Randolph Bromery, former head of 3 local colleges, dies at 87 - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Randolph Bromery, former head of 3 local colleges, dies at 87

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Randolph "Bill" Bromery. (UMass Amherst) Randolph "Bill" Bromery. (UMass Amherst)

Randolph William "Bill" Bromery, who served in the Tuskegee Airmen, before entering a long and storied career as the head of several western Massachusetts colleges has died at age 87.

Bromery was an Army Air Corps veteran, serving in the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II.

After leaving the Air Corps in 1948, Bromery spent nearly 20 years with the U.S. Geological Survey before joining the faculty of UMass Amherst in 1967.

Bromery went on to serve as chancellor of UMass Amherst from 1971 to 1979 before returning to teaching. He was appointed interim president of Westfield State College from 1988 to 1990, president of Springfield College from 1992 to 1997, and headed up Roxbury Community College from 2002 until retiring in 2003.

In 2003, President George W. Bush appointed Bromery to the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science.

Bromery received nine honorary degrees over the course of his career, including one from UMass Amherst in 1979. Bromery also served as president of the Geological Society of America. He was named the National Academy of Science's Outstanding Black Scientist in 1997.

After retiring from teaching, Bromery served as a trustee of Johns Hopkins University, Mount Holyoke College and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Bromley sat on the boards of more than eight major corporations, including Exxon, the Singer Company, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company and the John Hancock Life Insurance Company.

Calling hours will be Wednesday, March 6 from 4-8 p.m. at Douglass Funeral Service, 87 North Pleasant St. in Amherst.

UMass Amherst officials say a memorial service will be held on their campus sometime this spring.

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