Pasadena, CA — If you haven’t heard of “Calphabet,” worry not: neither had the approximately 11,000 members of the California Institute of Technology community, best known as Caltech, until today. Caltech has announced a corporate restructuring, forming an umbrella institution, Calphabet, to better manage Caltech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Caltech, which was founded in 1891 as the Throop University, has a long history of restructuring. Although some argue that Throop University was named after its founder, Amos G. Throop, most historians now believe that the name “throop” is an onomatopoeic word resembling the sound of a turtle being dropped from several feet into the turtle pond. Throop! In 1910, its vocational school was defunded (for enterprise readers, “defund” is very mean synonym for “deselect,” “sunset,” or “coerced transition”).
The school was known successively as Throop University, the Throop Polytechnic Institute (and Manual Training School), and the Throop College of Technology before acquiring its current name, the California Institute of Technology, in 1921. Originally intended to be Throop Institute of Technology, the institution dropped Throop from its name when administrators realized it would spell “TIT.” At some point, the nickname “Caltech” overtook both the official school name and “CIT” in popularity.
In addition, the Throop Institute disbanded from its preparatory school, which became the Polytechnic School—still located kitty-corner from Caltech, along California Boulevard. Other famous Caltech spin-offs include the Mount Wilson Observatory, Palomar Observatory, and Tinder.
In a released statement, President Rosenbaum said,
Caltech is mostly a collection of departments. The largest of which, of course, is the Computer Science department. This newer Computer Science department is a bit slimmed down, with the departments that are pretty far afield of our main student pursuits contained in Calphabet instead. […] Fundamentally, we believe this allows us more management scale, as we can run things independently that aren’t very related.
As of this morning, Caltech (CIT) stock prices were stagnant, largely because Caltech does not have stocks.