechanical Engineering department, and since 1894 Dean of the Institute, followed within a month by Mr. Milton P. Higgins. Both resignations were couched in amiable and regretful phrases, but those in the inner circles realized that these pioneers had reached the limit of their patience with Dr. Mendenhall and the group of trustees who looked upon the administration of the Shop with mistrust. Undoubtedly there was some basis for the adverse opinions, for the outside industrial interests of these two men were becoming constantly more absorbing.


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