Henry Smith Pritchett
Pritchett circa 1911
|5th President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|Preceded by||James Crafts|
|Succeeded by||Arthur Amos Noyes (acting)|
|9th Superintendent of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey|
December 1, 1897 – November 30, 1900
|Preceded by||William Ward Duffield|
|Succeeded by||Otto Hilgard Tittmann|
|Born||April 16, 1857|
|Died||August 28, 1939 (aged 82)|
Santa Barbara, California
|Alma mater||Pritchett College|
Henry Smith Pritchett (April 16, 1857 – August 28, 1939) was an American astronomer and educator.
He then took instruction from Asaph Hall for two years at the US Naval Observatory after which he was made an assistant astronomer. In 1880, he returned to Glasgow to take a position at the Morrison Observatory, where his father Carr Waller Pritchett, Sr. was director. He served as an astronomer on the Transit of Venus Expedition to New Zealand in 1882. When he returned in 1883, he took an appointment as professor of mathematics and astronomy and director of the observatory at Washington University in St. Louis. In the early 1890s he studied in Germany, where he earned a PhD from the University of Munich in 1894. He was Superintendent of the US Coast and Geodetic Survey from 1897 to 1900.
Pritchett served as the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) from 1900 to 1906.
He was president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (CFAT) from 1906 until he retired in 1930. His principal accomplishment while with the CFAT was the institution of a fully funded pension program (the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, TIAA) in 1918.
He also served as the first president of the National Society for the Promotion of Industrial Education (1907). He had a long involvement with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and served as a trustee for Carnegie Institute of Washington.
He died on August 28, 1939 in Santa Barbara, California.
Pritchett Lounge, on the second floor of the Walker Memorial building at MIT, is named in his honor.
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William Ward Duffield
| Superintendent, United States Coast and Geodetic Survey
Otto Hilgard Tittmann
| President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1900 – 1907
Richard Cockburn Maclaurin