case western reserve university




exhibit title: Our Presidents


William E. Wickenden

President, Case School of Applied Science, 9/1/1929-8/31/1947

President William E. Wickenden


B.S., Denison University, 1904



University Awards

Case School of Applied Science awarded Wickenden the honorary Doctor of Engineering, 1929.

The Case Alumni Association awarded Wickenden the Meritorious Service Award for leadership of the College, for service to government, for participation in civic and professional affairs, 1941.

Western Reserve University awarded Wickenden the honorary Doctor of Humanities, 1947.

The William L. and Marion L. Wickenden Prize was originally established by President and Mrs. Wickenden. Additional contributions were made by friends as a memorial to President Wickenden. The prize was awarded annually to a senior or junior who showed special proficiency in writing or speaking, 1947.

Case dedicated the William E. Wickenden Electrical Engineering Building to recognize his “unselfish devotion to this College and to engineering education," 1955.



Instructor, Mechanics Institute, Rochester, New York, 1904-1905

Instructor, University of Wisconsin, 1905-1909

Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1909-1914

Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1914-1918

Personnel Manager, Western Electric Company, 1918-1921

Regional Supervisor, Personnel Methods, Student Army Training Corps, 1918

Assistant Vice-President, American Telephone and Telegraph Company, 1921-1923

Director of Investigation of Engineering Education, Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education, 1923-1929


University Numbers
  1929/30 1946/47
Enrollment 689 2,221
Number of faculty 69 162
Expenditures $420,000 $1,702,783.44
Tuition per year $350 $350


The mining program was discontinued.
The Great Depression, triggered by the October 29 stock market crash, began a decade of worldwide economic hardship.
A comprehensive program of graduate studies and degrees was introduced.
New programs in engineering administration, mechanics of fluids, electrical communication were established.
The humanities programs were reorganized into two departments, Language and Literature and Social Studies.
A business option was introduced into each curriculum, making Case the first to provide business training as an option in all its courses of study rather than as a separate program.
The Evening Division was organized and Case’s partnership with Western Reserve University to operate Cleveland College ended.    
  1938 Superman comic books were first published.
  1939 Countries around the world were plunged into World War II.
Case Building and Endowment Campaign was intended to raise $5 million. The campaign, which raised less than $1 million, was cancelled because of “uncertainty of the domestic situation and heightened war unrest.” 1940  
The Case Fund was inaugurated as a medium for giving by graduates and friends under the direction of the Alumni Fund Board. 1942  
  1944 GI Bill of Rights (formally: The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944) was signed into law.
Case School of Applied Science was renamed Case Institute of Technology. 1947 Bell Labs invented the transistor.


Regional Population
  1930 1950
Cleveland 900,429 914,808


Caution should be taken when comparing financial data across long periods of time. Accounting practices have changed substantially during CWRU's nearly 200-year history. In compiling these numbers, we have relied on the most authoritative contemporaneous sources available.

Information was compiled by staff of the Case Western Reserve University Archives, March 2007.