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The colonial period in America was almost wholly agricultural. After the Revolutionary War the necessity for home industry became apparent, and engineering and mechanical inventiveness were fostered. The opinions of Benjamin Franklin on the applications of science are well known. John Adams believed that the state should make provision for such education, and Jefferson proposed a school of technical philosophy, to be maintained entirely at public expense, at which various artisans could learn as much of the sciences as might be necessary to pursue their work understandingly.

The first school in this country to offer scientific instruction in engineering was authorized by Congress in 1776 and was established at West Point in 1802. The short-lived Gardiner Lyceum, established in 1823 at Gardiner, Maine, for the purpose of giving instruction in the applications of science, received no state aid after 1831 and was converted into an ordinary academy. In 1824 Stephen Van Rensselaer, of Albany, founded the Rensselaer School of Theoretical and Applied Science at Troy, New York. This was the first school having a continuous existence to be established primarily for the teaching of science and engineering in an English-speaking country. The first degrees in civil engineering were granted by Rensselaer in 1835. The second technical school established by Congress was the United States Naval Academy in 1845.

The Act to provide for the organization and government of the University of Michigan, passed by the legislature in 1837, provided for a professor of civil engineering and architecture if the wants of the University "shall require." In his inaugural Discourse of December, 1852, President Henry P. Tappan proposed "a Scientific course parallel to the classical course" containing "besides other branches, Civil Engineering, Astronomy with the use of an Observatory, and the application of Chemistry and other Sciences to Agriculture and the industrial arts generally."

The Catalogue for 1852-53 announced a scientific course which included civil engineering in the third and fourth years. Alexander Winchell was appointed Professor of Physics and Civil Engineering in November, 1853, and arrived in Ann Arbor in January, 1854. The first class, Parker's Aids, met on January 20, 1854. On February 10 the first lecture was given in civil engineering. Professor Winchell continued to develop the engineering courses until he was transferred to the chair of Natural History in September, 1855.

George and Matthias Harter received in 1855 the first bachelor of science degrees granted by the University. The first engineering degree was awarded in 1857 to William Vandersan Snyder. On the basis of graduates in engineering, the University of Michigan stands sixth in age in this country, following Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute founded in 1824, Union College, which introduced a course in civil engineering in 1845, Harvard in 1847, Dartmouth in 1851, and Yale in 1852.

The first description of the curriculum leading to the degree of civil engineering appeared in the Catalogue for 1855-56. It included Mathematics, Graphics, Physics, Natural Science, Elements of Astronomy, Language, Philosophy, and the following engineering subjects: Plane Geodetics, Railroad and Mining Surveying, Leveling, Nature and Strength of Materials, Theory of Construction, Architecture, Machines (particularly the steam engine and locomotive), and Motors (particularly steam and water):

The entire course … can be accomplished by the industrious student in four years, but a longer time may be occupied upon it with advantage and profit … The studies pursued for the first three years … are identical with those of the corresponding course for the degree of Bachelor of Science, and are pursued in the same classes … The fourth year embraces the remaining portions.

Students desirous of perfecting themselves in any particular branch of Engineering will be permitted to enter upon any study of the regular course for which they may be prepared, but such students will not receive the degree of Civil Engineer.

In 1860 Frank L. Krause, of Mansfield, Ohio, and William Minto, of Antioch, Illinois, were granted the first degrees in civil engineering upon completion of the four-year curriculum.

The first surveying instruments were purchased in 1854, a theodolite for $225 and a level for $130, from $500 appropriated for the purpose by the Regents. After this the class spent some time nearly every day out of doors with the instruments. Winchell reported that the students enjoyed this work almost as much as he did. By 1855 he was considering putting his lectures on civil engineering into book form because a text was much needed.

Winchell made a survey in 1855 for a railroad which was to run from Ann Arbor to Jonesville. On September 23, 1855, he recorded in his diary: "This I expect will conclude my practice in the business of Civil Engineering. I have earned in this job at five dollars a day, seventy dollars. The business is hard and responsible but not unpleasant." Thus, the first professor of civil engineering was engaged in collateral practice, a policy which has continued to this day. He was away from the campus for four years during his incumbency of the presidency of Syracuse University and of a professorship in Vanderbilt University. His work in mathematics, physics, astronomy, ethnology, geology, and philosophy was widely known both in this country and in Europe. He died in 1891, having taught at the University for thirty-three years.

Winchell was succeeded by William Guy Peck, brevet second lieutenant of Topographical Engineers, a graduate of West Point, who was appointed Professor of Physics and Civil Engineering in 1855. Peck continued the instruction in surveying and civil engineering and also acquired additional instruments, apparatus, and books for the department. He resigned in 1857, however, to go to Columbia, where he became professor of mathematics and astronomy and the author of many works in both fields. He died in New York City in 1892 at the age of seventy-one.

The founder of engineering education at the University, however, was DeVolson Wood, who was made Assistant Professor of Physics and Civil Engineering in 1857, Professor of Physics and Civil Engineering in 1859, when he was granted his master's degree here, and Professor of Civil Engineering in 1860.

Wood was born in 1832, at Smyrna, New York. He was a teacher from the age of seventeen, beginning while he attended Albany Normal School and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and continuing until his death at sixty-five. In August, 1857, he started for Chicago, where he had heard there was a teaching vacancy. He reached Detroit with no money to go farther and, leaving his baggage, walked to Ann Arbor. He introduced himself to President Tappan, and, as Professor Peck had not returned, he was asked to substitute for a few days.  When Peck did not return Wood was appointed in his place. Wood became one of the best-known teachers in the United States. He possessed extraordinary ability as a mathematician and as an analyst, remarkable strength and simplicity of character, and a genius for teaching. The peculiar merit of his method of instruction lay in his capacity to make men think for themselves.

Almost immediately he proposed a four-year curriculum in engineering, and the Department of Engineering was formally established in 1858, when the Regents adopted the following resolutions:

1st, That an Engineering Course be added to the present curriculum of the University … 2nd, That the degree of Civil Engineer be conferred upon those who may pursue the Engineering Course and pass an approved examination … 3rd, That so much of the memorial of Assistant Professor Wood as relates to the syllabus of that Course be referred to the Academical Faculty.

(R.P., 1837-64, p. 799.)

Wood summarized the problem of getting the necessary engineering training as well as the essential classical requirements into the four-year curriculum. He asked: "Should the entire [engineering] course be included, in point of time within the present undergraduate course of four years, or should a fifth or University year be added to complete the course" (R.P., 1837-64, p. 800). This question has never been completely answered.

