William A. Coolidge Dies; Sheehan Gathering
William A. Coolidge
A funeral service was held Friday for William A. Coolidge, first elected to the MIT Corporation in 1948, who died at his home in Topsfield on May 24, following a long illness. He was 90.
Mr. Coolidge was a graduate of Harvard College in 1924 and later received a law degree from Harvard University. He also received the MA degree from Balliol College, Oxford. After being admitted to the Massachusetts Bar he joined the firm of Ropes and Gray where he remained until joining the Office of Special Counsel of the Navy during World War II.
After the war he founded New Enterprises, Inc., a group of individuals who invested in small businesses and who later formed the National Research Corporation which Mr. Coolidge chaired for more than 20 years.
Mr. Coolidge was elected a term member of the Corporation in 1948 and a Life Member in 1953, becoming a Life Member Emeritus in 1976. He served on a number of visiting and standing committees of the Corporation, including 14 years as a member of the Executive Committee. In recognition of his contributions to the Institute, one of the new West Campus Houses was named for him in 1977.
In addition to his MIT activities, Mr. Coolidge was an Overseer at Harvard, and president of the Board of Trustees of the Episcopal Theological School and of St. Mark's School. He also has been vice president of the Museum of Fine Arts, president of the Episcopal Church Foundation and chairman of Massachusetts Half-Way Houses, Inc.
A gathering to remember John Clark Sheehan, the internationally known chemist who developed a chemical synthesis of penicillin, will be held at 2pm Tuesday, June 9, at the MIT Chapel. Professor Sheehan died March 21.
Speakers will be MIT Provost Mark S. Wrighton, the Ciba-Geigy Professor of Chemistry; Elkan R. Blout, Edward W. Harkness Professor of Biological Chemistry, Emeritus, Harvard Medical School; John D. Roberts, Institute Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus, California Institute of Technology, and Ajay K. Bose, George Meade Bond Professor, Stevens Institute of Technology.
A reception for guests will follow the Remembrance Ceremony in the Hulsizer Room at MIT's Ashdown House.
A version of this article appeared in the June 3, 1992 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 36, Number 33).