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apr 10, 1861 - MIT incorporated

Description:

Prof. Rogers had long felt the need, in our educational
system, of giving to the physical sciences a higher place and
more practical methods of teaching than had hitherto been
allowed them, and he was therefore eager to avail himself of
an opportunity for carrying out these views. In i860, in
behalf of a committee of gentlemen who had become interested
in the subject, he drew up a scheme entitled " Object and Plan
of an Institute of Technology," embracing a society of arts, a
museum of arts, and a school of industrial science; and he
subsequently addressed a memorial to the Legislature of
Massachusetts, urging the establishment of such an institution.
Finally, in 1862, a charter for the " Massachusetts Institute of
Technology " was granted, and Prof. Rogers was placed at its
head. A whole square of land on Back Bay was granted for
building purposes — one third to the Boston Society of Natural
History, the other two thirds to the Institute of Technology.
Accompanied by Mrs. Rogers he went to Europe in 1864 to
collect models of machinery and apparatus for the use of the
school. The detailed plan for the departments of the school,
prepared by Prof. Rogers in that year, has been carried out,
with but slight modifications. A marked feature of this plan,
which has since been adopted in many other institutions, was
the introduction of laboratory teaching, not only in the de-
partment of chemistry, but in that of physics, mechanics, and
mining, a feature which has contributed largely to the reputa

tion which the schoal has acquired for thoroughness of scientific
training.

The success of the institute, based upon no sentimental or
traditionary regard for its subjects of instruction, but upon
the service that it has been able to render to the country, is
the best testimonial to the wisdom of its founder. Among the
technical schools in the United States there is none higher.
Students have resorted to it in constantly increasing numbers,
so that department after department has outgrown the ac-
commodations provided for it. Its graduates may be found
throughout the length and breadth of the land doing valuable
work as civil, mechanical, and mining engineers, chemists,
architects, or teachers of these professions, for which the sound
training of the institute has excellently qualified them. The
considerable endowments which this institution has gradually
accumulated testify to the respect which it has won among the
promoters of the scientific arts. The institute embodies the
general attitude of William Rogers toward science. He always
had a strong interest in the economic side of his field of labour.
Those investigations had a doubled attraction for his mind
which promised to place new resources at the disposal of man-
kind. Hence in establishing this noble school of applied
science he erected his only adequate and most appropriate
monument.

After the establishment of the institute the activity of
Prof. Rogers was governed by the fluctuations of his health-
For the first few years, besides being president of the institu-
tion, he filled the chair of Physics and Geology. Ill health
caused him to resign the presidency in 1870, but having partly
regained his strength in 1878 he was induced to accept it again.
Three years later infirmity compelled him to relinquish it
finally.

Added to timeline:

5 months ago
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130
Bartram Barton

Date:

apr 10, 1861
Now
~ 157 years ago
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