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John Daniel Runkle, 1822-1902

John D. RunkleJohn Daniel Runkle, 1822-1902, B.S. in mathematics, 1851, Harvard College, second president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was associated with the Nautical Almanac computation project from 1849 to 1884. In 1858 he founded the journal Mathematical Monthly and edited it for three years, when publication ceased. In 1860 he was a member of the committee that prepared the “Objects and Plan of an Institute of Technology” which led to the establishment of MIT. In 1862 he became MIT’s first secretary, and in 1865 he joined the new faculty as professor of mathematics, where he remained until 1902. He served as president pro-tem, 1868-1870, and was MIT’s second president, 1870-1878. In 1862 he married Catherine Robbins Bird Runkle, 1839-1897.

Prepared by the Institute Archives, MIT Libraries
November 1995

Photograph courtesy of the MIT Museum

History of the Office of the MIT President