Benjamin Ray Crandall, 1924-1933
In Benjamin Crandall, Cal Poly acquired a well-respected educator with teaching and administrative experience at both the secondary and university level. He inherited a somewhat embattled Cal Poly and his tenure was one of constant re-evaluation, reorganization, expansion and retrenchment.
With degrees in pedagogy from the University of Wyoming and the University of Denver, and additional graduate training at Cornell and the University of California, Crandall served as superintendent of schools in several western cities prior to becoming a professor of agricultural education at the University of California in 1921. In 1924, he was urged by the State Board of Education and the governor to accept the presidency of Cal Poly.
In 1926, the project system, predecessor of the senior projects, was applied in agricultural courses. In 1927, the opening of the two-year Junior College Division foreshadowed Cal Poly's evolution into a university, and a new aeronautics program was added to the Engineering Department.
In 1929, as part of a reorganization of the school, enrollment was limited to male students, and by 1933, the college preparatory course was eliminated. The Polytechnic became a vocational institute open only to students over the age of eighteen.
Crandall resigned the presidency of Cal Poly in 1933.