William B. Rogers, ca. 1869
William Barton Rogers (1804-1882) was a noted geologist and educator who had a vision for a new educational model. He began to organize and promote his ideas for a “polytechnic” institute as early as the 1840s. And he pursued his ideas until MIT was finally founded in 1861. He served as MIT's first president and his life would end, in 1882, in service to the Institute...Rogers's founding vision has continued to guide MIT, throughout its history. His name and vision are invoked in the speeches of MIT's administrators and in articles and press releases.
William Barton Rogers: MIT's Visionary Founder by Elizabeth Andrews, Nora Murphy, and Tom Rosko, MIT Libraries Exhibit, 2004