Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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(Redirected from Rose Polytechnic Institute)

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (abbreviated RHIT), formerly Rose Polytechnic Institute, is a private non-sectarian college which specializes in teaching engineering, science, and mathematics. The school is highly regarded for its undergraduate engineering program. It is primarily an undergraduate institution, although Master's degrees in certain disciplines are also granted. There are no Doctoral programs. Its 200 acre (0.8 km²) campus is located in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
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President (see Current events)
School type Private
Religious affiliation None
Founded 1874
Location Terre Haute, Indiana
Enrollment 1840 undergraduate, 130 graduate
Faculty 130
Endowment $153,658,000 [1] (
Campus surroundings Small city
Campus size 200 acres (0.8 km²)
Mascot Fightin' Engineers



Campus description

The campus is compact, made more so with a recent boom of construction. In addition to academic and residence halls, the campus has many special-use facilities, including:

  • Hatfield Hall (fine arts and auditorium)
  • Oakley Observatory
  • Sports and Recreation Center
  • White Chapel


Current events

Samuel F. Hulbert stepped down as president of the Institute in 2004 after 28 years, the longest term in its history. After a lengthy search for a replacement, John J. Midgley was chosen as the 12th president. The transition between the two administrations has proven very difficult. In January 2005 the president and executive vice president of Rose-Hulman Ventures, a business and technology incubator affiliated with the Institute, abruptly asked to return to faculty status amid rumors of conflicts with Midgley. In March, a memo citing concerns from the faculty affairs committee was leaked to the Terre Haute Tribune Star[2] ( On April 29, students held a rally citing specific concerns with Midgley, with some calling for him to step down [3] ( On May 3 a faculty meeting approved a vote of no confidence 87 to 42, with 2 abstentions. A transcript of the meeting and the vote was sent to the school's board of trustees to consider the recommendation [4] ( Midgley has asked for more dialogue with all sectors of the campus community [5] (

On 11 June, 2005, Midgley resigned as president of Rose-Hulman. Robert Bright, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, is serving as corporate executive officer until the appointment of an interim president is made.



The school's academic structure is organized into departments:

  • Applied Biology & Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Science & Software Engineering
  • Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physics and Optical Engineering


Rose-Hulman currently offers the B.S. degree in the following disciplines: Applied Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Physics, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Optical Engineering, Physics, and Software Engineering.

The M.S. degree is offered in: Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Management, Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Optical Engineering

From 1900 to 1935, the college also awarded degrees in Architecture [6] (


The student body tends to come mostly from the Midwest United States, though as the school has gained prominence it has gradually attracted a more geographically and ethnically diverse applicant pool. A 2003 gift of $7 million from an alumnus was specifically established to increase geographic diversity. International students currently make up about 3% of the student body.

In 1995, the college admitted its first women students. Until that year, admission was available only to men.

Profile of 475-member Freshman Class for Fall Quarter, 2004:

  • 92% ranked in the top fifth of their high school classes
  • 23% ranked in the top three positions of their high school classes
  • 267 students were members of honor societies
  • 210 participated in music programs
  • 157 participated on academic teams
  • 270 played varsity sports


As of 2005 there are 130 full-time faculty members, 99% of whom hold a Ph.D.. The faculty-to-student ratio is 1:13.

There have been 12 presidents in the college's history [7] (

  1. Charles Oliver Thompson, 1884-1885
  2. Thomas Corwin Mendenhall, 1886-1889
  3. Henry Turner Eddy, 1891-1894
  4. Carl Leo Mees, 1895-1919
  5. Philip Bell Woodworth, 1921-1923
  6. Frank Casper Wagner, 1923-1928
  7. Donald B. Prentice, 1928-1931
  8. Ford Lee Wilkinson, 1949-1958
  9. Ralph Alexander Morgen, 1959-1961
  10. John Alexander Logan, 1962-1976
  11. Samuel Foster Hulbert, 1976-2004
  12. John J. Midgley, 2004-2005

Sports, clubs, and traditions


Rose-Hulman competes in the NCAA Division III and is part of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Official school sports are:

In addition, the National Football League's Indianapolis Colts have used the campus for their summer training camp since 1999. A major influence on their decision to move the camp was the completion of the $20 million Sports and Recreation Center in 1997.


  • Aerial Robotics (
  • Anime (
  • Astronomy (
  • Climbing
  • Chess (
  • Dance Team (
  • DDR
  • Fencing Club (
  • Film
  • Gaming (
  • Gun (
  • Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (
  • Linux Users Group (
  • Mac Interest Group
  • Martial Arts (
  • Outdoor Venturing (
  • Robo Cup Soccer
  • Rose-Tech Radio W9NAA (
  • Scuba (
  • Spanish (
  • Team Rose Motorsports (
  • The Rose Thorn (
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Unity (
  • Volleyball (
  • WMHD 90.7 FM (
  • Writing Society

Fraternities and sororities

Currently, there are eight social fraternities and two social sororities, some of which have their houses on campus. The fraternities are: Alpha Tau Omega, Delta Sigma Phi, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Gamma Delta, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Nu, Theta Xi, and Triangle. The sororities are Chi Omega and Delta Delta Delta.

Various Greek academic honor and service organizations are also represented, including Alpha Phi Omega, Alpha Chi Sigma, Tau Beta Pi and Upsilon Pi Epsilon.


The campus radio station is WMHD 90.7 FM, "The Monkey." Until recently, the station broadcast with a very low power antenna on campus, but now operates an off-site transmitter at 1400 Watts. The studio facilities are in the basement of the Baur-Sames Bogart residence hall. The station is operated entirely by volunteers, and all disc jockeys choose their own format and playlists. More information about WMHD can be found at the WMHD information page (

The school also supports a weekly newspaper, The Rose Thorn, focusing on campus news. Students run all aspects of the paper from writing to editing to advertising, though Rose-Hulman has no journalism or marketing majors.


The college was founded in 1874 as Rose Polytechnic Institute by Chauncey Rose. It retained this name until 1971 when it became the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, paying honor to the Hulman family of Terre Haute, which donated its 123 acre (0.5 km²) farm for the college's use and provided financial support over the years.

The first class of 48 students entered in 1883, chosen from 58 applicants. All but four students chose to major in Mechanical Engineering. Nearly half quit their studies before graduation for a number of reasons, including poor grades or conduct. Today, the classes are much larger, choosing about 450 students from several thousand applications. [8] (

The college was a men's-only institution for most of its history. It voted to become coeducational in 1991, with the first women students starting in 1995.

Also in 1995, the college required all incoming freshmen to purchase laptop computers, becoming one of the first schools to do so. Ever since, laptops have been required for all freshmen, and the curricula have heavily integrated computers into classroom instruction.

These significant events in the Institute's history happened one year into a major fundraising campaign called "Vision to be the Best." Originally a $100 million campaign over ten years, it met it's goal in half the time. The goal was extended to $200 million, and by the end of the campaign in June 2004, over $250 million had been raised.

National media have given the school high praise since the early 2000's. It has been ranked first in its category (universities whose highest degree offered is a Master's) by U.S. News and World Report for six consecutive years (2000-2005).

Noted alumni

External links

Contact address

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
5500 Wabash Avenue
Terre Haute, IN 47803
Tel: (812) 877 1511


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