Palmer C. Ricketts
Palmer C. Ricketts was born in Elkton, Maryland on January 17, 1856. He entered Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1871 to study civil engineering. Shortly after his graduation in 1875, he was appointed as an Assistant in Math and Astronomy. In 1882, he was promoted to Assistant Professor and in 1884 he was named the William H. Hart Professor of Rational and Technical Mechanics. This was the first endowed faculty chair at RPI. Ricketts was appointed as Director of the Institute in 1892. In 1901 the director position was expanded into encompass all administrative duties and Ricketts was appointed as the first administrative president. Ricketts married Vjera Renshaw in 1902. They had no children. P.C. Ricketts died while in office on Dec. 9, 1934. The laboratory completed in 1935 was named the Ricketts Building in his honor.
Learn more about Palmer C. Ricketts in this exhibit: "Mr. Rensselaer"