When a committee of WPI community members set out to create a book chronicling the past 50 years of the institution’s history, they had one overarching goal: to provide an honest, informative, and readable account of the people and events that shaped that journey, even if it wasn’t always a smooth road.
“We didn’t want to tell a story through rose-colored glasses,” says Mike Dorsey, WPI director of research communications and editor for the book. “We sought to give a real behind-the-scenes look at the struggles and triumphs that WPI went through as it transformed from a regional technical institute to a global model of innovation.”
The resulting book, True to Plan: Crafting an Educational Revolution Beneath the Two Towers, was published in early November in conjunction with the conclusion of WPI’s sesquicentennial celebration. Written by John Landry and Jeffrey Cruikshank, it covers WPI’s history from 1965, a few years before the Plan began to take shape, to 2015.
In order to provide an authentic record, Landry and Cruiskshank relied heavily on guidance from the History Book Committee, made up members from across campus, as well as WPI’s Curation, Preservation, and Archives department. They also interviewed more than 30 current and former WPI faculty members, staff, and alumni.