Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years



EDMUND A. ENGLER made a quiet start. Fundamentally he was a student; his approach to problems that he had inherited was studious and deliberate. The situation in 1901 would not have aroused much enthusiasm in any occupant of the presidential chair, even if he had possessed the buoyancy of spirit that Dr. Engler lacked. Endowment was meager - less than $550,000. Trustees talked volubly about increasing it, but did little except turn hopeful eyes toward Stephen Salisbury. Student enrollment was less than 250, and facilities for even that number were none too adequate. Excluding the shop staff, there were but fifteen professors and nine instructors, all carrying excessive loads. The curriculum was weak in many particulars; entrance requirements were below accepted standards. In fact, there was official doubt whether the Institute qualified as a first-line engineering college. It was a condition that demanded study -and abundant optimism.

Dr. Engler came to the Institute for Commencement in June, 1901, at which time he met the trustees, his future colleagues on the faculty, and the alumni. He and Mrs. Engler, a person of considerable reserve, moved into the president's house in August, and he began his work almost immediately. His first meetings with the trustees and faculty


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