The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, November 09, 1949, Image 1

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The Battalion
Thursday, November 9, 1950
Success Story...
Aggie Sty e
M. T. Harrington, ’22, Takes Office
As First Ex to Head Texas A&M
Twenty-nine years ago a tall,
thin youngster strode the stages
of college drama at A&M and
won for himself the title “a per
sonage supreme. ,, Today, that
same personage, no longer a lad,
steps into the leading role of the
Marion T. Harrington will be
making history in that role. For
this afternoon, when he is for
mally inaugurated as President of
the A&M College of Texas, the
former cadet will set a precedent
in the 75 year history of the
Purely by coincidence this first
former member of the famous
Twelfth Man student body to take
the helm at A&M, will also be
the twelfth man to hold that job.
Born 49 years ago in Plano, he
the second of four sons of the
late E. 0. Harrington, who, upon
his death in 1940, was that North
east Texas town’s oldest merchant.
An older and a younger brother,
T. C. and J. 0. Harrington, are
today operating the furniture and
undertaking firm which their fath
er established.
M. T. Harrington
President, A&M College
Harrington’s grandparents had
been early Texas settlers. It was
in the days of the Republic that
they made their covered wagon
trek from Kentucky.
The youngster was graduated
from Plano High School in 1918
as top ranking boy in his class.
He immediately set a course for
College Station where he chose to
study the then-new field of chem
ical engineering.
Nor did the 16-year old lad let
his comparative lack of years re
tard his career at Aggieland. He
started as a “fish” on a record
that ranked as excellent, scholas
tically and otherwise.
A natural talent for entertain
ing engaged him in dramatic pur
suits where he, in the vernacular
of the time, “panicked” an audi
ence. He was active in other
fields, too, and became president
of the Collin County Club and a
member of the “Y” Cabinet.
Military, he was chosen in his
junior year to receive the drill
medal for “E” Infantry. His senior
year found him as a cadet captain
in the Infantry Shock Troops.
And, in scholastic and profes
sional pursuits, he ranked as a
distinguished student and a mem
ber of Tau Beta Pi, national hon
orary engineering fraternity. He
was also a member of the Chem
istry Club.
The 1922 Longhorn had this to
say of the senior who answered
to either “Tom” or “Empty.”
“Alhough not a man in age,
Tom is more than a man in brains.
As a mimicker he is a personage
supreme. He had great success in
college drama, and would be a
scream professionally had not a
higher calling seized him. Success
awaits him as a Chemical Engi
That year, Harrington received
his B. S. degree in Chemical En
gineering and went to work as an
analytical chemist with the Texas
Company in Port Arthur. Between
June and September of 1924 he
worked as a chemist with the Tex
as Gas Company.
Fate apparently had not intend
Cadet Tom Harrington
“Success awaits him . . .
ed for him to be a chemist, though,
for he returned to A&M in 1924
to begin a teaching career that led
to his present position. His first
years back here were spent as an
instructor in the Chemistry De
He was not long in establishing
a reputation as an outstanding
lecturer in his field, being partic
ularly gifted in the ability to ex
plain the intricacies of a difficult
subject clearly.
He still continued in his own
education, too, and, in 1927, re
ceived his M.S. degree in Chemical
Engineering from A&M. In the
ensuing years he was granted a
leave of absence to study at MIT,
the University of Michigan, the
University of Southern California
and Iowa State College. He re
ceived his Ph.D. from the latter
school in 1941.
During this time, he had en
gaged in a few other pursuits, too.
One of these netted him his wife,
the former Miss Ruth Norris,
daughter of Mrs. Wesley Norris,
6441 Gaston Ave., Dallas. In 1933,
he married the small, attractive
brunette who had been working
as librarian at Highland Park
High School in Dallas.
Mrs. Harrington, incidentally,
was succeeded in that post by her
sister, Ester. When three years
later, Tom’s younger brother, J.
0., also an A&M graduate, came
over from Plano to marry Ester,
the superintendent at Highland
Park said he had no intention of
hiring any more Norris girls as
librarian . . . “at least until I’m
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