Engineering instruction was begun in the scientific section of the sophomore class. Land surveying was started at the beginning of the year and continued for nine weeks. Then the class took up geometrical drawing, tinting, and shading. The textbooks, by Warren, were Drafting Instruments and Plane Projection Drawing. Instruction in descriptive geometry was given the sophomore scientific and Latin scientific sections during the last half of the second semester. Juniors in these sections studied Warren's Shades and Shadows and his Linear Perspective. Lectures in mechanical engineering, extending over a part of two years and alternating on successive years, were given the juniors and seniors. The subjects covered the principles of steam engines, principles of designing machinery, pattern-making, molding, and shop work. A part of this two-year lecture course consisted of exercises in machine drawing. The class also read part of Warren's Machine Construction Drawing. After Class Day, the juniors took up railroad surveying.

The senior class in civil engineering studied the theory and practice of the construction of roads and railroads, using Henck's Field-Book for Engineers and Gillespie's Roads and Railroads. A lecture course was given on the construction of engineering instruments and on modes of adjusting them.

The subject of making earthen or common roads had received little attention from the scientific world. Consequently, as early as 1860 the need for a course in road construction was recognized, and the Regents approved a study leading to answers for the following questions:

I. At what season of the year can our earthen roads be worked most advantageously? II. Ought the same degree of dryness of the earth be required to work the roads that the farmer desires to make his fields mellow and pilourent? III. When are covered or tiled drains preferable to open drains? IV. Would one tiled drain along the axis or centre of a road ever be preferable to two parallel ones on each side? V. When can the scraper be used economically in grading a road? VI. When the wheel-barrow? VII. When the cart? VIII. In grading a hill, is it more economical to cut at once to the depth required and to fill at once to the height required or to do by partial cuttings and fillings?

(R.P., 1837-64, p. 907.)

This program recognized the importance of creative work or research in the education of the engineer and may be regarded as the remote beginnings of the Department of Engineering Research, established in 1920, sixty years after the first problem requiring research on a matter of value to the state had been put to the staff and students of the College of Engineering.

Wood developed and offered courses on the resistance of materials, bridge construction, hydraulic motors, and the distribution of water in cities. Courses in military engineering were offered in 1862. Because of the Civil War no Army man could be obtained to teach, and Wood lectured on these subjects also.

Engineering classes in those days were given in the South Wing of University Hall, in rooms formerly used for student dormitories (South College, built in 1848-49). They were heated by wood stoves stoked by the professor or by an obliging student with wood from immense wood-boxes, filled daily by "Jimmie" Ottley, who was later promoted to an easier berth in the cloakroom of the Library. The water needed for the drawing room was supplied from a battered zinc pail, refilled from time to time as use demanded.

Most of the teaching during the sixties was done by Wood alone, although at times he had assistants and instructors to lessen the burden of his heavy schedule. In addition to those mentioned elsewhere, Cleveland Abbe, who later became a distinguished meteorologist, was Instructor in Physics and Civil Engineering in 1859-60; Elmore Horton Wells was Instructor in Engineering in 1864; and William Butler Morgan was Instructor in Mathematics and Civil Engineering in 1865-66. G. Y. Wisner was Assistant in 1865, and J. Burkitt Webb in 1871.

A course in mining engineering was first offered in 1865, and the first degree in this field was granted in 1867 to Stillman Williams Robinson, Assistant in Civil Engineering, who was made Assistant Professor of Mining Engineering and Geodesy in that same year. In 1872 Wood gave a course of thirty lectures to one student in mining engineering.

In 1873 an Act was passed by the legislature, establishing a School of Mines (and a School of Architecture) at the University, but providing for only two years' support. In 1875-76 an appropriation was made for professorships in mining engineering, metallurgy and chemical technology, and in architecture and design.

William Henry Pettee was appointed Professor of Mining Engineering in 1875, and Silas Hamilton Douglas served as Professor of Metallurgy and Chemical Technology from 1875 to 1877. William Le Baron Jenney, the distinguished Chicago architect, was appointed Professor of Architecture and Design in 1876. Because of the failure of the legislature to renew the appropriation in 1877, the chair of architecture and design was discontinued in 1880. In 1878 Jenney was granted a two-year leave of absence at the end of which he returned to private practice in Chicago. No degrees were given in architecture until 1909, after the department was re-established under the charge of Emil Lorch in 1906. Although Pettee resigned the chair of mining engineering in 1877 and subsequently was appointed Professor of Mineralogy and Economic Geology, he continued to give instruction to students in mining engineering without extra compensation, and Douglas provided for the quantitative analyses of the mining engineering course in the Chemical Laboratory. In spite of the lack of funds, the University made every effort to continue the instruction in mining and architecture, professors in other departments teaching these subjects.

Degrees in mining engineering were given from 1867 to 1872, from 1878 to 1880, and from 1886 to 1896. In the latter years the program closely paralleled the development of the Michigan College of Mining and Technology at Houghton, established by the legislature in 1885.

Mechanical engineering was recognized in 1868 by a course taught by Robinson. He resigned in 1870, and the degree was discontinued. He later became professor of mechanical engineering at Ohio State University.

In his 1871 report Wood first raised the question concerning the establishment of the Engineering Department as a unit separate from the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts:

I think we ought to seek for the establishment of a fourth department of the University, to be called, School of Technology, or, Industrial School, or, School of Arts and Trades, or some other suitable name, within which we should organize advanced courses in General Science, courses in Technical Chemistry, courses in Engineering and Architecture. To accomplish this requires more means than the University has at its command, and hence an appeal should be made to citizens of the State to endow such a school, or endow professorships, or to erect a building, or to furnish apparatus; and if this does not succeed, an appeal should be made to the State for the same object, trusting that from one or both sources the necessary means might be secured to enable the University to develop such a department as to do credit to itself and meet the demands of the times.

(R.P., 1870-76, pp. 151-52.)

In 1872 Wood estimated that an endowment of $241,000 would be needed to provide a new building, an apparatus fund, a library fund, equipment for shops, professorships in civil, mechanical, and mining engineering, drawing, geodesy, and funds for field operations. He reported that an additional endowment of $132,500 would be required for the development of a complete technical school, providing for professorships in metallurgy and assaying, architecture, experimental physics, geology, and zoology, instructorships in chemistry, taxidermy, and in plaster, clay, and wax modeling, and for the purchase of models in architecture. President James B. Angell, in his 1872 report, asked for an endowment of $373,500 and added that "half a million dollars could be used without extravagance" for the purpose of establishing a scientific school at Michigan. Unfortunately, no public-spirited citizen or citizens stepped forward to make this a possibility, as had been the case at Yale, Harvard, and Stevens. The separation did not take place until 1895, and then only the engineering courses were included in the new College.

