Rear Admiral Wat Tyler Cluverius (USN Ret.) was a Naval Academy classmate and good friend of Ralph Earle. He was already past the age of 65 when he was chosen seventh president of WPI. His physical vigor and popularity as a public speaker were legendary. Both qualities served him well as he guided WPI through the difficult years of World War II and the period of readjustment that followed. Through his efforts, WPI was selected as the site for a Navy V-12 officer training unit during the war.
Cluverius championed the development of the School of Industrial Management. He was instrumental in establishing an Army ROTC unit on campus. In 1952, he announced a building program that included Kaven Hall for civil engineering, the first major renovation of Atwater Kent Laboratories, the remodeling of Boynton Hall, and an addition to Salisbury Laboratories.