Interest was high in 1861 as the proposed Institute of Technology moved through the Massachusetts legislative process. But among those opposed was the secretary of the Board of Education. In March, Governor John A. Andrew invited William Barton Rogers to a meeting of the board to persuade them of its advantages for education and industry. “Be thou the advocate,” wrote Massachusetts Governor Andrew in a letter exhibited as the Object of the Month by the Institute Archives and Special Collections. The proposal was finally approved by the Massachusetts legislature, and on April 10, 1861, Governor Andrew signed the Act to Incorporate the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Celebrate MIT’s anniversary month, and the countdown to MIT’s sesquicentennial in 2011, by learning more about the Institute’s beginnings and William Barton Rogers, the extraordinary man whose vision made it happen. Rogers’s papers and many documents concerning MIT’s early years are available for research in the Institute Archives, 14N-118, Monday – Thursday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.