Category Archives: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute History

The Gorgon: Students’ Words Set in Stone

“Words are the only things that last forever; they are more durable than the eternal hills.” – William Hazlitt, English essayist Within the many rows and shelves of the Institute Archives and Special Collections, there is a student publication collection … Continue reading

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The Big Red Freakout: An RPI Hockey Tradition

What’s big, red, and is celebrated like a hockey version of Mardi Gras? That would be Rensselaer’s Big Red Freakout, of course! Started in 1978 as a way to make college hockey unique, the Big Red Freakout was an instant … Continue reading

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Once a No Name, Twice a Winner

Sixty years ago, NASA was formed, the microchip was invented, Ella Fitzgerald was on the radio, and four men from RPI won the National Handball Championship in Chicago, Illinois. That’s right! Mike McQuillen, Harvey Poppell, Jerry Gonick, and Fernando Arias, … Continue reading

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A Silver Spoon at RPI

RPI’s Institute Archives and Special Collections department has a lot of cool things that you might not expect to find among our rare books, manuscripts, and Institute records.  We also have a variety of artifacts, some of which are well … Continue reading

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Commencement 1918

          Rensselaer’s ninety-fourth commencement exercises were held on Wednesday May 1, 1918 in the ’87 Gymnasium. Bachelor degrees awarded included 30 in Civil Engineering, 22 in Electrical Engineering, 11 in Mechanical Engineering, and 8 in Chemical Engineering. One Master … Continue reading

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