William Barton Rogers

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William Barton Rogers (1804-1882), founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was educated at the College of William and Mary in 1819-1821.[1] Rogers Hall at the College of William and Mary is named for him.

William Barton Rogers was professor of natural philosophy and chemistry at the College of William and Mary from 1828 until 1835, when he was elected to the chair of natural philosophy at the University of Virginia. At about the same time he was appointed to lead the first geological survey of the state of Virginia, which he worked on for the next six years. In 1853 he resigned from the University of Virginia and moved to Boston, where he enlisted the support of the scientific community to create an institution for technical and scientific education. Largely through his efforts, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was incorporated in 1861. He served as president of MIT from the first meeting of the incorporators in 1862 until 1870, then served a second term from 1879 to 1881. Rogers died while giving the commencement address at MIT in 1882 (MIT Archives Collection Number MC1, William Barton Rogers' Papers).


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