The Department Coalesces


As can be expected in the early years of a college, the faculty filled many roles; they did what was needed to keep the college going. Frank Loud was librarian and director of both the meteorology station and the Wolcott observatory. Florian Cajori started as a professor of physics, became dean of the new engineering school, and was continually active in the administrative work of the young college. For these two mathematicians, there was no mathematics department in the modern sense.

Guy Albright replaced Loud in 1907 and bridged the gap when Cajori left in 1918. The world war and the end of President Slocum's era conspired to make this period in the history of the college a difficult one. For the mathematics department, Charles Sisam and William Lovitt joined Albright to carry on the teaching duties. Because of his Ph.D. and experience, Sisam became the head of the department which expanded by one to include various shorter term faculty appointments. In 1922, Albert Wapple filled the fourth slot and was destined for a permanent career at the college, but he was offered a position as head of the department at Southwestern University and left the college in 1928. His replacement was Catherine Hood, a student at the college who had just earned her masters degree.


[1927] Albright, Hood, Sisam, Lovitt, Parker (Forestry School)


(The Department photograph includes Gordon Parker, director of the Forestry School at the college. He often lectured on mathematics and apparently it was natural to include him. Interestingly, Sisam was listed as faculty in the Forestry School bulletin.)

During the twenties when the college had about 700 students, the mathematics department gradually became more than a casual collection of four faculty members. By the end of the decade, the department had established an identity. In fact, in April of 1927, the department sponsored the annual meeting of the Rocky Mountain Section of the American Mathematical Association. Professor Lovitt was chair of the section.


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