Randolph Wilson Bromery

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  • "I had the privilege of working for Dr. Bromery at..."
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PEABODY - Randolph Wilson Bromery, 87, died Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, in Davers.

He was born Jan. 18, 1926, in Cumberland, Md. He was the son of Lawrence Randolph Bromery, who died in October, 1975, and Edith Edmonson Bromery, who died in March, 1947. He was the grandson of Sarah Wilson Bromery and Ulysses Rutherford Bromery and the great grandson of Emma Wilson Black, all of Cumberland, Md.

He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Cecile Trescott Bromery; his sons, Keith M., Dennis R., David T. and Christopher J. Bromery, and a daughter, Carol Ann Thompson, of Tallahassee, Fla., Amherst, Ellicott City, Md., Lynn and Baltimore, Md., respectively. He is also survived by 11 grandchildren and three great grandchildren. His older sister, Bettyjane Coker, lives in Lanham, Md. and his younger brother, Robert M. Bromery, lives in Bowie, Md.

His younger brothers, Lawrence E. and Phillip M. died in 2006 and 1935 respectively.

Dr. Bromery attended the Frederick Street School and graduated first in his class from the same school, which was renamed Carver High School in 1942.

During World War II he served with the U.S. Army Air Corps Tuskegee Airmen. He attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., and graduated with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and physics in 1954. He earned and was awarded a master's degree in geology from the American University in 1962 and a doctorate in geology from the Johns Hopkins University in 1968.

He was an airborne exploration geophysicist and a supervisory research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey from 1948 to 1967. At various times he served as a mineral resource consultant to several West and Central African countries, primarily with the Kennecott Copper Co. He was a special honored guest to the presidents of Liberia, Republic of the Cameroons, West Africa and Malawi, South Africa, and he was elected honorary member of the Liberian Geological Survey.

As a member of the boards of directors of the Exxon Corp. and the Singer Co., he traveled extensively in the Far East, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and China.

Dr. Bromery recently served as interim president of Roxbury Community College and served as president of Springfield College from 1992 to 1999.

Dr. Bromery served at the University of Massachusetts in numerous positions prior to retirement in 1992: commonwealth professor of geophysics, chairman of the department of geology and geography, vice chancellor for student affairs, chancellor of the Amherst campus, executive vice president of the University of Massachusetts system and retired commonwealth professor emeritus.

He served as chancellor of the board of regents for higher education under Governor's Dukakis and Weld and served as interim president of Westfield State University from 1988 to 1990.

As a leader in the business community, Dr. Bromery served as a member of the boards of directors with the Exxon Corporation, NYNEX/Bell Atlantic Corporations, New England Telephone Company, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and The John Hancock Life Insurance Company. He served as president of Weston Geophysical International Corporation and the Geo science Engineering Company, a jointly owned geological and geophysical consulting business.

Dr. Bromery was awarded the distinguished alumni awards from Howard University and Johns Hopkins University. He is the recipient of nine honorary degrees from colleges and universities around the world, including the Johns Hopkins University and was named honorary president of Soodoo Women's University in Seoul, Korea.

Dr. Bromery is a senior fellow, fellow and member of numerous professional societies and served as the first African-American president of the Geological Society of America in 1989. President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Bromery to membership on the president's committee on the National Medal of Science. He has published many articles on science and education in several professional journals.

While serving as president of Springfield College, he was the recipient of several prestigious community service awards including, Eyes on the Prize Award in 1997 from PBS Channel 57, the Community Builder Award in 1996 from the Springfield Urban League, the distinguished Pynchon Award in 1993 from the Advertising Club of Western Massachusetts, the Human Relations Award from the National Conference in 1997, the Distinguished Citizens Award from the Pioneer Valley Council of Boy Scouts in 1992, the Chancellor's Medal and Honorary Alumnus Award from The University of Massachusetts in 1996, Lifetime of Excellence in Education Award from the Massachusetts Legislative Black Caucus in 1996 and Key to the City of Seoul Korea from the Seoul Metropolitan Government and an Award from the Governor of Hokkaido, Japan.

Dr. Bromery's picture was featured on the front cover of the Business Monthly Magazine of Western Massachusetts. In February of 1997 he was honored by the National Academy of Sciences as one of the nation's outstanding black scientists and his portrait was hung in the Hall of The National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Bromery and his wife moved to Brooksby Village in Peabody. Prior to that they had lived in Amherst, where he was involved in several activities with the University of Massachusetts, including serving as founding member of the University of Massachusetts Amherst Foundation, and also served as chairman of the advisory committee to the Newman Center at the University of Massachusetts. He continued to serve as a member of the board of trustees of the Johns Hopkins University and a member of the corporation of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Calling hours will be held Wednesday, March 6, from 4 to 8 p.m., at Douglass Funeral Service, Amherst. A memorial service will be held at the UMass Amherst at a later date.

Please no flowers. Donations may be made to Bromery Endowment Fund for the Du Bois Center, UMass Amherst Libraries Development Office, 154 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01003-9275.

Obituary and memorial register at www.douglassfuneral.com.

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Funeral Home
Douglass Funeral Home
87 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01002
(413) 253-3407
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Feb. 28, 2013
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