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Richards, Charles R. (Charles Russ), 1871-1941



  • Existence: 1871-03-23 - 1941-04-18

Biographical Information

Charles Russ Richards was born in Clarks Hill, Indiana, on March 23, 1871. He studied Mechanical Engineering at Purdue, earning his bachelor's degree in 1890 and his masters degree in 1891. Later, he would be awarded honorary doctoral degrees in engineering from both Purdue and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

From 1891-1892, Charles served as an instructor in mechanical engineering at the Colorado Agriculture College (now Colorado State University). In 1892, Charles moved to the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where he would hold several positions, including: professor of manual training (1892-1895), director of the School of Mechanic Arts (1896-1898), and professor of mechanical engineering (1898-1911). He would also serve as Associate Dean (1907-1909) and Dean of Engineering (1909-1911) at Nebraska, and oversaw the construction of the Mechanical Engineering Laboratories (1909-1911).

In 1911, Charles accepted a position at the University of Illinois as professor of mechanical engineering. He was made acting dean of the College of Engineering in 1913, and in 1917 was named dean of the College of Engineering and director of the Engineering Experiment Station.

Charles left the University of Illinois in 1922 to become the president of Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He served as president until 1935, when he was forced to retire due to poor health.

The Purdue Alumni Association presented Charles with the distinguished alumni award in 1940. Charles died of illness in his home in Minneapolis on April 18, 1941.


"Completed Careers: Dr. C. Russ Richards, '90," Purdue Alumnus, Volume XXVIII, Number 8, 1 May 1941, 10.


"Charles R. Richards, Noted Alumnus, Dies After Extended Illness," The Purdue Exponent, 19 April 1941, 1.


"Charles Russ Richards (1871-1941), Architect and Engineer," Accessed February 5, 2024.,_Architect_%26_Engineer#References

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Charles R. Richards papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSA 199
Scope and Contents A list of publications by Charles R. Richards, along with some of the articles written by him.
Dates: 1910 - 1922