Matthew Hunter

Matthew A. Hunter

Born in Auckland, New Zealand, [1878] he received his early education in the public schools of his native country and the Auckland University College, where he earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees with first-class honors. Later he studied at University College, London, which awarded him his Doctor of Science degree, and at various other European universities.

Visiting America in quest of a lady [Mary Pond] whom he had met as a fellow student in Europe, he decided to remain in this country and secured employment with the research laboratories of General Electric Company. The assurance of this excellent future also won him the fair lady. But the recession of 1908 quite abruptly terminated his rosy future with the General Electric Company and he sought asylum on the budding campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

From a modest beginning in 1908 as an instructor in the Electrical Engineering Department, he rose successively through the various academic ranks of assistant professor, associate professor and professor. He served for a period of five years as head of the Department of Electrical Engineering; he organized and served as head of the Department of Metallurgical Engineering for twelve years; and most recently he has been Dean of Faculty, in which capacity he had directed its growth from a group of 110 teachers at the end of the war to more than 370. He has also been most instrumental in developing the postwar curricula of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, of which we are justly proud.

And along with all of his teaching and administrative assignments, he had cound time to investigate and direct investigation of many metallurgical projects, some of which were of outstanding importance to the prosecution of the last war.

By his rare humor, his clarity of presentation, his straightforwardness and honesty of purpose, he has greatly enriched his teaching and administrative undertakings, thus endearing himself to several generations of Rensselaer men.
Honorary Degree citation 1949

In 1959, Dr. Hunter received the Gold Medal of the American Society of Metals in recognition of a lifetime devoted to advancing metallurgical and engineering education, and of his ingenuity in applying science to the problems of the metal industries.

Dr. Matthew A. Hunter died March 24, 1961 in Troy at the age of 82.

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