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Houston, Livingston Waddell (b. 1891)

Name: Houston, Livingston Waddell (b. 1891)

Historical Note:

Livinsgton Waddell Houston was born in Wyoming, Ohio in 1891. Houston entered Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1909 as a student in Mechanical Engineering and graduated in 1913. After graduation Houston worked for Mobile Gas Company in Mobile, Alabama as an assistant construction engineer followed by three years in World War I where he served with the First Illinois Field Artillery and then as captain in the US Army Ordinance Department. After the War Houston took a position with the Ludlow Valve Company in Troy, New York. At Ludlow Valve, Houston began as a production manager and quickly moved up to president and chairman of the board.

In 1925 Houston became a Life Trustee of RPI. Later he became Secretary of the Board(1932-1943), then Treasurer (1935-1945) and from there Executive Vice-President (1943-1944). In 1943 the Board of Trustees invited Houston to become President of the Institute. Houston served for the next 15 years as President of RPI. Houston became President in the middle of WWII, a challenging time for the Institute but accepted nevertheless and RPI experienced accelerated expansion during "Liver" Houston's time as President.

RPI was not Houston's only focus; he was elected to the Smaritan Hospital in 1963, serving until 1971. In addition, Houston was awarded honorary degrees from seven colleges and universities and awarded the D. Engineering by RPI. Houston was founder of the Association of Independent Engineering Colleagues, a memeber of the Associated Colleges of Upper New York, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He served as a trusteee of the Troy Public Library, Albany Academy and the Troy Savings Bank. Houston was Director of the Marine Midland National Bank of Troy, the United Traction Company of Albany, the Rensselaer Improvement Company, and the Albany Insurance Company.

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