Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years



THE first fruits of the Worcester County Free Institute of Industrial Science were displayed on July 26, 1871. Fifteen survivors of the original class were graduated and one other received a certificate for completion of a partial course. The successful ones were: Henry P. Armsby, Everett J. Bardwell, Frederick W. Bateman, William R. Billings, Walter L. Chaloner, F. Walter Hamilton, Edward K. Hill, Robert E. Holgate, Elmer P. Howe, Samuel S. Jennison, William A. Nelson, Herbert Nichols, George A. Thompson, Edward F. Tolman, Edwin H. Whitney, and Frank 0. Whitney. Of the sixteen who failed to reach the Commencement platform, seven had withdrawn to go to work, three because of illness, and one to obtain funds for completion of the course the following year. One had died and only four had been dismissed for inability to do the work.

Graduation was more of an ordeal than a triumph for seniors of that day. The entire morning was spent in the reading of theses before, and under the questioning of, examining committees appointed by the trustees. A large number of friends and visitors also attended this public quizzing and were properly impressed and bored by the abstruse discussions. The examining committees and guests from abroad were served a collation at noon - the record fails to state whether


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