The Two Towers Tradition: The Second Century

WPI, the nation’s third oldest private technological university, was established in 1865 by the New England industrialists John Boynton, Ichabod Washburn, and their associates. Boynton and Washburn endowed the first two buildings on campus, as academic classrooms and practical shops. Boynton Hall and the Washburn Shops — renovated today into state-of-the-art facilities — still preserve their distinctive original towers. These “Two Towers” represent WPI’s continued commitment to academic excellence through real-life project experience that synthesizes classroom learning.

The “Two Towers” tradition of academic achievement and practical application is reflected in WPI’s motto, “Lehr und Kunst” or “Theory and Practice.”

WPI has awarded graduate degrees since 1898, adding new programs regularly in response to the developing needs of the professional world. WPI is among the top 50 science colleges in the nation in terms of the percent­age of undergraduates who receive doctorates. Presently, WPI offers the master’s degree in 31 disciplines and the doctorate in 15.

The current student body of over 4,000 men and women includes about 1,100 full- and part-time graduate students. Currently, students attend WPI from almost every state and over 70 foreign nations.