In 1872 Wood reported on the engineering graduates:

Of these there are, at the present time as nearly as I can ascertain … 62 civil engineers, 11 professors or teachers, 2 in business, 2 farmers, 1 editor, 1 assistant in an observatory, 1 director of an observatory at Cincinnati, and 1, business unknown … one other was killed at the Battle of Shiloh.

(R.P., 1870-76, p. 150.)

Wood resigned in 1872 to accept an appointment at Stevens Institute of Technology, where he continued teaching until his death in 1897. Engineering instruction at Michigan was then placed in the hands of the triumvirate which guided its destiny for thirty years, Greene, Davis, and Denison. On the walls of the Denison Arch, West Engineering Building, are four bronze tablets to the memory of these three men and to their predecessor, DeVolson Wood.

Charles Ezra Greene, the first Dean of the College of Engineering (1895-1903), was born at Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1842. After graduating from Harvard College in 1862, he entered the business of breech-loading rifle manufacture in Massachusetts and in 1864 became clerk of the Quartermaster's Department at Readville, Massachusetts. He was commissioned first lieutenant in the United States Colored Troops and served as regimental quartermaster before Richmond, Virginia, and in Texas, until 1866, when he resigned his commission and entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating with the degree of bachelor of science in civil engineering in 1868. He then engaged in professional railroad and river and harbor improvement work in Maine and in New Hampshire, and was city engineer of Bangor, Maine; he carried on a general practice until 1872, when he was appointed Professor of Civil Engineering at Michigan.

In addition to his work as teacher and administrator Greene added luster to the reputation of the department by the manner in which he acquitted himself in professional practice. He was a strict disciplinarian, and his classroom standards were high. To those who neglected their work Greene seemed severe; to those who showed interest and ability he gave an approval which was highly valued because it was neither grudging nor effusive. The personality of the real man was not apparent in the classroom. He was genial and possessed a delightful sense of humor, which he reserved for his more intimate friends.

Joseph Baker Davis, appointed Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering in 1872, was the only teacher of engineering familiar with work at Michigan at that time. Upon finishing college, Davis had worked for four years as an engineer, and had spent the second semester of 1869-70 as Instructor under DeVolson Wood. In 1871 he went to Pennsylvania, where he organized the Civil Engineering Department at Friends, now Swarth-more, College. In 1874 Davis organized the University camp for field work in surveying. This was the pioneer surveying camp for field work in this country. Davis, like Greene, was a successful consulting engineer as well as a teacher. He was, among other things, city engineer of Ann Arbor for sixteen years. In 1891 he was appointed to the chair of Geodesy and Surveying, which he held until his retirement.

When Greene died in 1903 and Cooley was asked to serve as Dean, he agreed to do so on condition that he could have the advice and assistance of Davis as Associate Dean. Davis acted in this capacity from 1904 until 1908, when he resigned the associate deanship, retaining the professorship of Geodesy and Surveying. He was a man of strong common sense — unpretentious, good-natured, and loyal to the University and to his friends. Engineers who were at the University during the first decade of this century will always remember this gruff but kindly teacher. His natural sympathy for students made it impossible for him to forget them. Because he gave of himself so unselfishly, and the demands made upon him were so great, he was unable to continue his work after 1910.

Charles Simeon Denison, who was also appointed in 1872, with the title of Instructor in Engineering and Drawing, became a member of the faculty at the request of his friend, President Angell, who, the year before, had also come to Michigan from the University of Vermont. Denison was made Professor of Descriptive Geometry, Stereotomy, and Drawing in 1885. In 1901 his title was changed to Professor of Stereotomy, Mechanism and Drawing, and he held this position until his death in 1913 ended more than forty years of continuous service to the University. He remained a bachelor, and his students were his whole life; even his profound knowledge of and interest in art were secondary to his affection for the engineering undergraduates, who gave him the endearing name of "Little Lord Chesterfield."

He was the founder of the Department of Mechanism and Engineering Drawing, the history of which his own career so closely parallels. The story of the Engineering College could not be told without mention of his unselfishness and sympathy, his sense of justice, his keen wit, and his personal charm. Of Denison it could truthfully be said, "His life work was helping to build men."

When Mortimer Elwyn Cooley arrived on the campus in 1881, he had been detailed by the United States Navy, under the 1879 Act of Congress, to serve as Professor of Steam Engineering and Iron Shipbuilding. Although he lectured on naval architecture during the eighties, his real work proved to be in mechanical engineering, and, in 1881, almost immediately on his arrival, he was designated Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and the curriculum in mechanical engineering was re-established on a permanent basis. Cooley became the second Dean of the College in 1904.

The first engineering building, situated on the southeast corner of the campus, was a mechanical laboratory or shop of frame construction, sheathed inside and out with brick. It was built because Acting President Frieze insisted that an unexpended appropriation of $2,500 be used immediately. A plan was drawn up by Professor Davis for a building, twenty-four by thirty-six feet, to cost $1,500 and to house equipment purchased for $1,000. The foundry, forge shop, and engine-room were on the ground floor, and the pattern shop and machine shop were on the second floor. Construction, begun in 1881, under Cooley's supervision, was completed in time for classes in February, 1882. The next year the temporary joiner's shop used by the contractor for the new Library Building was given with its equipment to the Department of Mechanical Engineering (R.P., 1881-86, p. 376). In June, 1884, the Steward reported that the joiner's shop had been moved and connected with the Mechanical Laboratory at a cost of $600 and that it was "a great addition and convenience to this worthy but poorly equipped department."

At this time Cooley was the only mechanical engineer in the state of Michigan. He taught blacksmithing, machine shop, and pattern making. Charles K. Adams, then Professor of History, who became president of Cornell University and later president of the University of Wisconsin, used to stop often on the diagonal and speak to Cooley as he stood in front of the little laboratory. He would say, "And how is the scientific blacksmith shop doing this morning?" He also used to remark that he thought it "a most peculiar thing to have a blacksmith shop on the campus of a classical university." The maligned little building, after bravely standing its ground long enough to demonstrate the value and practicability of erecting an adequate engineering laboratory, was sold in 1887. The bricks were removed, and it was transported to the southwest corner of North University Avenue and Observatory Street, where it became a private residence.

