Inside Rensselaer
* Brooklyn Bridge
Ferris WheelWashington Roebling, Class of 1857, was the chief engineer of the great Brooklyn Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world at its opening;

George Ferris, Class of 1881, was the creator of the Ferris wheel.

Rensselaer will celebrate the 175th anniversary of the first civil engineering degree awarded in the United States with a special series of events during this year’s Reunion & Homecoming weekend, Oct. 15-17.

Celebrating 175 Years of Civil Engineering at Rensselaer
Civil engineering has a long and distinguished history at Rensselaer. In 1835, the Institute became the first U.S. school to issue a civil engineering degree. Among its many storied graduates are Washington Roebling, Class of 1857, engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge; Ralph Peck ’34, a leader in soil mechanics; and George Ferris, Class of 1881, inventor of the Ferris wheel. In fact, the Rensselaer Alumni Hall of Fame is filled with the pioneers who built the country’s railroads, bridges, highways, and cities’ infrastructure.

Rensselaer will celebrate the 175th anniversary of the first civil engineering degree awarded in the United States with a special series of events during this year’s Reunion & Homecoming weekend, Oct. 15-17.

The weekend will begin with a gala dinner on campus on Thursday, Oct. 14. President Shirley Ann Jackson will present a program that will honor distinguished civil engineering alumni past and present. Friday’s program will feature a keynote from a distinguished speaker in the civil engineering field. A symposium and panel discussion, featuring faculty, alumni, and leaders in the profession, will feature the history and evolution of civil engineering. Other events will include lab tours and a “State of the Department” address, which will bring attendees up-to-date on the latest research and work taking place on campus.

In conjunction with the anniversary celebration, a Web site will be created featuring the works of selected prominent alumni. Watch the civil engineering site at www.cee.rpi.edu for more details.

The 175th Anniversary is being held on campus during Reunion & Homecoming weekend, so attendees will be able to join in those activities as well. Highlights will include the president’s State of the Institute address, a “Back-to-Class” program that allows alumni to sit in on an actual class, Greek events, five-year Reunion celebrations for classes ending in 0 and 5, and much more.

Details are still being finalized on the 175th Anniversary celebration. Updates will be posted online at www.alumni.rpi.edu/reunion. For more information, contact Lindsay Maurer at maurel@rpi.edu.
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Inside Rensselaer, Strategic Communications and External Relations
1000 Troy Building, 110 Eighth Street, Troy, N.Y. 12180 or to leibat@rpi.edu.
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 4, Number 3, February 19, 2010
©2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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