Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Summer 2010 - (Page 5)
Remembering the First Women on Campus
he recent alumni magazine [Spring 2010] had a letter from Tom Heines ’68 commenting on Dr. Folsom and mentioning the year the first women attended RPI. In 1942 I clearly remember the Curtiss-Wright girls on campus studying drafting. They caused quite a stir for those of us in a chemistry lab across the way as they lolled on the grass during breaks from classes! I returned to RPI the summer of 1946 and graduated in January 1949. I distinctly remember women students on campus then and the ’49 Transit has photos of Marion Eileen Cummings, B.E.E., Rita Marie Daunais, B.A.E., Nancy Burr DeLoye, B.Ch.E., and Sally Ann Norton, B.Arch. I also remember that “Pop” Graham’s (Phys. Ed) daughter, Lois Graham, was a student at that time. I may have attended some of the same classes she did. My memory tells me she went on to a brilliant career in academia, ending up as professor of mechanical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She lists the RPI Alumni Hall of Fame as one of her accomplishments.
women in attendance. Notably, Nancy Deloye Fitzroy was one of a group of women attendees. She later became famous as the first woman president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. If I remember correctly, there were several women that were living in a house out on Pawling Avenue. Also, during WWII there was a group of women that were part of a “Cadet” program who attended the school. I fondly remember some of our most “famous” professors, among them Dr. Faigenbaum, “Honest John” Fairfield, “2.0” Jones, and Dr. Van Klooster. BERNIE BASTIAN ’49 Royal Oak, Mich.
and furthermore, of what possible practical use would it be. By pure chance, my career after graduation took me into the nuclear field, specializing in health and medical physics. One never knows what the future holds. ROBERT ZIMMERMAN ’51 Belvedere, Calif. would like to add to Tom Heines’ comments about President Richard G. Folsom. I note Tom was a student when I was on the board of the Rensselaer Alumni Association so I suspect our views are colored by sitting in different seats during the ’60s. As I remember, one of President Folsom’s tasks was to deal with the student unrest that occurred at RPI as well as on many campuses. He came to the board to get its support. I was in a somewhat unique position in that in 1968 I had become a doctoral student at Harvard University and was present for the occupation of Harvard Hall and the student strike, so I had a perspective as both an alumnus and as a student. I can assure
Tom and other alumni of that period that Dr. Folsom acted in the best interest of RPI. The article about Sam Reynolds ’11 [At Rensselaer, Spring ’10] studying at Bocconi in Milan, Italy, was of much interest for two reasons. Firstly, I was fortunate to have had a good friend there on the faculty of the Scuola di Direzione Aziendale, Professor Claudio De Matte. Claudio worked on translating into Italian my book, Strutture e Strategie Delle Imprese Italiane. Then later in 1977 when I was a Fulbright Research Fellow I was attached to Bocconi but never spent much time on campus as I traveled in Italy on my research. I am sure Sam is having a wonderful experience. Secondly, I noted that Sam is a member of Epsilon Delta Sigma Management Honor Society. I was a member of the group that started EDS and it is good to learn that it continues. ROBERT J. PAVAN ’51 Valley Forge, Pa. Celebrating the First Engineering Degree read the article about the anniversary of the awarding of the first degree in engineering. It brought back memories from 1952. During that summer, I was taking an English course titled Applied Composition. The instructor was Robert Sencer. Three classmates and I, accompanied by Mr. Sencer, rode the New York Central train from Albany to Chicago to participate in a re-enactment of the 125th anniversary of the granting of the first engineering degree from Rensselaer at the Museum of Science and Industry, in Chicago. Our skit was the lead-in to a professionMORE LETTERS ON PAGE 6
CONRAD DE FIEBRE ’45 Dublin, Ohio have to disagree with something that Tom Heines ’68 wrote in his letter in the magazine. He mentioned that it was during the reign of Dr. Richard Folsom that women first attended the ’Tute. This isn’t correct because while I was an undergraduate (1945-1949) there were several
n defense of the ladies of RPI, I must point out that although Dr. Folsom was an outstanding president of RPI, he did not introduce the first female students to RPI. As a member of the class of 1951, I recall that Grace Panza was a fellow member of our Department of Biology. In addition, I recall two other female students of that time, whose names I have forgotten. One was in electrical engineering and her achievements have been mentioned in prior issues of this journal. I also recall that in my senior year a lady professor introduced an elective course in nuclear physics. I chose to skip that elective because it was probably too hard,
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Summer 2010
Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Summer 2010
Creating a Lasting Impression
Preserving Our Past
One Last Thing
Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Summer 2010