By this time the transition from the first period of development in engineering education at Michigan was complete. During the earlier or formative stage, when schools and programs were being established, the dominating personalities were scientists and publicists rather than engineers, and their chief aim had been the training of civil engineers to meet the problems of an era of rapid growth in population, especially in urban areas. The period following 1870 was one of expansion based on established curriculums. Engineers took an increasingly active part in education, and an American literature of engineering developed through the authorship of leading professors. The engineering profession achieved solidarity and began to influence the scheme of education. The expansion of industry created a wide field for mining, metallurgical, and mechanical engineers. Teaching became practical, and laboratory teaching, a field in which American leadership has been especially marked, was developed. Early courses in mechanical engineering were concerned largely with the design of machinery and with the technology of the workshop. The problem of power production and application on a large scale did not become one of major importance until the eighties. Shops rather than the laboratory were the seat of the early efforts at practical instruction, and the emphasis on shop work was typical of the desire of the schools to make their training as practical as possible.

As soon as the first little Engineering Laboratory was completed in 1882, it was overcrowded and President Angell reported to the Regents:

It was not possible for the Professor alone and in his narrow quarters to give instruction to all who desired it. The utility of actual work with tools and machines to engineers is now recognized in leading schools on both sides of the Atlantic. It is to be hoped that means may be placed at our disposal for enlarging the equipment of the Laboratory, and for providing a suitable assistant for the Professor.

(R.P., 1881-86, p. 268.)

By 1885 additional laboratory space was necessary. The first unit of the permanent brick Engineering Shop, which still stands in 1953 as the east part of the Automotive Laboratory, was built on the east side of the original laboratory, and connected with it by a passageway at the second-floor level. The "new" Engineering Laboratory had three stories and an attic. Within two years after completion in 1886, an enlargement was needed, which necessitated the removal of the first laboratory. The completed building consisted of the original east building, the central part and tower, and a west-wing one-story foundry and forge shop. It contained offices, classrooms, drawing rooms, and laboratories for testing machines, steam engines, water motors, and strength of materials. The tower held a water tank of one-hundred-barrel capacity for hydraulic work and a thirty-foot glass tube mercury column for standardizing gages.

In 1891 the building which had been occupied by the Dental School was turned over to the Engineering Department. The main part, completed in 1840-41, had originally been one of the four professors' residences. Professor Frieze had been its last occupant. It had been equipped for the Dental School in 1877, and an east wing had been added in 1878. In 1891 it was again enlarged by the addition of a third story on the north; the entrance was changed to the west side of the new part, and the word "engineering" was placed over the doorway. There were fifteen classrooms and several offices in this building, which continued in use until 1922, when it was removed to make room for Clements Library. Much of the equipment for these various laboratories came as gifts from tool and machine manufacturers.

Because of the tremendous interest in shops and laboratories during the eighties the question arose concerning the desirability of establishing a manual-training school in which young men could be trained as skilled mechanics. It was decided that the wisest plan would be to limit the mechanical equipment and instruction to the needs of students in civil, mining, and mechanical engineering, not only because the work at the University was intended to lead to an academic degree upon the conclusion of professional training, but because it was difficult to obtain funds for necessary equipment.

The Department of Electrical Engineering came into being in 1889 under the supervision of Henry S. Carhart, Professor of Physics, with George W. Patterson as Instructor. The first degrees were conferred in 1890. In 1905 Patterson became the first Professor of Electrical Engineering and served as head of the department until 1915. He then served as chairman of the Department of Engineering Mechanics and, from 1922 until his death in 1930, he served also as Assistant Dean and as Associate Dean.

By 1891, when the engineers moved into their own building, there were 245 engineering students in the fields of civil, mining, mechanical, electrical, and sanitary engineering. That year nineteen bachelor's degrees and two graduate degrees in engineering were granted. In 1893 French, German, and Latin were again recommended as preparation for engineering students, and the language requirement was definitely established in 1895. It had been eliminated early in the history of engineering at Michigan "mainly because in our section of the country for many years a considerable number of men of mature years, who had grown up in offices of engineers without much opportunity for training in languages, came here to prepare themselves for engineering work." By 1893 it was reported:

Under the stimulus given in recent years to engineering study, especially to the preparation for mechanical and for electrical engineering, by far the larger number of matriculants in these courses are young men prepared in our High Schools, where the languages are well taught. A good knowledge of French and German is so helpful to the accomplished engineer of our time that it is wise to encourage the student to get a good reading knowledge of these tongues early in his course.

(R.P., 1891-96, p. 196.)

The requirement of a foreign language and of special training in English led to the establishment of separate departments of English and of other modern languages for engineering students.

In 1895, twenty-four years after DeVolson Wood first recommended such a step, it was resolved "that a School of Technology be organized, comprising the departments of Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Electrical Engineering, and that Professor Charles E. Greene be appointed Dean." A committee composed of Professors Greene, Cooley, and Carhart was appointed to make, with the assistance of the President, a detailed plan for the organization of the new unit. Strangely enough, two members of the committee, Greene and Cooley, were reluctant to separate the Department of Engineering from the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, believing that the engineer's education should be as broad as possible and that in a professional unit the tendency would be to narrow it. Until later departments of engineering were added there continued to be room in the engineering curriculums for liberal arts studies, which both Greene and Cooley believed to be highly important in the training of the engineer.

Rules adopted in May, 1895, for the government of the new department provided for about the same type of administration as was the current practice. These stipulated that the faculty should be composed of all those above the grade of assistant who taught any class organized primarily for the instruction of engineering students; that the immediate government of the department should be vested in the faculty, which would hold general meetings as directed by itself, and special meetings called by the President or the Dean or requested by two professors in the department; that the faculty should elect one of its own members as secretary to keep the records of its proceedings; that student records and grades should be kept by the Registrar of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts; that admission of students should be handled by the Dean; that candidates for graduation should be recommended by the faculty; and that requirements for graduation remain unchanged. Engineering students were permitted to take courses in departments other than the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts only by permission of the Dean.

With reference to the desirability of the new unit President Angell said in his report of 1895:

Although we have taught engineering for more than forty years, many persons in Michigan have been unaware that we have engineering courses pursued by hundreds of students. This singular ignorance of what we are doing seems to be due in some degree to the fact that the engineering students have always been catalogued with the students of the Literary Department. The establishment of the separate Department of Engineering … should certainly attract the attention of our citizens, too many of whom have supposed that they must send their sons out of the state to be trained as Civil, Mechanical or Electrical Engineers.

