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William Barton Rogers, 1804-1882

William Barton RogersWilliam Barton Rogers, 1804-1882, the founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was educated at the College of William and Mary but apparently did not receive a degree. He 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.

More about William Barton Rogers and the founding of MIT

Prepared by the Institute Archives, MIT Libraries
November 1995

Photograph courtesy of the MIT Museum

History of the Office of the MIT President