Last updated December 19, 2020
1.0 What and where is RPI?
RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) is a private college founded in 1824 and located in Troy, New York. Its primary focus is education in the fields of engineering and science.
1.1 Is it RPI or Rensselaer?
For a time, starting in the 1990s, the school only wanted to be known as Rensselaer. In recent years that has changed and both names are used by the administration. For most of the 20th century the institute was known by its initials and continues to be known that way by older alumni.
1.2 Why is the school named Rensselaer?
The school was named after its founder, Stephen van Rensselaer.
1.3 Why is the school located in Troy, not Rensselaer?
The fact that the school Rensselaer is not located in the city Rensselaer causes some of confusion. Rensselaer, the city, was not created until 1897, 73 years after the school. So, in 1824 the confusion did not exist. Additionally, the school and city are named for different people, as the city is named for Killiaen van Rensselaer, not Stephen van Rensselaer.
1.4 What are the RPI colors?
Cherry and White, dating back to the 19th century.
1.5 What is the RPI fight song?
"Hail, Dear Old Rensselaer". You can check out the lyrics or mp3 by the RPI Glee Club.
1.6 What is the RPI logo?
The school no longer uses one logo. Most of the administration uses the name (Rensselaer) combined with the school seal. The athletic department uses a stylized, diagonal "RPI" in most circumstances.
1.7 What are the former logos?
The best known is the Bullet, the initials "RPI" surrounded by a circular ring. It fell out of favor in the 1990s but has recently made a comeback. The 1990s introduced a logo, the name "Rensselaer" underlined by a gray bar. Commonly known as the "Gray Bar." It is no longer used. The institute seal is sometimes used. That was the most common logo prior to the introduction of the bullet.
1.8 Where can I go to learn more about RPI?
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th St.
Troy, NY, 12180-3590
1.9 Where can I buy RPI merchandise?
1.10 What is the RPI mascot?
There is no current school-wide mascot.
1.11 What was the former school mascot?
The Red Hawk, a bird, was introduced in 1995 but dropped in 2009 after it failed to gain support from the students and fans. Prior to that, the Swarm, a bee-like creature that first appeared in the early 1980s. Its use was discontinued in 1992. It still has sentimental support.
2.0 What is the RPI's home field?
The East Campus Stadium, completed in 2009, is the Engineers' home field. It is located behind the Houston Field House on the east edge of campus. It seats 5,000+ and has a FieldTurf field.
2.1 Who is the head coach?
Ralph Isernia, a 1991 graduate of Davidson College, was named the head coach on March 9, 2013. He has a 50-27 record in seven seasons with the team.
2.2 What conference is RPI in?
RPI is an NCAA Division III institution that plays in the Liberty League, along with Hobart College, Ithaca College, University of Rochester, St. Lawrence University and Union College. Buffalo State also participates as an associate member.
2.3 What trophy games are played?
Two trophy games are played annually. RPI and Union have fought for the Dutchman's Shoes Trophy since 1950. Since 1980 RPI has played for the Transit Trophy against Worcester Polytechnic. Also, from 1944 through 2005, with some years missed, RPI and Coast Guard battled for the Shot Glass Trophy. That game is no longer played.
2.4 What championships has RPI won?
RPI was the ECAC Northeast Champions in 1992, 1997, 2002 and 2006, the ECAC Northwest Champions in 1993, 1995 and 2005, the ECAC North Atlantic Champions in 2008, the ECAC Asa S. Bushnell Bowl Champions in 2015, the UCAA Champions from 1997 through 1999 & 2001, Liberty League Champions in 2007, 2015 (co-champions), 2017 (co- champions) and 2018 (co-champions). RPI was also Co-Champion of the ICAC in two seasons, 1988 and 1990.
3.0 How long has RPI played intercollegiate football?
Since November 20, 1886 when RPI defeated Union 11-4 in a game played in West Troy.
3.1 What was the best season?
Either 1999 or 2003. In 1999 RPI went 9-1, 9-0 in the regular season, won the UCAA conference title with a 4-0 record and played in the NCAA Division 3 Championship for the first time, losing their only game of the season to Rowan in the first round. In 2003 RPI went 11-2, 8-1 in the regular season, and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division 3 Championships, losing to St. John's.
3.2 What nicknames has RPI played under?
The team, currently the Engineers, was previously also known as the Bachelors.
3.3 What other fields have the Engineers called home?
Prior to 1912, RPI played at several locations in West Troy (now Watervliet), Troy and Lansingburgh. In 1912 '86 Field was completed and served as the home field, with some exceptions, through 2008. During the 1946 season '86 Field was rebuilt, so RPI played its home games in Menands at Hawkins Stadium. When the Jonsson Engineering Center was built in the mid-70's, '86 Field was unusable, so the team played on Varsity Field for five seasons (1974-78). Varsity Field later became Harkness Field, which served as the Engineers' home for the following games: Worcester State in 1995, Hobart in 1997, Rowan in 1999 and Rochester in 2005.
3.4 How did '86 Field get its name?
It was named for the class of 1886, which provided the funds for its construction.
3.5 What records have the Engineers held?
Don Patria '84 (99 yards vs. Lowell on 9/26/81) and Jay Bernardo '07 (99 yards vs. Endicott on 9/10/05) are co-holders of the Division III record for longest run from scrimmage.
RPI played in what formerly was the highest-scoring tie in Division II, which RPI was classified as until 1973. That game was against Trinity in 1969 and ended at 43-43. This record was surpassed in the early 1990s.
One dubious mark in the 1960s gave RPI national attention but was not an NCAA record. RPI had a winless streak of 43 games, starting with a loss on October 24, 1959 to Middlebury and not ending until RPI defeated Middlebury on October 23, 1965. The record holder (at that time) was Paine, which went winless in 49 games from 1954-61.
3.6 Have any RPI alumni played in the NFL or been drafted?
Andrew Franks '15 (a kicker) signed as a free agent with the Miami Dolphins and became the first RPI alum to play in the NFL in 2015. One player, center Harry Neugold '52, was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 1950 (17th round, 219th pick overall) but he never played in the NFL.