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Washburn, F. E. (ed.) / The Wisconsin engineer
Vol. 5, No. 2 (May 1901)

Randolph, Isham, et al.
Memories of Prof. Whitney,   pp. 127-145


Page 133


lleiniories of Plof. W11hiUtey.
ally he met many engineers, and at this time he made perhaps
his closest friendships with men of his profession. His sense of
professional integrity was of the very highest, and in his work
in the character of expert witness, in which capacity he was
frequently called upon to serve, he always acted on a distinctly
high plane. With great aptitude for quickly collecting the most
significant facts, with keen observation and quiet, persistent man-
ner, his statements always carried great weight. He was emi-
nentlv fitted for such work, for instead of its being displeasing
to him and causing personal friction with professional people, it
was rather a source of pleasure, and it was his special gratifica-
tion to acknowledge character and ability in the engineers who
might appear in behalf of the opposite side. Rarelv can one be
found who placed this branch of professional practice on so high
a plane.
  In I89i the authorities of the University determined upon en-
larging the work of the College of Engineering, and President
Chamberlin was called upon to select the heads of three new
departments,-a task at once difficult and of vital importance to
the welfare of the University. i'\en for this work should be of
wide practical experience in their respective branches, and should
combine the ability to conduct engineering enterprises with the
ability and willingness to devote their energies thereafter to the
training of youth.
  One of the chairs, and perhaps the most difficult to fill, was
that of Railway Engineering, for active railwav men can seldom
be induced to abandon the busy life to wvlhich thev have become
accustomed for the more quiet and less varied work of a teacher.
Upon making inquiry among railway officials, MIr. \Vhitney of
Chicago was suggested as a man eminently suited for such a po-
sition. After an interview with him, President Chamberlin,
with his accurate judgment of men, offered him the chair. The
change at first seemed out of the question, but the consideration
of the advantages here offered for his family, induced him to ac-
cept, though with some misgivings as to the wisdom of the course.
With many years of practical wvork since his graduation, and
almost no experience in teaching, the transition to the classroom
was a radical change, and one which is seldom wvlhollv satisfac-
tory to those who tundertake it. That it was accomplished with
133


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