As president, Edmund Engler expended every effort to develop WPI into a first-rate professional school. A scholarly man, he recognized that a major obstacle to this objective was the teaching overload carried by the small but dedicated faculty.
In spite of increased academic demands on students, broadened athletic competition and extracurricular activities served to enhance the quality of life for a student body that doubled during Engler's term in office.
Perhaps the most lasting reminder of the Engler years was the construction in 1907 of the electrical engineering building, now known as Atwater Kent Laboratories. This marvelous structure, the largest engineering laboratory building in the world to that time, was the first college building in the country constructed specifically for the teaching of this increasingly important engineering discipline.