(R.P., 1891-96, p. 506.)

The first meeting of the faculty of the new Department (College after 1915) of Engineering was held October 3, 1895, with Dean Greene presiding. For several years faculty meetings were held each week during the school year.

During the first year of its history, the Department of Engineering enrolled 331 students. Incoming students were given serial numbers, which appeared on all records. The serial numbers assigned to engineering students continued progressively every year thereafter; by February, 1952, the number 34,569 had been reached. Information on any person who has been admitted to the College of Engineering since 1895 can be found at a glance.

Because of the sequence of courses and prerequisites in programs of engineering students, the faculty has always closely supervised the election of studies, and classification committees were established at an early date. A semester classification card, designed by Professor Goulding, showed the student's name, subjects, and credit hours, followed by hours of recitation, lectures or laboratory work for each day of the week, his classrooms, and the names of his instructors. This classification card proved so satisfactory that only a few minor changes have been made in it since its inception in 1903.

A curriculum in chemical engineering was approved by the Board of Regents in April, 1898. Professor Edward DeMille Campbell of the Chemistry Department was placed in charge, and the first degree in chemical engineering was granted to Wareham Strong Baldwin in 1901. In 1902 Campbell was made Professor of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Chemistry and in 1905 Director of the Chemical Laboratory.

Some instruction in naval architecture had been given since 1881, but in 1898 an outline of a proposed curriculum, patterned after the course given at the University of Glasgow, was presented to the Regents, and in 1899 an appropriation was made for its establishment. In 1900 Herbert C. Sadler was appointed Junior Professor of Naval Architecture, and in 1901 a curriculum was established leading to a degree in marine engineering.

Under Greene's leadership the engineering enrollment had increased from 62 in 1872 to 609 in 1902. In October of that year the cornerstone of the West Engineering Building was laid. Greene did not live to see it completed. He died in 1903, and Cooley was appointed Dean, taking office in 1904. The four-storied, fireproof, steel and concrete building, with outside walls of vitrified paving brick and stone, and a red tile roof, was designed to fit the southeast corner of the campus. An arcade (Denison Arch) permits the passage of the diagonal walk. The building contains a naval tank (the first enclosed tank and the first tank to be built by an educational institution — the only other being at the Washington Navy Yard), originally 300 feet long and later extended to 360 feet, mechanical and steam laboratories, hydraulic laboratory, electrical and physical testing laboratories, and a mold loft. It had been planned for an enrollment of 600 students, but 823 had to be accommodated when it was opened in 1904. It was enlarged in 1909-10, but Dean Cooley was hard pressed to find adequate housing for the College, which enrolled some 2,000 students in 1920. In 1922 classes in nontechnical subjects were moved to the old Tappan School, which was acquired from the city, renamed East Hall, and used as a replacement for the building torn down to make way for the Clements Library.

The East Engineering Building was completed in 1923 to house the departments of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering (formerly in the Chemistry Building and the old abandoned boiler house), Metal Processing (formerly called the Engineering Shops), Engineering Research, Aeronautical Engineering (including the Wind Tunnel), the Division of Transportation Engineering, the State Highway Laboratories, the East Engineering Library, and the Transportation Library. The brick Engineering Shops, constructed in the eighties, became the West Engineering Annex, providing additional space for the departments of Mechanical (automotive) Engineering, Engineering Mechanics, and Geodesy and Surveying. The West Engineering Building housed the departments of Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, and Marine Engineering, Architecture, Geodesy and Surveying, Mechanism and Engineering Drawing, Engineering Mechanics, and Mathematics, as well as the administrative and secretarial offices and the Engineering Library of some 20,000 volumes, which had been transferred from the General Library to the new building in 1904.

The Department of Engineering Mechanics was established in 1911 to give the instruction in applied mechanics previously offered in the Department of Civil Engineering. A course leading to a degree in engineering mechanics was established in 1929, and the first degree was conferred in 1930.

In 1916 the first aeronautical engineering curriculum offered in the United States was established at the University of Michigan. This instruction had a forerunner in the University Aero Club, founded by Professor Herbert C. Sadler in 1910. About 1912 Felix W. Pawlowski, who had taken the first course in aeronautical engineering ever given, that of Marchis in Paris, wrote to the University offering his services in setting up work in aeronautical engineering. As a result of Cooley's interest he was appointed Instructor in Mechanical Engineering in 1914 and lectured on aeronautical engineering subjects before the curriculum leading to a degree was established. Cooley wrote:

I hid this course in the Department of Marine Engineering for a time, for aeronautical engineering was not considered important enough to make it conspicuous by giving it a prominent place. Under Sadler's care it developed into a separate department. The first degree was conferred in 1917.

(Scientific Blacksmith, p. 115.)

The Department of Engineering Research, established in 1920, with Professor A. E. White as Director, has afforded an official channel through which the research facilities of the University in engineering and in related fields have been made available to governmental and industrial interests. The unit was renamed the Engineering Research Institute in 1948. White continued as Director until 1953, by which time there were more than thirteen hundred staff members at work on more than two hundred projects a year, costing more than $6,000,000.

In 1922-23 the first degrees in geodesy and surveying were granted, with C. T. Johnston as chairman of the Department of Geodesy and Surveying. This program was discontinued in 1941, when the department was merged with the Department of Civil Engineering.

Although mathematics courses designed especially for engineering students have been taught at Michigan almost from the beginning, in 1928, at the urging of President Little, the Department of [Engineering] Mathematics merged with the Department of Mathematics of the Literary College. Three curriculums leading to the degrees of bachelor of science in engineering (mathematics), (astronomy), and (physics) were set up in 1928. The first degree in the mathematics curriculum was granted in the following year. The first degree in astronomy, with two years of work in any department of engineering, was conferred in 1938, but the program was discontinued in 1942. The first degrees in physics were granted in 1931, and by 1940 more than fifty had been conferred.

The number of hours of credit required for graduation was increased to 140 for all students entering after the fall of 1904. Six-year specialized courses were introduced in 1908, but did not prove successful. In 1912, a complete revision of all of the courses in engineering made it possible for a student in his senior year to have a much wider range of elective work than formerly. The new system provided that of the 140 hours of credit required for graduation, 125 hours were prescribed and the remaining fifteen hours could be elected from any one of the groups of studies outlined. All engineering students were to take the same subjects in their first year. Thereafter, the student chose the branch of engineering which he expected to follow and enrolled in that program.

