Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Sweet, Harold E., 1877-1962
Harold E. Sweet (1877-1962), A1898, served the college as president of the Board of Trustees for twenty-six years beginning in 1923. In 1950, he was a recipient of the Ballou Medal, the highest honor which can be bestowed upon a Tufts graduate.
Born in West Mansfield, Massachusetts, on June 24, 1877, Sweet attended English and Classical High Schools in Providence, Rhode Island, before entering Tufts College. While an undergraduate, Sweet held the positions of junior class president and charter president of the Tower Cross, the senior honor society. He also acted as the manager of the varsity football team. Soon after graduating with honorable mention in German and philosophy, he went to work as a bench hand at R.F. Simmons and Co, where he eventually became president.
In his early twenties, Sweet became director of the First National Bank of Attleboro and later assumed the role of president of the institution. He also served as chairman of the board of Sturdy Memorial Hospital. Sweet was elected to be the first mayor of Attleboro, Massachusetts, serving from 1915 to 1919, after the town changed to a city form of government. He had previously been a member of Attleboro's school and town finance committees. In 1955, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree by Tufts President Nils Y. Wessell at the 99th Commencement of Tufts University. Having married Gertrude O. Hunton in 1900, Sweet had two children. His daughter, Marion Sweet Armstrong, was an instructor in the Tufts Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine form 1934 to 1938.
Harold E. Sweet Hall, built in 1952 to house the Air Force and Navy ROTC programs, was named in his honor. It was demolished in 1998 to make way for Dowling Hall.
Sweet died at the age of eighty-five at his home in Attleboro on December 11, 1962.