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  • Clay Patrick Bedford

    Clay Patrick Bedford

    In 1937, Clay Patrick Bedford, a distinguished alumnus from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Class of 1924, made engineering history. Bedford masterminded the opening of the Bonneville Dam, marking the debut of its first powerhouse. This colossal feat didn’t just generate electricity; it electrified the nation, setting a new standard for hydroelectric projects. As Rensselaer celebrates its bicentennial, we spotlight this watershed moment that fused innovation, sustainability, and public utility.

    Bedford’s trailblazing work at Bonneville didn’t just illuminate homes; it lit the path for future engineers. His remarkable accomplishment remains a radiant chapter in Rensselaer’s 200-year legacy of shaping world-changers. Today, as we forge ahead into a new era of technological challenges, we carry the energy and inspiration of pioneers like Bedford, who prove that with a Rensselaer education, you don’t just make a living—you make history.

  • First Women Enrolled at RPI

    First Women Enrolled at RPI

    1942 marked a transformative moment in RPI’s 200-year legacy. For the first time, women officially enrolled in courses, shattering the glass ceiling of this venerable institution. Four brave women – Lois Graham, Mary Ellen Rathbun, Elizabeth English, and Helen Ketchum – diversifying the RPI campus and opening doors for generations to come. In the backdrop of World War II, their admission wasn’t just about educational equality; it was a monumental stride toward societal progress. As each woman took her seat in the classroom, she defied norms and paved the way for inclusive excellence.

    As we celebrate 200 years of groundbreaking achievements, we honor these remarkable women. Their courage underscores RPI’s commitment to pioneering positive change. Here’s to another 200 years of firsts that change the world!

  • Keith D. Millis

    Keith D. Millis

    In 1943, Keith D. Millis, a brilliant member of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Class of 1938, revolutionized the materials science field by inventing ductile iron. This groundbreaking discovery wasn’t just a new form of iron; it was a seismic shift in metallurgical engineering, turning brittle iron into a stronger, more resilient material. As Rensselaer marks its monumental 200-year anniversary, we salute this game-changing moment that redefined not just engineering but also industries from construction to automotive.

    Millis’s innovation in ductile iron remains a cornerstone in Rensselaer’s illustrious 200-year legacy of leading technological advancements. His work continues to impact the way we build, move, and live, and serves as a shining example to today’s students of what can be achieved with a Rensselaer education. Millis didn’t just reshape iron; he reshaped the future, proving that at Rensselaer, we don’t merely adapt to the world—we transform it.


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