Francis Amasa Walker (July 2, 1840–January 5, 1897) was a United States economist and educator, as well as an officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
Walker was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Amasa Walker. He graduated from Amherst College in 1860, where he studied law. During the Civil War, he rose from the rank of sergeant-major to that of brevet brigadier general of volunteers—awarded him at the request of General Winfield Scott Hancock. He was particularly adept at analyzing enemy troop strength and their position. Walker was wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville, and captured at Ream's Station, where he was sent to Libby Prison.
Walker's activities after the war included stints as editor of the Springfield (MA) Republican, chief of the government bureau of statistics, director of both the 9th and 10th Census (1870 & 1880) and as U.S. commissioner of Indian Affairs (1871–72). From 1872 to 1880 he was professor of political economy at the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale; In 1878 he represented the United States at the Monetary Conference in Paris; from 1885-92 he served as president of the American Economic Association; and from 1881 to his death he was president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Walker Memorial, a students' clubhouse and one of the Technology buildings on the Charles, was dedicated in 1916. As an economist, Walker is especially known for his theories on wages and profits. He was a prolific writer, especially on economic topics, and is regarded as an original and powerful thinker. He helped to design the Stanford University campus.
Presidents of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
|William Barton Rogers (1862–1870, 1879–1881) • John Daniel Runkle (1870–1878) • Francis Amasa Walker (1881–1897) • James Crafts (1897–1900) • Henry Smith Pritchett (1900–1907) • Arthur Amos Noyes (acting 1907–1909) • Richard Cockburn Maclaurin (1909–1920) • Elihu Thomson (acting 1920–1921, 1922–1923) • Ernest Fox Nichols (1921–1922) • Samuel Wesley Stratton (1923–1930) • Karl Taylor Compton (1930–1948) • James Rhyne Killian (1948–1959) • Julius Adams Stratton (1959–1966) • Howard Wesley Johnson (1966–1971) • Jerome Wiesner (1971–1980) • Paul Edward Gray (1980–1990) • Charles Marstiller Vest (1990–2004) • Susan Hockfield (2004—)|