I started this blog, more than three years ago, to post unidentified images and share information about the history of RPI. It was kind of an experiment, but it quickly became a pet project of mine. I was thrilled when people began responding with answers, comments and memories! I hope I’ve been able to illustrate that the history of the Institute is made up of the stories of many, many incredible people.
When I started my role as archivist at Rensselaer I thought the history of an engineering and science school might be a bit dull. I was so wrong! I have thoroughly enjoyed researching and learning about the history of this great institution — all 187 years of it. I often refer to ‘six degrees of RPI’ — seemingly EVERYTHING can be connected back to the legacy of this Institute in six steps or less! I’m constantly pointing out the connections to my colleagues, friends and family (envision some eye rolling here). Here’s one example: I recently watched a PBS documentary on John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club. John Muir’s mentor was Ezra Carr (he also had a close relationship with Ezra’s wife Jeanne). Ezra Carr was one of the first students to earn a civil engineering degree from RPI in 1838! It’s important to collect and preserve these connections from the past as they inform us about our present and steer us towards the future.
This is my last post as amythearchivist aka Amy Rupert, Assistant Institute Archivist. I’m moving on to a new phase in my career and bidding farewell to RPI and the Capital District. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing people and I will miss the community very much.
This blog will continue with contributions from other archivists and people who care about preservation of the historical record. Stay tuned — more RPI history will be revealed. Thanks for following me along on this journey. It’s been a blast! Here’s to Old RPI!