Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Burden, Harry Poole, 1890-1972


Harry Poole Burden (1890-1972), H1953, former dean of the School of Engineering (1936-1957) was a friend to undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and alumni, fostering a connections between the studies of science and the humanities. He helped develop and raise funds for the engineering curriculum and was also himself a benefactor of the university.

Burden was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, on February 25, 1890. He attended public schools in Lynn and the University of Maine, graduating in 1912. In 1913, he joined the Tufts faculty as an instructor in Civil Engineering, beginning an almost sixty-year long career at the institution, and in 1917, introduced a five-year combined degree program between the schools of engineering and liberal arts. While working at Tufts, Burden also obtained masters degree in municipal and sanitary engineering from Harvard University, in 1928.

Moving through the academic ranks, Burden became a full professor in 1930, and was appointed dean of the School of Engineering in 1936.During this time, he was a pioneer in warning of the coming problems of water pollution and urban transportation. He also began interviewing students for admission following his appointment, which he continued to do until his retirement. In 1953, Tufts conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering on Burden, followed four years later by a student honor of having the yearbook dedicated to him. The inscription included the words "His aim has always been to avoid letting his students graduate understanding their science but not themselves."Following his retirement in 1957, he was made Dean Emeritus.

Following the death of his wife, Lunetta, in 1961, Burden lived alone at Start House, 17 Latin Way, until 1968, when he moved to his final home at 162 Curtis Street. He suffered a stroke in 1967, from which he recovered, and was able to make his last appearance on campus at the Civil Engineering's Alumni Dinner in May 1971.Burden was a member of several national engineering societies, Sigma Xi, and Tau Beta Pi. Burden died at his home on October 29, 1972. He was survived by his son, Robert, A1939.

Burden Lounge, located in Anderson Hall, was given in his honor by the Class of 1926, at their thirty-fifth reunion.

Source: 100H; VF

Subject terms:
  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
This object is in collection Subject Temporal Permanent URL
Component ID:
To Cite:
TARC Citation Guide    EndNote
Detailed Rights
View all images in this book
Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
 List of Sources