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Throughout its presence, The Engineering Society of Detroit. has been a leader, whether in promoting the engineering and scientific professions or by serving invaluable technical assistance to the community.
In 1895, thirteen young engineering students from the University of Michigan formed the Detroit Association of Graduate Engineers, later known as the Engineering Society of Detroit, for one specific purpose – to deelaborate to the Regents at the University of Michigan the value of an engineering education. During the next six years the Society’s membership expanded to include engineering graduates from other universities. By the year of 1929 the membership grew to 871, but the Great Depression descended upon the nation and within five years the Society lost 75% of its members. Faced with bankruptcy, then president, Harold S. Ellington, an engineer and partner in the architectural-engineering firm of Harley and Ellington, sent letters to past and present members asking for financial assistance and suggestions by which the Society could regain solvency. Bryson Horton, a trustee of the Horace H. Rackham and Mary A. Rackham Fund suggested the Society petition the Trustees for financial support to assist with its work process in promoting the advancement of the engineering profession.