Wentworth Institute of Technology

Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT) is a private, technical design and engineering university in Boston, Massachusetts. Wentworth was founded in 1904 and offers career-focused education through its 18 bachelor's degree programs as well as master's degrees.[2]

Wentworth Institute of Technology
MottoHonesty, Energy, Economy, System[1]
EndowmentUS$ 113 million [3]
PresidentMark A. Thompson [4]
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States
CampusUrban, 31 acres (13 ha)[5]
AthleticsNCAA Division III[6]
17 varsity teams[7]
ColorsRed, Yellow, and Black[8]
Colleges of the Fenway


In 1903, Boston businessman Arioch Wentworth left the bulk of his estate, estimated at $7 million, for the purpose of founding an industrial school within the city.[9] Accordingly, a board of seven directors incorporated Wentworth Institute on April 5, 1904, as a school "to furnish education in the mechanical arts".[10] The directors spent several years investigating the educational needs of the community, increased the endowment ($3.5 million at the time), and reached a settlement with Wentworth's daughter, who had contested his will.[11][12][13] The campus was established in Boston's Back Bay Fens, and Arthur L. Williston was hired as the first principal of the college.

On September 25, 1911, Wentworth opened its doors as a technical school to 242 students. The school quickly gained enrollment and by 1919, it had 1,800 students in day and evening programs and 45 teachers.[14] In 1953, Wentworth named its first president, H. Russell Beatty. Wentworth became a degree-granting institution in 1957 and began awarding its first baccalaureate-level degrees in 1970. Wentworth began a transition from a commuter college to a residential college in the 1960s, with the addition of several residence halls.

In 1972, the Institute admitted its first female students. By 2005, women represented 21% of the academic population. In 1975, cooperative education programs were introduced at Wentworth. In 1973, Wentworth instructors unionized to join the American Federation of Teachers and on October 28, 1977, the teachers of Wentworth went on strike.[15] Until 1977, the college's lower and upper divisions operated as two separate schools, when they merged and the Wentworth Institute of Technology was created.[15] With admissions numbers growing, Wentworth expanded by acquiring the former Ira Allen School building from the city of Boston in 1980, and the former Boston Trade High School in 1983.

Major renovations to the third floor of Annex Hall were constructed in 1989 at a cost of $1 million to add architectural studios and facilities, and Wentworth gained accreditation from the National Architectural Accrediting Board in 1991. In 1993, Wentworth introduced a pair of five-year engineering programs to the curriculum: electromechanical engineering, and environmental science. In 2002, these programs received initial accreditation from the Engineering Accreditation Commission.

In 2001 and 2005 Wentworth opened new residence halls with 473 and 360 beds respectively, ending Wentworth's status as a majority commuter school.

On June 8, 2005, Zorica Pantic was announced as Wentworth's fourth president. She assumed office on August 1, 2005, as the first female engineer to head an institute of technology. Her inaugural ceremony was held on April 5, 2006. President Pantic, announced on February 20, 2017 that she would be stepping down from the role of President on May 31, 2019.[16]

In November 2009, Wentworth became a master's degree-granting institution, with the creation and accreditation of its Master of Architecture program.[17] Since then, several other master's programs have been added to the curriculum.

Wentworth received approval for “university” status from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education in July 2017. As required by the Code of the Massachusetts Regulations, the Institute has established graduate programs in four “distinct professional fields of study” and has demonstrated that it has “faculty, facilities, and resources necessary to support sound graduate programs.”[18] Despite being accredited as a university, school officials announced that the school's name would remain "Wentworth Institute of Technology." [19]


Wentworth has academic departments dedicated to applied mathematics, architecture, biomedical engineering, civil engineering and technology, computer science and computer networking, construction management, cybersecurity, electrical engineering and technology, humanities and social sciences, industrial design, interdisciplinary engineering, interior design, management, mechanical engineering and technology, and sciences.[20] Wentworth offers bachelor's degrees in 18 engineering, technology, design and management majors.[20] As a fundamental part of Wentworth education, the Institute requires students to complete two cooperative education semesters in work placements.


Accelerate is Wentworth's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center. Incorporated in May 2012, Accelerate hosts a series of programs and workshops with the goal of nurturing a culture of innovation and entrepreneurial thinking among students. In its first four years, more than 3,500 Wentworth students participated in Accelerate and established 650 product ideas as part of interdisciplinary teams. Students received mentoring from more than 100 alumni and professionals and 42 Accelerate teams were funded for a total of $167,000.[21]


The Wentworth campus is located in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston.[5] It consists primarily of 15 buildings for administrative and faculty offices, classrooms, laboratories, library, and athletic facilities. Students enrolled for full-time study may live in one of nine residence halls near the main campus buildings. The main buildings are on Huntington Avenue, and are served by two stations of the MBTA Green Line "E" Branch. In the Fall of 2016, the newly renovated Douglas D. Schumann Library & Learning Commons opened, a modern learning space which aims to forward student collaboration. The library is named for Wentworth alum Douglass Schumann, whose $5 million gift kick-started the renovation. The facility includes a number of private rooms that can be booked by students or faculty for meetings, project collaboration or study.

