William Barclay Parsons
William Barclay Parsons CC 1879 Mines 1882 was an engineer who was responsible for the construction of the first New York subway line, as well as the Cape Cod Canal. His engineering firm, Parsons Brinckerhoff, is still a major industry player today.
Parsons earned two bachelors degrees from Columbia: first from the College, and the second from the School of Mines, which would become SEAS. While an undergrad, he was on the "tug-o-war team" (sounds fun!), was elected president of his College class, and was one of the co-founders of the Spectator. He's even claimed as a member of the Philolexian Society.
He later became a trustee and was elected to the chairmanship of the board. Parsons refused to put down his Columbia duties even while fighting in World War I, communicating with University President Nicholas Murray Butler throughout the conflict.
He is a descendant of Henry Barclay, who was one of the original governors of King's College.
George L. Rives
|Chairman of the Board of Trustees