Education: The Builder

Oldest U. S. engineering school is Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N. Y., founded in 1824 by Dutch Patroon Stephen Van Rensselaer. Rensselaer, self-styled "birthplace of technology," is fanatically devoted to "practical" learning. Its students (now numbering 1,500) go to their first classes at 8 a.m., rarely knock off before 4:30 p.m. They are too busy for drinking, dancing, big-time athletics or campus chitchat (only one-third live in dormitories). Offering no snap courses, Rensselaer strips down even English and Philosophy to their utilitarian bones. English is studied by Rensselaer men primarily as a...

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