Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Pioneering William B. Gould III 1925


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Community members using the campus level entrance of Unity Hall will now view a new plaque on the wall honoring the life and accomplishments of WPI pioneering alumnus William B. Gould III. The entrance was made possible by a gift from former WPI President Laurie Leshin and her husband Jon Morse in recognition of Gould’s revolutionary work and illustrious career in radio and radar.

Gould, who enrolled in the university in 1921 as an electrical engineering major, was among the first African Americans to attend WPI. He was active in the early days of the WPI Wireless Association—which at the time was one of only three college wireless associations in the country. Gould was called to service in WWII as an electrical engineer, where he provided support for development of long-range guidance systems for Cape Canaveral. He went on to a distinguished career where he made major contributions to the electrical engineering field.

The Unity Hall entrance plaque unveiling was held in May on the 100th anniversary of Gould’s death and included a reception with Gould’s son William B. Gould IV and his wife Hilda. President Grace Wang, Provost Wole Soboyejo, and university deans were in attendance. The event, led by University Librarian Anna Gold, also included a luncheon and a point-to-point wireless connectivity demonstration presented by Professor Alex Wyglinski and students from the Wireless Innovation Laboratory.

Speaking at the reception with heartfelt emotion, Gould’s son William B. Gould IV shared, “My father taught me something he learned at WPI that I will never forget. He explained that engineers were always seen as narrow people. But that way of thinking was wrong. Good engineering schools teach people about the arts as well as the sciences. And when I look at WPI and the way WPI is going forward, that is exactly what I see.” 

Arthur Carlson presenting to Gould
Wireless Association members presenting
William Gould IV speaking
William and Hilda Gould
William and Hilda Gould