Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years

At the 1933 Commencement, the Institute awarded 122 bachelor of science degrees, largest number in its history. Honorary degrees were awarded each year except 1934. The 1932 recipients were Alfred D. Flinn, '93, Leon P. Alford, '96, George W. Patterson, '88, and John J. Donovan, '82, who gave the Commencement address. Four more to be honored in 1933 were the Commencement speaker, Homer L. Ferguson, president of the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.; Albert Kingsbury, who had been a professor at the Institute from 1899 to 1903; Kotaro Shimomura, '88; and Edward H. Rockwell, '90. The 1935 group was: Charles R. Gow of Boston, the Commencement speaker, and J. Allen Johnson, '05. In 1936, awards were made to Frederick W. Bateman, '71, Henry S. Downe, '82, and Bancroft Gherardi, vice president and chief engineer, American Telephone & Telegraph Co., who gave the Commencement address.

The Alumni Association expanded its activities during this period in an effort to give the college maximum assistance. Wider scope and broader vision of the Association's place in the college scheme were written into a new constitution, prepared under the direction of Dr. Alfred D. Flinn, '93, and adopted in 1932. The graduate placement service was made more effective to cope with a serious problem of unemployment in the early 'thirties, followed by a period of vigorous demand for graduates. Successful efforts were made by the alumni to attract outstanding boys to the college, and to provide funds for scholarships. The Journal was enlarged and made more attractive, and much other publicity material was prepared and distributed by the Alumni Office.

Truman D. Hayes, '07, was president of the Alumni Association until 1933, when he was succeeded by James J. Shea, '12. That year Paul S. Kennedy, '10, became chairman of the reorganized Alumni Fund Board. He succeeded Mr. Shea as president in 1935, and Helge S. Johnson, '24, was elected chairman of the Alumni Fund Board. Wallace T. Montague, '12, was elected president of the Association in 1936.


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