Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years

accounting system the item of $85,000 previously carried as "principal loaned for maintenance" was eliminated. Subsequent transfers from the maintenance account eventually restored the several funds to their par value. Investment income had risen to nearly $43,000 by 1916, much of the $16,000 gain having been added to the salary budget.

Alumni Field became a reality early in Dr. Hollis' administration. Final grading and seeding were completed in the spring of 1914, and particularly favorable weather conditions during the summer produced good turf for the playing fields. The first football game was played there November 14, 1914. In addition to the pride of possession created by this event, there was the more thrilling experience of seeing a Tech team win for the first time since Amherst was conquered in 1912. Rensselaer, long a cherished rival, was the opponent. Led by a band, the student body had staged a march to the field and had cheered wildly from the temporary stands during three-quarters of a game that merited few cheers from either side. Then, in the final quarter, Tech went through for two touchdowns, and the celebration began. There was a prolonged snake dance on the field, followed by a parade to City Hall to apprize the city of the significance of this victory.

Details of completing the field included the construction of an attractive iron fence and hedge along Park Avenue and Institute Road, and the providing of a suitable entrance. The triangular area at the corner of the two streets was not included in the original purchase. In order to be sure of its acquisition, Professor Butterfield bought it personally. The city repaid him for a portion that was taken to widen the intersection, and he contributed the balance to the field fund. At a meeting of Worcester County alumni in January, 1914, Harry Worcester Smith, '87, offered to contribute $1,500 for a set of ornamental gates and to pay half the cost of the land involved if his class would raise the balance. The attractive entrance thus provided was formally dedicated as a feature of the fiftieth anniversary celebration in 1915.


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