- Henry Smith Pritchett
Henry Smith Pritchett (
April 16 1857– August 28 1939) was a U.S. astronomer and educator.
Pritchett was born in
Fayette, Missouri, and attended Pritchett Collegein Glasgow, Missouri, receiving an A.B. in 1875. He then took instruction from Asaph Hallfor two years at the US Naval Observatoryafter 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 VenusExpedition 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 Universityin St. Louis. In the early 1890s he studied in Germany, where he earned the Ph.D. from the University of Munichin 1894.
He was Superintendent of the
US Coast and Geodetic Surveyfrom 1897 to 1900. He served as the president of MIT from 1900 to 1906. He was president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teachingfrom 1906 until he retired in 1930. His principal contribution 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 Instituteof Washington.
Pritchett Lounge, on the second floor of Walker Memorial at MIT is named in his honor.
* [http://www.history.noaa.gov/cgsbios/biop15.html NOAA biography]
* [http://adsabs.harvard.edu//full/seri/PASP./0051//0000304.000.html PASP 51 (1939) 304]
Lagemann, Ellen Condliffe. "Private Power for the Public Good: A History of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching". Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1983.
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