Rose-Hulman Celebrates 150 Years of Progress & Advancing by Design

Monday, April 08, 2024
a collection of celebration images

Students, faculty, staff, and alumni kicked off the Sesquicentennial Celebration with a special campus event that honored the college’s history and looked forward to the future by unveiling the “Advancing by Design” Strategic Plan.

A special campus Sesquicentennial Celebration on April 4 had students, faculty, and staff commemorating Rose-Hulman’s 150-year legacy as a leader of undergraduate science, engineering, and mathematics, while also ushering in the next chapter of the Institute’s future through the launch of the “Advancing by Design” Strategic Plan.

President Robert A. Coons highlighted just a few of the numerous significant achievements during Rose-Hulman’s storied history: The college’s founding in 1874 by entrepreneur, business leader and philanthropist Chauncey Rose; the Rose Show, Rose-Hulman’s version of the World’s Fair that showcased student ingenuity and creativity to the community; welcoming the first co-ed class of students in 1995, embracing a richer, more diverse community of scholars; and being ranked No. 1 in undergraduate engineering education for the past 25 years, a testament to the unwavering dedication and talent of the faculty, staff, students, and alumni. 

“As we stand on the shoulders of this remarkable legacy, I am convinced that our best days are still ahead,” remarked Coons.

Also, as part of the celebration, Rose-Hulman unveiled the following themes of the “Advancing by Design” Strategic Plan:

  • Infuse Sustainability into the Rose-Hulman Education and Culture
  • Instill a Mindset of Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Discovery
  • Prepare Students to be Leaders in a Global and Diverse Society
  • Increase the Affordability and Value of a Rose-Hulman Education

Coons remarked, “This plan is a reflection of our collective vision—a commitment to not just sustain, but to elevate our legacy, ensuring that innovation, sustainability, and leadership feed into our mission to provide the world’s best undergraduate STEM education in an environment of individual attention and support.”

Learn more about the specifics of the strategic plan at

The Sesquicentennial Celebration included a rousing introduction by Head Football Coach Jeff Sokol and contributions by recent Student Government Association President Courtney Valmore who will graduate next month, and three accomplished alumni, including Rick Stamper (’85), PhD, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs; Erik Hayes (’97), Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs; and Darin Moody (’87), a Board of Trustees member. 

There were also historical highlights, giveaways, a 150-foot sub, and photo opportunities with the Institute’s popular Rosie elephant mascot. Afterward, renowned educator, author, and nationally known internet personality Hank Green presented a Swearingen Leadership Series lecture to the campus community.

“As we look to the future, it is now our moment to collectively carry forward the spirit of innovation, dedication, and community that has defined Rose-Hulman for 150 years,” said Coons. “Together, we will continue to advance by design, shaping a future that not only meets but exceeds our wildest dreams.”

Learn more about significant events in Rose-Hulman’s proud history at