The Institute's collaborating neighbors include the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Northeastern University, the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the Museum of Fine Arts. Wentworth is a member of the Colleges of the Fenway consortium, and shares many facilities and activities with nearby institutions.[22] The campus is adjacent to the Mission Hill section of Boston's Roxbury neighborhood, which is popular for off-campus housing, for dining out, and for community service volunteering.

Center for Community and Learning Partnerships

The Center for Community and Learning Partnerships supports neighborhood concerns while enhancing the educational and professional environment at Wentworth. It is the hub for community service, service learning, and college access and success initiatives at the Institute.[23] Projects and programs facilitated through the Center during the 2007-08 academic year engaged more than 1,800 students who contributed 116,000 hours to community-based work and service.[7] According to the Independent Sector and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a volunteer hour in Massachusetts was valued at $25.47 in 2007.[24] Based on this figure, Wentworth's service efforts had an estimated economic impact of approximately $3 million for the 2007-08 academic year.

Wentworth's civic engagement work garnered national recognition in 2008, earning the Elective Classification for Campus and Community Engagement from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.[25]

Student life


Most Wentworth students are US citizens or permanent residents. The Institute also has international students from Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Most students choose on-campus housing, which creates a large, diverse residential community.

A larger portion of the student body has historically been composed of male students. To balance this, the Institute has placed an emphasis on female applicants and has a number of programs and areas dedicated to women. Resources for women include the Women's Center (a designated female lounge), the Woman to Woman Program, and the establishment of the Society of Women Engineers on campus. More women entering fields such as architecture and engineering has led to more female applicants and female enrollment has recently increased.

Total enrollment (2018): 4,516 total (4,341 undergraduate and 175 graduate students)[5]

  • Men: 79%
  • Women: 21%


Wentworth's athletics programs include 17 varsity, two club, and six intramural sports, emphasizing both men's and women's sports. The athletic program competes as a Division III member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and holds memberships in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC), and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC).

Since 1989, the Leopards have captured 24 conference championships in Men's Volleyball, Baseball, Men's Basketball, Hockey, Golf, Men's Soccer, Men's Tennis, Men's Cross Country, and Women's Soccer. Wentworth has earned an invitation to the NCAA Division III Tournament 9 times (Men's Basketball: 1997 and 2007; Hockey: 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004; Men's Volleyball: 2016, 2017; Women's Soccer 2016) in the last 20 years. Wentworth received ECAC Tournament bids in baseball, men's basketball, hockey, lacrosse, men's soccer and women's soccer within the last 12 years.

A multi-purpose athletic field, a gift from Myles Sweeney '28 and his wife, Eugenia, opened in 1996. Sweeney Field is in front of the main building of the Institute - Wentworth Hall. Since 1996, the men's and women's soccer teams have enjoyed a combined home record of 81-27-2 (75% won).

Individual student-athletes have garnered numerous all-league, rookie of the year, and player of the year honors throughout Wentworth's history, with 11 Academic All-America honorees including the Division III softball Academic All-America in 2015.

Notable alumni


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  3. "Facts & Figures". Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  4. "Facts & Figures". Retrieved 2019-01-03.
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  12. New York Times, "Contest for Boston Fortune", December 1, 1903
  13. "Wentworth Institute of Technology History". 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-12-11.
  14. The Handbook of Private Schools. Books.google.com. p. 297. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  15. Clifford, Joseph P. A Century of Honesty, Energy, Economy, System: Wentworth Institute of Technology, 1904-2004. Boston: Wentworth Institute of Technology, 2003. Print.
  16. https://wit.edu/presidential-transition
  17. "Wentworth Becomes Master's Degree Granting Institution". Prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  18. https://wit.edu/news/wentworth-earns-%E2%80%98university%E2%80%99-status
  19. https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/07/28/wenworth-earns-university-status-will-keep-its-focus/tuik5wXOTeirioG8mor0uJ/story.html
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  21. "About Us – Wentworth Accelerate". Blogs.wit.edu. Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  22. Wentworth web page on Colleges of the Fenway
  23. "Center for community and Learning Partnerships". Wentworth Institute. 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-02-18.
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  25. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-11-17. Retrieved 2009-11-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  26. "Joe Lauzon - Official UFC® Fighter Profile". Ufc.com. Retrieved 2016-10-28.

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