Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years

During the process of raising funds Professor Butterfield had done much to stimulate activity among the district alumni associations, particularly in the middle west. A new organization was formed at Detroit, bringing the total number of branches to fourteen, a Western New York association having been added in 1911.

The Alumni Association inaugurated another useful service in 1912, when the permanent fund of the Association was converted into a student loan fund. This permanent fund had been inaugurated in 1910 as a depository for alumni life memberships, and within two years had accumulated to about $1,200, eventually to about $3,600. For two decades thereafter many students were assisted by alumni loans. The fund was then transferred to the Institute, in order that all student-loan transactions might be consolidated.

Enrollment continued to mount. A record-breaking class of 195 in the fall of 1911 brought the total to 524 students. A class nearly as large entered in 1912, and the total enrollment went to 554. Student activities also expanded, though athletics continued to be hampered by lack of training fields, gymnasium, and full-time coaches. The football season of 1912 was a dismal one until the final game, when Tech surprised itself and everyone else by defeating Amherst. Even so, there was strong sentiment for the abolition of football, a sentiment that had the tacit though not vocal approval of the faculty. Track athletics continued to be the most successful of Institute sports. The 1913 relay team won the Boston Athletic Association championship, and was invited to the Penn Relays. As a climax to a successful outdoor season that spring the two outstanding runners, Richard L. Keith and James W. Armour, were sent to the National Athletic Union meet in Chicago. The former, who was already the New England champion in the mile run, won his event, and Armour placed second in the two-mile run.

Another sport, to which Tech unofficially contributed a star performer, was golf. Heinrich Schmidt, '13, after


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