College History continued...

  • 1936:  The college adds an aeronautical option to the mechanical engineering program. Years later, an industrial option is added. Both programs are eventually terminated.
  • 1941:  The mechanical and electrical engineering programs, including the aeronautical and industrial options, are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
  • 1942:  World War II creates a need for engineers. As a result, the co-op program is suspended in lieu of a three-year accelerated program. The accelerated program ends in 1948 and co-op returns.
  • 1946:  Ransom D. Landon, a civil engineering professor and coordinator of the co-op program at Southern Methodist University, is appointed as the college's second dean.
  • 1948-1949:  Construction begins on Ayer Hall, a $550,000 building to house the entire college. Ruth Hixenbaugh Neill becomes the first woman to graduate from the college when she receives a degree in mechanical engineering.
  • 1956-1959:  The Master's degree program in engineering is approved. Harry G. Holcombe becomes the first black student to earn an engineering degree, a bachelor's in mechanical engineering.
  • 1964:  Michael Rzasa, a 17 year veteran of the petroleum industry, becomes the college's third dean. The Department of Chemical Engineering is established, with Coleman Major hired to lead the new department.

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