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Wilmeth, Thomas S. (Thomas Sharpe)



  • Existence: 1913-10-02 - 2015-01-05

Biographical Information

Thomas W. Wilmeth (1912-2015) was born on October 2, 1913 in Chicago IL to Leona Sharpe and Delbert Olen Wilmeth. While his father was part of the U.S. Army Infantry, serving in Europe during WWI, his mother and grandmother, both math teachers, took care of him and provided him with a head start to his education. He was a quick learner, excelled in math, and was able to skip three grades. He graduated from Broad Ripple High School in Indianapolis, Indiana at the age of fifteen and began his studies as an undergraduate at Purdue in the Electrical Engineering department at sixteen. During his time in Purdue, he was the business manager of the Purdue yearbook, Debris, and a member of Alpha Chi Rho, Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Delta Phi Alpha Fraternity. He graduated from Purdue in 1935 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.

After graduation, he worked for IBM, Allis Chalmers, and A.O. Smith Company before starting his own company, Scott Industries, in Milwaukee, WI, with his brother Harvey in 1949. In 2014, he received an honorary Ph.D. from Purdue University in Engineering Information Literacy. As a lifelong supporter of Purdue Libraries, the Active Learning Center was named the Thomas S. and Harvey D. Wilmeth Active Learning Center, honoring Thomas and his brother in 2015. The new facility opened in 2017. He was also invited to join the inaugural board of the Dean of the Libraries’ Advisory Board Council and the President’s Council. President Jischke presented Wilmeth with the Pinnacle Award. Thomas Wilmeth died in his home in Daingerfield, TX on January 5, 2015.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Thomas S. Wilmeth papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSA 357
Scope and Contents The Thomas S. Wilmeth papers documents Wilmeth’s time as a student during the early to mid-1930s. The types of materials include class and lab notebooks, publications created specifically for use in Purdue classes, photos, and a scrapbook of photos and clippings that Wilmeth maintained while a student at Purdue. Also included are textbooks that Wilmeth used as a student.
Dates: 1907 - 2015-01-09; Majority of material found within 1930 - 1939