Dr. Randolph Wilson Bromery, 1926 - 2013
His parents called him "filibuster", because even as a young child he had the ability to talk.
Randolph Wilson Bromery is the son of the late Lawrence Randolph Bromery (profiled elsewhere on this website) and Edith Edmonsen Bromery. He was born on Carroll Street in Cumberland's West Side and grew up in the city during a period of segregation. Upon graduation from Carver High School in 1942 he traveled to Detroit to seek employment. Although he had advanced machine shop training under the National Youth Administration and held an NYA certificate as an "apprentice tool & die maker", the trade unions would not hire African-Americans as machinists. In 1943 during World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps where he was trained as a pilot, serving in the 332nd fighter group of the famed Tuskegee Airmen. He was later stationed overseas flying escort missions in southern Italy.
Upon returning stateside and finding work in various positions that related to his future career as a geophysicist, Bromery would eventually acquire his undergraduate degree in Math from Howard University in 1956, his Master's Degree in geology from American University in 1962, and his Doctorate in geology from Johns Hopkins in 1968. He began his teaching career at the University of Massachusetts in 1969 and would eventually go on to become Chancellor of that institution serving through 1979. In 1988 he was asked to serve as acting president of Westfield State College and in 1992 was named president of Springfield College. He would later hold the title of Chancellor of the Massachusetts Board of Regents for Higher Education.
Bromery is considered to be one of the nation's foremost Geophysicists, educators, and writers of scientific articles. A former president of the Geological Society of America, he has received numerous honorary doctorates from around the world, including one from Frostburg State University in 1972. He has also been named Outstanding Black Scientist by the National Academy of Sciences.
Included among the corporate boards of directors he has served upon are the Exxon Corporation, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, the Chase Manhattan Bank, and the Singer Company. He has also served as on the Board of Trustees for Mount Holyoke College, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Bromery served as a trustee for the University of Massachusetts from 1986 to 1994. He is now honored by holding the position of Trustee Emeritus.
In a 2004 newspaper article, Dr. Randolph Wilson Bromery is quoted as saying, "Success is sweet but oppression cannot be forgotten".
Photograph from an article entitled, "A Story of American Courage", from The Republican - Newspaper in Education Black History Series, Springfield, Massachusetts, February 24, 2004.
Text from "A Story of American Courage", from The Republican - Newspaper in Education Black History Series, Springfield, Massachusetts, February 24, 2004; the National Visionary Leadership Project; and comments by Frostburg State College President Nelson P. Guild upon conferring an Honorary Doctorate upon Randolph W. Bromery in 1972.
Randolph Bromery died in 2013. For his obituary see Randolph W. Bromery
Allegany County, Maryland
African Americans, History; Allegany County (Md.), History.
Allegany County (Md.), 1890-2008