What we've been doing since 1874 - a brief history
Local businessman, entrepreneur, railroad builder, leading citizen and philanthropist Chauncey Rose and nine of his friends founded Rose Polytechnic Institute in 1874 "for the intellectual and practical education of young men," according to the original charter. The school grew from its original class of 25 students to more than 200 by 1903, educating them in five engineering curricula: mechanical, civil, electrical, architectural and chemical. As the first private engineering college west of the Alleghenies, the school provided a rigorous curriculum from the beginning.
A growing enrollment required a move from the middle of Terre Haute to a 123-acre farm east of the city on U.S. 40 (our current location), which was donated by the Hulman family. Classroom and residential buildings began to be constructed, and campus life officially began with athletics, Greek life, musical organizations and publications available to students. Campus did not change too much from 1900 to 1961, with enrollment remaining around 300 to 400 students, but degree programs in mathematics, physics and chemistry were added in 1958.
Beginning about 1962, however, dramatic changes began as campus facilities expanded to include the Hulman Union and new housing facilities, as well as a recreation center. The Hulman family continued their tradition of philanthropy, turning over the assets of their foundation in 1971, and that is when the college was renamed Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. The succeeding decades have seen growth at an accelerated pace, with one of the most notable changes being the admission of women to the college in 1995. Rose-Hulman is now nationally and internationally known for our high rankings and through relationships with universities in countries such as Germany, Russia, Ireland, Japan and China.
For a more complete "brief" history, read from a 1998 project.