The idea of a program of study longer than four years has borne fruit in the establishment of combined curriculums with several colleges within the University and with other institutions in the state. The first of these combined programs was established in 1921 with Albion College, whereby a student enrolled at Albion for three years, upon satisfactory completion of a prearranged program including substantially the work of the first two years of the College of Engineering, may be admitted to the College of Engineering, and after two additional years may be graduated in engineering. Under this agreement Albion College accepts the first year at the College of Engineering in lieu of its senior year and if the student's record is satisfactory grants him the bachelor's degree. This five-year course affords a broader education than is possible in the four-year course.

Other combined curriculums have been established through co-operation with colleges and professional schools on the campus, and with such industries as are able and willing to offer a definite program of graded work of educational value.

Graduate work is the generally accepted procedure for extending formal education, and from the beginning there have been graduate students in engineering at Michigan. In the early days graduate students were usually from classical colleges and took engineering after receiving their liberal arts degrees. It was not until about 1915, however, that sufficient progress was made in developing facilities for advanced or graduate work in engineering to warrant many graduates of engineering schools engaging in graduate studies. With the encouragement and support of research provided by the Engineering Research Department and the facilities of the East Engineering Building, graduate work was stimulated in all fields of engineering at Michigan and has continued to expand until it appears that such work may be the best answer to the problem of true professional education for engineers.

Degrees in engineering until 1882 were designated as civil engineer and mining engineer. In 1882 the degree became bachelor of science, with the diploma indicating the field in which the degree was taken: bachelor of science (mechanical engineering). The degree was bachelor of mechanical (or — ) engineering from 1909 to 1916; thereafter it became bachelor of science in engineering with the field indicated.

The real beginning of work in architecture did not take place until 1905, when it was voted to establish a chair of architecture. In 1906 the engineering faculty submitted a schedule of work required for graduation in architecture and architectural engineering, which was published in the engineering Announcement for 1906-7. Since only one professorship was established, other courses in architecture were taught by the engineering faculty. Emil Lorch was appointed Professor of Architecture in 1906. A junior professorship, which went begging for lack of acceptance, was finally raised to a full professorship, and in 1910 Percy Ash, professor and dean of architecture at George Washington University, was appointed Professor of Architecture.

The course in architecture grew under the leadership of Lorch, and in 1913 the following resolution of the faculty of the Engineering Department was presented to the Regents:

Resolved, That the Department of Engineering and the department of Architecture be hereafter known as the Departments of Engineering and Architecture with the present Dean and Secretary acting in a similar capacity for the new organization; and that the Department of Architecture shall hereafter administer the admission and discipline of its students, with full control of the curricula in Architecture.

(R.P., 1910-14, p. 778.)

The title was changed to college in 1915, when the reorganization of nomenclature of units took place throughout the University. During the school year of 1927-28 the new Architecture Building was opened, and in 1931 the College of Architecture became an independent unit (see Part VII: College of Architecture and Design).

The honor system was established in the Engineering College in 1916. It was instituted at the request of the students themselves and is operated entirely by them, according to the principle that it is dishonorable for any man to receive credit which is not the result of his own efforts. This is part of the code of the engineer, and it has become a student tradition in the College.

In order to attract and hold men of standing in the profession as staff members it was necessary to permit them to maintain outside professional practice. This policy had first been brought to the attention of the Regents in April, 1910, in a letter to President Hutchins from Dean Cooley:

Sir: — It has come to my attention that there is some criticism of the practice of certain of the professors of the Department of Engineering to engage in professional work outside the University. As is quite generally known, it has been the policy of the Department for many years to encourage such … work by the members of its technical staff, so far as it could be done without too serious interference with college duties. The object of such practice is two-fold, namely, to secure as teachers at salaries which the University can pay, men whose standing in the profession is such as to enable them to command much greater compensation; and to make available to the students problems in engineering not otherwise obtainable, owing to the lack of suitable published literature.

Inasmuch as it is not clear that such policy, although known to the Regents, has been formally recognized by them, it has occurred to me as desirable to request that an inquiry be made and that such action be taken as, in the judgment of the Regents, may seem wise and in the best interests of the Department and of the University.

Another matter which should have attention at the same time is the use of offices and studies in the engineering buildings in connection with outside work. The object of these offices and studies is to induce teachers to remain during the day where they can be readily found rather than to go to their homes or elsewhere at the close of their class hours, as formerly. The plan has worked exceedingly well.

(R.P., 1906-10, p. 683.)

The practice of encouraging outside professional work by the engineering faculty was officially approved in the following resolutions adopted at the December, 1910, meeting of the Board:

It may be assumed that the members of the teaching staff would have a keen sense of their responsibility to the University and that their desire to engage in outside work would not be primarily inspired by any spirit of commercialism. If it were found true that the commercial spirit did predominate in any case, then the University might well dispense with the services of that man.

Teachers of engineering … not only should be permitted to engage in professional work outside of their University work, but should be encouraged … in so far as it can add to the effectiveness of their work as teachers, and does not impair their services to the University, and where such work relates to problems of public interest the special kinds of skill to be found in such a teaching staff should, as far as possible, be made available to the public.

Teachers engaging in outside engineering work should have the approval of the Dean of the Department, and they should, at stated intervals, be required to file with the President a record of the work done and of the time given to it.

Teachers of engineering should be permitted to use their offices or studies for their professional work when such use does not interfere with University work.

The University should not be used as a means of securing outside professional work, but such work should be secured on the merits of the man and not because he teaches in the University.

(R.P., 1910-14, p. 57.)

The establishment of the Department of Engineering Research (the Engineering Research Institute) ten years later may be regarded as a logical development of this sound policy.

Before 1906 an advisory committee consisting of five members of the staff was elected by the faculty to approve appointments, buildings and rooms, repairs to buildings, and apparatus and equipment. In 1906 the standing committee, composed of the Dean as chairman, the Assistant Dean, and the chairmen of the various departments, replaced this committee and also functioned as the dean's cabinet. It held regular meetings until 1936, when, at the President's request, an executive committee for the College, appointed by the President, was formed and charged with the duties of investigating and formulating educational research and instructional policies for consideration by the faculty and of acting for the College in matters of budget, promotions, appointments, plant extensions, and all other financial affairs. The executive committee although distinct from the standing committee was made a part of the standing committee, and both bodies serve to the present time.

