The Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame Association
William Rohr Inducted 2002 - Teacher
In May of 1952, an article in the Toledo Times chronicled the lofty accomplishments and reputation of the Woodward Engineering Society. It was the only high school organization listed among the graduate societies of what was then called The Toledo Technical Society. It was also lauded as one of the foremost in the country. William Rohr, engineering teacher at Woodward, was the advisor to that group.
The Woodward Engineering Society was organized in 1921. It was founded to stimulate interest in the study of engineering and was open to Woodward engineering, science and math students in the upper third of their class. This selectivity resulted in a prominent alumni group. It's honorary membership, which consisted of supportive alumni and community businessmen, read like an engineering "Who's Who". Despite its small size, the Woodward Engineering Society made a name for itself each year by providing scholarships for talented science students, who may not have otherwise had the financial means to pursue a college education. The club's scholarship program
was maintained with $5 donations from Toledoans and the redemption of sales tax stamps, which were collected by students and Engineering Society members. Woodward graduate Stanley Meyer, who was President of the Woodward Engineering Society in 1952, has shared the following tribute to William F. Rohr. He provides insight, sometimes humorous, into the character and essence of the man.
"Bill Rohr was one of the most dedicated teachers I have ever had. He was a perfectionist and expected his students to follow suit. The standards he set for his students were high, not only for academics, but also relative to discipline and morality. He commanded respect from his students. He was a shining example of a 'no nonsense' individual.
Bill was an immaculate dresser. I had never seen him dressed in anything but a white shirt, tie, and a three-piece suit. For those of you who may not remember, or have never heard the term, a three-piece suit consists of trousers, a vest, and a jacket. Some considered Bill somewhat of an eccentric because he carpeted his garage. He may have been way ahead of his time. Try it.. .you may like it.
Bill was very dedicated to promoting the engineering profession as a career path. Through his efforts in fund raising, which included collecting and redeeming used sales tax stamps, he provided scholarships to numerous students at Woodward High School. His legacy lives on to this day.
Bill arranged an annual outing to the Ford Motor Company’s production facilities in River Rouge, Michigan. This was available to any of his students who exhibited an interest in pursuing an engineering career. The experience was invaluable to the 'wannabe' engineer. In one day, I got an incredible insight into the potential gratification of an engineering career, and, as I recall, the trip did not cost the students one red cent.
There are a number of people, myself included, who would not have had the opportunity to get a higher education, had it not been for the guidance and financial aid provided by Mr. Rohr. I believe that Bill is now somewhere in the universe trying to stimulate interest in an engineering career amongst his young students. Wherever you are, Bill, thanks for playing a big part in my life and thanks for the memories."
And wherever you are, Bill, please know that we too THANK YOU for all you did for your former students, who join us today in saluting you!