Past Presidents: The Crawford Years, 1953-1965
On August 25, 1953, Harry L. Crawford was named resident director, having served as branch registrar since 1946. In keeping with Michigan Tech tradition, Mr. Crawford was educated as an electrical engineer.
During the Crawford years the athletic programs expanded and excelled. “Bud” Cooper, a Soo Tech alumnus and athlete, returned as basketball coach and during his tenure, 1953-1960, compiled a remarkable 100-win, 32-loss record.
The fight for the Branch’s survival, a familiar refrain in the legislature continued each year. Relations with Michigan Tech’s Board of Control were also tenuous until Judge James J. Fenlon of Sault Ste. Marie was appointed to that board in 1957. A staunch supporter of the Branch, Fenlon was the driving force in the establishment of four-year programs in Sault Ste. Marie.
Engineering technology degree programs were introduced to the Sault Branch in 1961. Those programs would become some of the most successful of its offerings.
A planning committee at Michigan Tech advocated adding baccalaureate programs at the Sault Branch. Judge Fenlon, Dr. Kenneth Shouldice, Director of War Memorial Hospital and representing the Sault Chamber of Commerce, and others finally succeeded. The Chamber under Dr. Shouldice’s leadership also spearheaded an effort to raise $220,000 to build a girl’s dormitory.
A new science and classroom building, the first such construction on campus, opened in 1964. Later named in honor of Harry L. Crawford, the building still serves today’s students.
Professor Crawford, Director of the Sault Branch since 1953, announced his retirement effective July 31, 1965.