Albert Brown, CST '64
When the time came for Albert Brown, CST '64 to choose a college, he realized his options were few. While in high school, "sports and girls took precedence over studies," he says. At home, his family was struggling financially.
Temple took a chance on him.
"I entered Temple not knowing what to study or whether I belonged at this or any university," he says. Chemistry was a required subject, and Brown approached it with trepidation. But a series of remarkable teachers changed his mind and he graduated with a bachelor of science in chemistry. After Temple, he interviewed a number of companies for a job and considered himself lucky to be hired by Rohm and Haas, the Philadelphia-based manufacturer of specialty chemicals.
"Being exposed to a grand array of professors at Temple prepared me not only for a life in chemistry but for life in general," he says.
"Life in general" included his wife, Marie B. Koals ‘63, who earned a bachelors and masters in education at Temple. "Life in chemistry" meant more than simply a solid grounding in the sciences. Temple also prepared Brown to compete favorably with colleagues who held PhDs. "I dug in and tried harder. It took me years of hard and successful research, but I was finally treated as an equal," he says. "Temple armed me well to compete in an intense intellectual environment."
A specialist in polymer chemistry, Brown was fortunate to find himself in the middle of many successful product developments. Promotions followed in rapid succession. Toward the end of his career, he was made Corporate Fellow—a position held by only two other people in the Rohm and Haas's 100-year history.
Looking back, Brown realizes just how close he came to missing out on a successful career because of his family's financial constraints. "I didn't want that to happen to anyone else, so I established a scholarship [at the College of Science and Technology]," he says. "Our kids are running up huge debt trying to get a college education. It's not good for their future, and it's not good for the country."
His advice to fellow alumni: "The finest gift you can give someone is the gift of education. C'mon folks, shake a few bucks loose for Temple students. We'll all be better for it."
NOTE: Endowed scholarships are vitally important to the future of Temple University and its students. Along with outright gifts, planned gifts such as charitable gift annuities and bequests are excellent funding vehicles.