The end of the Cooley era wherein the Engineering College had acquired an outstanding reputation came in 1928, when Cooley retired and became Dean Emeritus of the College of Engineering and Architecture. He had been a member of the faculty with the rank of full professor for forty-seven years. His policy of selecting outstanding professional men for departmental heads was based on Tappan's words: "There is no safe guide in the appointment of professors save in the qualifications of the candidates."

The third Dean of the College of Engineering and Architecture was Herbert Charles Sadler (1928-37), internationally known in the field of naval architecture and marine engineering, and a member of the faculty for thirty-nine years. When Sadler resigned the deanship in 1937, he was named Alexander Ziwet Professor of Engineering. He retired in 1939 as Professor Emeritus of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and Dean Emeritus of the College of Engineering. His administration was overshadowed by an unhappy period of national depression, with years of curtailed University funds; enrollment, however, increased.

The fourth Dean of the College was Henry Clay Anderson (1937-39), who served the University for forty years, having been a teacher in the Mechanical Engineering Department since 1899 and chairman of the department since 1917. Anderson's death on October 14, 1939, was felt as a personal loss by everyone connected with the College. The heavy responsibilities which he shouldered for so brief a time undoubtedly hastened his death.

In 1938 the Regents approved the establishment of the Mortimer E. Cooley Foundation, with the following objectives: to supplement the regular engineering funds, to ensure the maintenance of a strong faculty for undergraduate teaching, to furnish facilities and laboratory equipment, to provide additional money for the encouragement of graduate work, to foster fundamental research in pure and applied science by faculty members, to encourage special grants to the College for libraries, laboratories, and museums, and to establish scholarships and fellowships. The general plan was to create a board of alumni and faculty members which would secure endowments and administer the funds acquired. The Mortimer E. Cooley Memorial was planned as a separate fund to provide a suitable physical memorial to Dean Cooley, who had contributed so greatly to the development of the Engineering College. This activity led to the erection of the Cooley Memorial Research Laboratory in 1952-53 on the north campus.

The fifth Dean, Ivan Charles Crawford, came to the campus in July, 1940. He was the second civil engineer to become Dean of the College. A graduate of the Army School of the Line, Langres, France, in 1918, and of the "short" course of the War College, Washington, D. C., in 1926, Dean Crawford brought to the College a background rich in service in the field of engineering education. He had been a teacher of civil engineering since 1912, dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Idaho from 1923 to 1937, and dean of the School of Engineering and Architecture at the University of Kansas from 1937 to 1940. During 1933-34 he was state engineer of the Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works for the state of Idaho.

In 1942-43, soon after assuming his duties here, Dean Crawford was called to Washington, D. C., as consultant to the Training Division of the Bureau of Personnel of the Navy, and he was largely responsible for the writing of the Navy V-12 program, which specified the course of study for each type of Navy officer. Between January, 1941, and July, 1945, more than 12,500 men and women were trained by the College in 360 classes for immediate service to industry under the Engineering Science and Management War Training program, with Professor R. H. Sherlock acting as co-ordinator.

Of this number 1,837 were full-time trainees on the campus. The others received part-time instruction at various places in the state. The cost of the program was slightly more than $460,000. In 1942-43 there were also on campus 1,256 men in the Army Specialized Training Program and other army personnel programs operated on the quarter system; 3,513 men, enrolled in the Navy V-12 Program, together with 6,885 civilians in the regular degree programs, operated on the accelerated basis of three terms a year.

At the close of World War II, the returning veterans, including graduate students, increased the engineering enrollment to approximately 5,000. This peak enrollment passed rapidly, and the widely publicized unfortunate prediction that engineers were going to be in "oversupply" and unable to find suitable employment, combined with the low birth rate of the depression years, caused the enrollment in engineering to drop rapidly in 1950.

The addition to the East Engineering Building was completed in 1947 at a cost of $1,545,000, providing 94,848 square feet of laboratory, office, and classroom space urgently needed for the Electrical and Aeronautical Engineering departments. With the transfer of the Department of Electrical Engineering to these new quarters from the West Engineering Building, many other desired improvements were possible. The Naval Tank was extended to its full length of 360 feet. Adequate housing was provided for those members of the mathematics staff teaching engineering courses. Hydraulics, Structures, and Sanitary Engineering laboratories were added to the facilities of the Civil Engineering Department.

The importance of nuclear energy was recognized by the appointment of a nuclear engineering committee in December, 1948, including representatives from all professional departments of the College and with Professor R. R. White as chairman.

George Granger Brown became the sixth Dean of the College when Dean Crawford retired in 1951 to take up residence in Colorado. He was also appointed ad interim chairman of the Engineering Research Council, in which capacity he was administratively responsible for the Engineering Research Institute, including the Willow Run Research Center. This again brought the engineering research activities under the administration of the Dean of the College, from which they had been removed for nineteen months.

Brown had a broad experience in education, research, and professional activities and the important advantage of familiarity with the Michigan scene acquired in more than thirty years as a member of the chemical engineering staff.

Regular weekly meetings of the standing committee were re-established. The program in industrial engineering including the management and production options and a new program in materials engineering were announced in 1951. In 1952 the faculty recommended a plan for active participation of the College with industry, to be administered by the Engineering Research Institute.

Plans were made to celebrate the centennial of engineering education at Michigan in 1953, and Professor Stephen Attwood of the Department of Electrical Engineering was appointed chairman of the general committee. On May 23, 1952, ground was broken for the Cooley Memorial Research Laboratory.

The Transportation Institute was established in 1952, with John C. Kohl, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, as Director, to develop and conduct inservice training programs, institutes, short courses, and conferences for engineers, technicians, and other personnel

Bachelor's Degrees in Engineering

                                        1857-79      1880-99    1900-1919   1920-391940-52         Total

Civil                             177                232      922            1,163  710             3,195

Mining                               24                  18          1                 ...     ...                  43



Marine Eng &Naval Arch115199313627


B.S. Engin124...2126


Geod. and Surv42345

Mech. and Indust30...30

Chem. and Indust4...4

Elec. and Indust3...3

Engin. Mech143852






Engin.-Bus. Admin271340





Graduate Degrees in Engineering*






Marine Engin. and Naval Arch6184266



M. S. Engin10......10

Engin. Mech..75101176




in the transportation industry, related organizations, and public agencies; to sponsor study and research in transportation through scholarships, fellowships, and grants; and to assist in the development of the Transportation Library. An advisory committee, representing the several units of the University having an interest in transportation, assists in the development of the Institute.

