Inside Rensselaer
* Rensselaer Named National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark
(l-r) Engineering Dean David Rosowsky, ASCE President-Elect Kathy Caldwell, President Shirley Ann Jackson, and Smithsonian Institution Secretary G. Wayne Clough
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Rensselaer Named National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark

For launching the first civil engineering degree program in the United States 175 years ago, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

ASCE President-Elect Kathy Caldwell presented the award to President Shirley Ann Jackson Oct. 15, following two days of events commemorating the 175th anniversary of civil engineering at the university. Since Rensselaer granted the nation’s first civil engineering degree in 1835, its civil engineering graduates have gone on to make global contributions to essential infrastructure, from the Brooklyn Bridge and Panama Canal to the railways of Japan and Latin America.

“We are tremendously proud of the civil engineering heritage at Rensselaer, the success of our many civil engineering graduates over the last 175 years, and their contributions to the history of our nation in building the strength, security, and mobility we enjoy today,” President Jackson said. “The designation of Rensselaer as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark is an important validation of our civil engineering roots and culture of innovation, and it provides significant motivation for our students, faculty, and graduates to continue leaving their mark on the world.”

“For more than 40 years, ASCE has recognized civil engineering achievements that have played a unique role in the development of the United States and the world,” Caldwell said. “We are pleased to recognize the work Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has done leading the way in developing civil engineering in this country.”

Caldwell presented to Jackson a plaque that will be displayed on campus. The inscription reads: “Rensselaer was founded in 1824 by Stephen Van Rensselaer and Amos Eaton. In 1835, under President Eliphalet Nott, it was the first college in the United States to award the degree of Civil Engineer.”

The civil engineering festivities, part of Reunion & Homecoming Weekend, looked back at the world-changing innovations of the Institute’s civil engineering graduates and faculty, and looked forward to the challenges awaiting today’s civil engineering students.

For more information on the celebration of 175 years of civil engineering at Rensselaer, visit http://news.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=2780.

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 4, Number 17, November 5, 2010
©2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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