Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years

including progress on the Newton Hall project, expansion of the Electrical Engineering department, and a proposal that funds be provided for inspection trips made by students and instructors during the college year. He offered no comments on his successor, whose qualifications were to be considered at this April meeting.

Dr. Mendenhall went to Europe soon after leaving Worcester, and lived abroad for the next eleven years. On his return he went back to Columbus, Ohio, where he devoted much of his time to Ohio State University. He became a member of its board of trustees in 1919, and chairman of the board in 1923. His vigorous and fruitful life of eighty-two years came to an end March 22, 1924.

The search for Dr. Mendenhall's successor led the trustees to various parts of the country, finally to St. Louis, where they found Edmund Arthur Engler, dean of the Engineering School at Washington University. He was highly recommended in letters from prominent citizens of St. Louis, many of whom expressed the hope that he would not leave their city. He did, however, accept the call to become fourth President of the Institute.

Dr. Engler was born at St. Louis, December 23, 1856. A graduate of Washington University in 1876, he had returned for further study and teaching, earning a Ph.B. degree in 1877, an A.M. degree in 1879, and a Ph.D. degree in 1892. All his subsequent experience had been in the halls of his alma mater, where he became professor of Mathematics in 1881, and subsequently dean of Engineering. He had spent much time in Europe, in periods of from three to nine months, and had studied at the University of Berlin. He had also served as president of the St. Louis Academy of Science, and had written numerous articles on mathematical and astronomical subjects.

So with the passing of the physicist and the advent of the mathematician, the Institute presidency took on a new aspect, and another ten-year epoch began.


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