From 1904 to October, 1952, the requirements for graduation were based on the completion of 140 credit hours of work. The scholastic requirements for graduation since then have been expressed in terms of the quality and level of attainment reached by the student in English, drawing, mathematics, chemistry, and physics, and the completion of a specified program of studies for each degree curriculum. This plan permits the well-prepared superior student to complete his college requirements in less time and encourages him to come to the University with better preparation than he obtained under the old method.

The office of Secretary of the College has been held successively by Herbert Jay Goulding (1901-6), James Pyper Bird (1906-15), Louis Allen Hopkins (1915-33), Alfred Henry Lovell (1933-44), and Walter Johnson Emmons, who succeeded Lovell as Assistant Dean and Secretary in 1944. Camilla B. Green, who had worked in the Secretary's office since 1907, was made Assistant Secretary in 1915, and she assumed much of the responsibility for the management of the office. She was one of the first women to be permanently employed on the campus. Probably no member of the faculty ever became personally acquainted with so many engineering students as did she. By 1940 she had served the College faithfully for thirty-three years.

When Joseph B. Davis resigned as Associate Dean in 1908 Assistant Professor William Henry Butts, of the Mathematics Department, was appointed Assistant Dean. Dean Butts had been principal of a military school for some years and was well fitted for student personnel and admissions work. His kind advice was often supplemented with more substantial assistance, since the Assistant Dean also had charge of student loans and scholarships. Butts became Associate Professor of Mathematics in 1919 and retired in 1922. He was succeeded as Assistant Dean by George Washington Patterson III, a member of the faculty since 1889, chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering from 1905 until 1915, Professor of Engineering Mechanics and chairman of the department from 1915 to 1930. During Dean Cooley's leave of absence following his resignation in 1927-28, Patterson served as Acting Dean of the College, and in 1928 became Associate Dean. On May 22, 1930, his death ended more than forty years of service to the University as teacher, scientist, and administrator.

He was succeeded as Assistant Dean by Alfred Henry Lovell, who was a member of the faculty of the Electrical Engineering Department from 1910 until he retired in 1953. When Lovell resigned to become chairman of the Department of Electrical Engineering in 1945, Walter J. Emmons became Assistant Dean.

Mortimer Elwyn Cooley

[Died August 25, 1944.]

George Granger Brown

The Mentor System

The mentor system of the College of Engineering is probably the oldest student counseling service in continuous operation in this country. Devised by Dean Cooley and put into effect under his supervision in the fall of 1911, it remains as a personalized form of his interest in the problem of the freshman in making a proper adjustment to his new environment.

Originally, the freshman class was divided into groups of ten, with a member of the faculty appointed to act as mentor, or special adviser, to each group. At times because of increased enrollment the number of freshmen in a group has been increased to eighteen to twenty, but by 1952-53 a normal group is about ten.

At the first meeting of the mentors, Dean Cooley said: "The mentor should be the elder brother and should see that every man in his group gets the largest possible benefit out of his college life." If this result is to be achieved, there must be genuine co-operation between mentor and student, and the mentor must be carefully chosen for his ability to secure the confidence and co-operation of the student.

One phase of the mentor system is the practice of reporting frequently to the freshman his current scholastic standing. Each semester is divided approximately into thirds. Soon after the first third of the first semester is completed, all faculty members teaching freshman subjects report the standings of their students to the head mentor. These reports are collected for each freshman and issued to the mentors. The freshman then has a conference with his mentor regarding his progress and any recommended changes of schedule. Copies of the reports are also mailed to his parents. This is repeated about six weeks later. Two more such report-and-interview schedules take place in the second semester. Thus, the mentor sees each of his freshmen at least four times a year, and normally, of his own volition the freshman visits his mentor oftener.

The co-operation of the faculty has been largely responsible for the success of the mentor system. Promptness of the instructor in turning in his student ratings is essential to the success of the plan. As a rule, within a week after the reports have been made, about 95 per cent of the freshmen have had conferences with their mentors.

Contacts with parents, either by mail or personally, are an important part of the mentor's duties. Many of these contacts arise naturally, when the parent learns there is a faculty personnel officer who deals directly with the freshman. More contacts develop through the practice of sending the reports to the parents.

The principle is well established that, insofar as possible, the mentor should be free from the exercise of authority, so that he may secure the co-operation of the student. He may recommend a course of action to a freshman, but will seldom see that it is enforced. While the scholastic reports constitute a valuable service, they do not become an official part of the student's scholastic record. The freshman often consults the mentor in confidence. Since consultations are entirely by word-of-mouth and are not committed to the records, the student's confidence is protected. A mentor is appointed because he has an intelligent and sympathetic attitude toward the work and because he is willing to assume a difficult burden. His knowledge and experience do not always enable him to detect the cause of more serious difficulties, but he makes use of all campus services. He does not hesitate to refer the freshman to the University Health Service, and the freshman seldom fails to take advantage of such help.

As to scholastic adjustment, if a student's first report shows him to be doing work which is below passing grade, he may be advised to drop one subject so that he may bring up his average. This is particularly true of students who are partly or wholly self-supporting. Often a mentor discovers emotionally disturbing factors and helps the student to a realization that this alone may be the cause of his difficulty.

The mentor's judgment of a student's capacity for doing creditable work is aided by access to all available information, such as his high-school record and the record made in Orientation period tests.

Since 1911 freshmen in the College have been required to attend a one-hour weekly assembly, conducted by the head mentor. Originally, assembly programs consisted mainly of class meetings, informational talks, speeches by the Dean and heads of engineering departments, and addresses by outside engineering speakers. Talks may be given on the subjects of the honor system and class organization, the functional aspects of engineering, invention and patents, student fears, personality development and undesirable behavior traits, scholarship and its relation to later success, and effective learning methods. The assemblies for the second semester are largely devoted to giving the freshmen as broad a view of the engineering field as possible.

The fine co-operation of those staff members who have served the College as mentors more than anything else has made the plan one of the outstanding systems of its kind.

Until about 1928 it was the custom to appoint a new head mentor each year. Professor Arthur D. Moore served continuously in that capacity from then until 1952, when Professor C. Willett Spooner was appointed to the position. Permanency of appointment made it possible for Moore to study the system as a whole and to keep more nearly abreast of the rapid growth of knowledge in the personnel field.

Arthur D. Moore


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Catalogue …, Univ. Mich., 1852-71, 1914-23.

Catalogue and Register, Univ. Mich., 1923-27.

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Ricketts, Palmer C.Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: A Short History. Troy, New York, 1930.

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History of the University of Michigan

College of Engineering