In September 1891, Pasadena philanthropist Amos Throop rented the Wooster Block building in Pasadena for the purpose of establishing Throop University, a forerunner to Caltech. In November of that year, Throop University opened its doors with 31 students and a six-member faculty. Throop might have remained simply a good local school had it not been for the arrival in Pasadena of astronomer George Ellery Hale. The first director of the Mount Wilson Observatory, Hale became a member of Throop's board of trustees in 1907 and began molding the school into a first-class institution for engineering and scientific research and education. By 1921, Hale had been joined by chemist Arthur A. Noyes and physicist Robert A. Millikan. These three men set the school, which by then had been renamed the California Institute of Technology, firmly on its new course. Millikan and his successors (Lee DuBridge, Harold Brown, Marvin Goldberger, Thomas Everhart, David Baltimore, Jean-Lou Chameau, and now Thomas F. Rosenbaum) have led the Institute to its current academic and scientific preeminence.To learn more, visit the Caltech Archives.

## Caltech Presidents

### 1920 James A. B. Scherer

In 1908, James A. B. Scherer was appointed president of Throop Polytechnic Institute, a forerunner to Caltech. Pasadena philanthropist Amos Throop had established the school in November 1891, and astronomer George Ellery Hale, the first director of the Mount Wilson Laboratory and a member of Throop's board of trustees, appointed Scherer to lead the fledgling university. Prior to his arrival, Scherer had served as a Lutheran minister and teacher in Japan, cofounding the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tokyo in 1892. From 1904 to 1908 (the year he arrived at Throop) he was president of Newberry College in South Carolina. In 1913, Throop Polytechnic Institute was renamed Throop College of Technology; just seven years later, in 1920 (the year Scherer resigned to become director of the Southwest Museum) it became the California Institute of Technology. By then, and under Scherer's leadership, Caltech had 359 undergraduates and 9 graduate students, five buildings on a 22-acre campus, and a strong faculty that included Arthur A. Noyes and Robert A. Millikan.

### 1921–45 Robert A. Millikan

"The very close association of [engineering and science] . . . has in fact been one of the most distinctive objectives in the Institute's development. It is a familiar but a very true observation that the fundamental science of one generation is the applied science of the next."

### 2006–13 Jean-Lou Chameau

"The discoveries, recognition, and impact of the Caltech faculty in a typical year are the envy of our peers. The opportunity to interact with such a special group, and to support their endeavors, is a reward in itself."
In 2006, when David Baltimore resigned from the presidency to remain at Caltech as the Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology, Jean-Lou Chameau was named his successor. Chameau was born in France and completed his secondary and undergraduate education there before receiving his PhD in civil engineering from Stanford University. For 11 years, Chameau was a professor of civil engineering and head of the geotechnical engineering program at Purdue University. In 1991, he joined the Georgia Institute of Technology as director of its School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He later served as dean of the Georgia Tech College of Engineering, and in 2001 he became Georgia Tech's provost and vice president for academic affairs. At Caltech, Chameau's promotion of a multidisciplinary approach to research and education was a hallmark of his presidency: he supported the development of programs in areas of societal impact, including energy, information technology, medical science, and the environment. He focused on sustainability issues on campus and beyond, reducing Caltech's ecological footprint by encouraging green building, water conservation, and emission reductions. Chameau also instituted a Caltech tradition, the Olive Harvest Festival, during which the community gathers olives from campus trees to make oil. The event has yielded as much as 6,000 pounds of olives and 127 gallons of oil.

### 2013–14 Edward M. Stolper, Interim President

"Caltech is not a big place. But in my view our small size . . . is a real advantage in that it leads to a sense of community that is very special. . . . It is a great pleasure to walk across our small campus and recognize and talk with people across a wide swath of intellectual pursuits. As David Baltimore is fond of saying, it is probably the last academic village."
When Jean-Lou Chameau resigned in 2013 to become president of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, the Institute chose Provost Edward M. Stolper to serve as interim president. A member of the Caltech community for 35 years, Stolper earned his PhD in geological sciences from Harvard University in 1979, arriving at Caltech that same year as an assistant professor of geology. His research focuses on understanding the origin and evolution of igneous rocks on the earth and other planets, and he was a member of the Mars Science Laboratory mission's science team. Appointed provost in 2007, Stolper retained those duties while serving as interim president. Stolper stepped back into the role of provost full time when the newly appointed president, Thomas F. Rosenbaum, arrived at the Institute in July 2014.

### 2014–present Thomas F. Rosenbaum

"Caltech's combination of absolute excellence, traversable disciplinary barriers, and soaring ambition is simply remarkable. It does not seem possible that a university with only 300 faculty members and 2,250 undergraduates and graduate students combined could be setting the intellectual agendas and running world-preeminent facilities in so many different scientific and engineering arenas, yet we are. JPL is a huge and essential multiplier, but in my view it fundamentally comes down to Caltech's culture of fearlessness."
On July 1, 2014, Thomas F. Rosenbaum took office as Caltech's ninth president. Rosenbaum received his bachelor's degree in physics from Harvard University and his MA and PhD in physics from Princeton University. Before his appointment as president of the Institute, he was the John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor of Physics at the University of Chicago, where he served as the university's provost for seven years. As Chicago's provost, he had responsibility for a broad range of institutions and intellectual endeavors across the sciences, arts, and professional schools. Rosenbaum is an expert on the quantum mechanical nature of materials (the physics of electronic, magnetic, and optical materials at the atomic level) that are best observed at temperatures near absolute zero. He was inaugurated on October 24, 2014.