Letters

Rich History

I was delighted to see my esteemed father-in-law occupy center stage on the back cover of the Fall 2006 Transformations.

Andrew B. Holmstrom ’17 truly became a central figure in WPI’s and the city’s rich history. WPI honored him in 1968 with a Doctor of Engineering for his accomplishments in business (Norton Co.) and civics (he was the first mayor under the new Plan E form of government), and at WPI, for his contributions as a trustee and his involvement in a capital fund campaign. The citation praised him for his “uncompromising integrity in his business, political, and personal life.” WPI can look on his life and contributions with a great deal of pride.

Herbert P. Narbeshuber ’53
Chatham, Mass.

Fond of WPI

I want to thank you for sending me the Fall 2006 Transformations. For many years I was the director of the Worcester Redevelopment Authority.

I am a graduate of Harvard, and the Harvard School of Design. Working in Worcester, I really enjoyed my contacts with WPI. I also have a framed color photo of WPI in my office that I look at all the time.

I will only hope that you continue to send me the future issues of your wonderful magazine. It is so well done that I share it with other friends of mine in Worcester who think of you as well as I do.

Charles M. Zettek
Hopkinton, Mass.

Carrying On the Plan

I just finished reading the Fall 2006 issue of Transformations and was very pleased with it. I especially liked the article titled “Educated. . . for Life.” Like Mr. Grasso and Ms. Dodd, I, too, started WPI with plans that have changed. I graduated in 1992 with distinction with a degree in mechanical engineering—aerospace. I went on to work as an engineer for 10 years, when I decided to get into education. I currently teach physics at Central High School in Bridgeport, Conn. I am a firm believer in the WPI Plan and project-based learning, and try to use these ideas in my classes to truly engage and educate my students. Thank you for the coverage of education in the magazine, and thank you to WPI for the support it gives to K–12 schools.

David Andrade ’92
Stratford, Conn.

Campus Trivia

I enjoy reading Transformations. In the caption in the photo on page 48 (Fall 2006), you did not mention the athletic building or Sanford Riley Hall in the foreground. As you may know, the lower level appendage on this building was the kitchen, which featured a cafeteriastyle dining hall for the freshmen housed in Sanford Riley Hall. This dining room also had folding doors that could open up to a common room. The two rooms together were used for banquets and the tables and chairs could be removed from the dining room for dances.

I lived in this “fairly new” dorm as a freshman in 1939 and for the three years that followed. I worked there for my room and board, first as a janitor, then busboy, and then monitor. How times have changed! There was only one telephone in the whole dorm. It was a pay phone in the lobby by the front door. As monitor, I would sit at the desk from 7 to 11 p.m. with the duty of answering the phone, finding the student whose call it was, trying to control discipline, and locking the doors at 11, when all the students were supposed to be in.

During the four years I was at WPI, (really three and one-half years, as we went all summer—without air conditioning—due to the war) Alden Memorial was built and the bridge over Institute Road was completed.

Ralph Smith ’43
Kennebunkport, Maine

Notes on a View

Thank you for another fine issue of Transformations. Each issue lets this older alumnus share in the excitement that is WPI. It is the one periodical I read cover to cover. However, allow me a quibble or two about the caption for the campus picture on page 48 (“An Early View”). You date the picture as circa 1933. It must have been taken after 1935. It shows a soccer goal in what is now the Quadrangle. In the fall of 1935, I played my last soccer game. The field then was end-to-end with the football field along Park Avenue. I think it was moved up the hill the next year. You correctly identify Stratton Hall and the Atwater Kent Labs, but at the time of the photo they were designated, respectively, as the Mechanical Engineering Building and the Electrical Engineering Building. It was some time later that they acquired their current names. It is, I am sure, the oldest aerial photograph of the campus, but not the oldest aerial picture. About 1910, Richard Rummell, a well-known artist, created a hand-engraved copperplate depicting the then WPI campus. He viewed the campus from a tethered balloon about 300 feet above ground. In 1987 I purchased one of a limited edition of hand-pulled prints from the Rummell etching, which now hangs in our den.

John R. Brand ’36
Hockessin, Del.

Mirror, Mirror

Correction: In the aerial photograph on page 48 of the Fall 2006 Transformations, the order of buildings should have been listed from the right. Additionally, the open space is on the west side of campus, not the east.

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Last modified: August 29, 2007 08:50:57