Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Seventy Years



THE first instructor added to the staff after the graduation of the class of 1871 was Alonzo S. Kimball, twentyseven, a graduate of Amherst in 1866, who had been teaching at the Highland Military Academy. Mr. Kimball was appointed to teach Mathematics the first year; the following spring he was promoted to professor of Physics.

The inauguration of a Modern Language department, partially endowed by Stephen Salisbury, called for the selection of a professor who could direct a course that was destined to be unpopular, a liberal frill on the overalls of practical technology. The man chosen for this arduous task was Edward P. Smith, highly recommended by Seth Sweetser and by G. Henry Whitcomb, his fraternity brother. At Amherst, from which he had been graduated in 1865, Professor Smith stood among the first four of his class. His original goal had been the ministry, and after a year as high-school teacher, he had studied at Oberlin and at Andover Theological Seminary. He spent two years as teacher of Latin and Greek at Williston Academy, then went abroad for a year of travel and study. On his return he was licensed to preach in Boston. just before joining the Institute faculty in 1872, he spent four months of study in France.


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