Professor Frank Loud

Frank Herbert Loud

Years at the college: 1877 - 1907

B.A. Amherst 1873
M.A. Harvard 1899
Ph.D. Haverford 1900


Frank Herbert Loud (1852-1927) was a mainstay of mathematical life at Colorado College for its first third of a century, the first head of the department of mathematics; his gentle but effective leadership made a major contribution to building up the scientific tradition which was such a strong feature of the early College.

A descendant of one of the Pilgrim Fathers, Loud was educated at Amhurst College, and taught there briefly before joining the young Colorado College faculty in its third year, in 1877. At first his job title veered according to what was needed (he appears as 'mathematics and metaphysics' early on, and 'mental philosophy; mathematics; meteorology' in 1879) before settling down to 'Professor of mathematics and astronomy' by the mid 1880s. He was also the College's first Librarian, from 1878 to 1886.

Loud's 1880 textbook, An Introduction to Geometry upon the Analytical Plan, began the tradition of textbook writing by CC faculty members. He continued to make a number of mathematical contributions in research papers: his Rigorous elementary proof of the binomial theorem was both the first talk given to the Colorado College Scientific Society, at its opening meeting in February 1890, and the first paper to be printed in the Colorado College Studies, which arose from the activities of that society.

After Cajori joined the faculty in 1889, Loud was freer to pursue his interests in meteorology, which is the subject of many of his later research papers and collaborations (and of his early poem Colorado Weather). He formed the Colorado Meteorological Association, which had its headquarters at the College's Meteorological Observatory, where students took regular readings over many years. On his retirement in 1907 Loud continued to live in Colorado Springs (1203 N. Tejon) and to pursue his meteorological and astronomical work. Loud's astronomical observations were gently guyed in a vaudeville sketch in the 1903 Pike's Peak Nugget, and the affection in which both Loud and Cajori were held by students is evident from a cartoon and poem about their bicycling proclivities which appeared in the 1910 Pike's Peak Nugget.

The image at the left was taken from an oil portrait done by J.I.McClymont of Colorado Springs in the mid 1920's.

Back to the Time Line

Report an issue - Last updated: 02/26/2021