Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/290

This page has been validated.

among the Lowell free courses, there were two chemical courses open to both sexes, and soon afterward women were admitted to the regular work of the school. The first woman to graduate was Mrs. Ellen H. Richards, in 1873, and since that time forty-eight women have received the degree. This number, however, is no measure of the part which women have taken in the work of the school, for a large majority of those who attend are special students. During the year 1899-1900, there were fifty-three women studying at the school, principally in the departments of chemistry, biology, geology, physics and architecture. From the last-named course eleven young women have graduated, one of whom was the designer of the Woman's Building at the Chicago Exposition.

One peculiarity of the Institute which has not been mentioned is the sub-division of its libraries. Instead of having one general library, each department has its special library, conveniently located with reference to its rooms. This involves a slight duplication of books, but is of the greatest advantage to students and teachers for consultation. The Institute libraries are not large, compared with the libraries of many colleges and universities, but they are remarkably rich along the lines of the special topics to which they are of necessity principally devoted, and particularly in scientific periodicals. The total number of periodicals in all languages regularly received at the Institute, not including a large number of official reports, is eight hundred and forty-seven. In the engineering library alone there are one hundred and seventy-three. It is believed that this forms one of the largest collections of scientific journals to be found anywhere. The Institute publishes a scientific magazine, known as the Technology Quarterly, which was established in 1887, and is the official organ for the publication of the results of tests in the laboratories and of special investigations by members of the staff and by students and alumni. The Association of Class Secretaries also publishes the Technology Review, a more popular quarterly, established only two years ago, and devoted to the social and general interests of the Institute. In 1896 the Technology Club was started, occupying a building near the Institute and affording alumni and students the social advantages of a clubhouse. The alumni of the Institute now number two thousand three hundred and thirty-nine; they maintain an Alumni Association which holds annual meetings, and seven local branch associations which are scattered over the country from the Connecticut Valley to Colorado.

In reviewing the success which this school has attained, the question naturally presents itself: To what is this success due? Let me here record my conviction that it has been due mainly to the courage and devotion of its corporation and of the presidents who have directed its policy. In this respect no institution was ever more fortunate. With