Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years

The annual alumni dinner was the event of the week. Until 1907, it was served in the Mechanical Engineering laboratory, and from 1900 to 1904, the alumni were guests of either Charles G. Washburn or Stephen Salisbury. The dinner was held in the new Electrical Laboratories in 1907, and again in 1910 and 1911. In 1908 and 1909 a large tent was erected on Alumni Field to shelter the diners, a shelter that was much needed during the heavy rainfall in the latter year.

The business meetings of the Alumni Association in the earlier years of this period were devoted largely to routine matters. Charles Baker, '93, continued as secretary, terminating ten years of efficient service in 1909. Arthur D. Butterfield, '93, succeeded him. John C. Woodbury, '76, completed an eight-year term as treasurer in 1906, and was succeeded by Charles A. Bartlett, '85. There were five presidents of the Association during these ten years: John M. Russell, '76, until 1904; Paul B. Morgan, '90, from 1904 to 1906; Louis W. Southgate, '85, from 1906 to 1908; Charles G. Stratton, '75, from 1908 to 1909; and Charles Baker, '93, from 1909 to 1912.

Having acquired Bliss Field and conveyed it to the Institute for use as an athletic field, the next interest of the Alumni Association was to secure funds for the grading of the property and the building of a gymnasium and an alumni building. The proposal made by Dr. Engler to the alumni, in 1902, for an alumni building on the original campus had been studied by a committee, and set aside in favor of acquiring the land on West Street for that purpose. The grading and building project was much discussed at various meetings, but it was not until 1911 that the Association took definite action authorizing a campaign to raise money for the work. Among other matters decided during this period was the status of non graduates. This was discussed at several meetings and, in 1906, the by-laws were amended to permit the election of former students to associate membership. Another proposal that aroused much discussion was that of securing regular or honorary degrees for certain non-graduates who had nearly


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