|Making a Difference
For Malcolm Blum, B.A.’54, enrolling
at the New York State College for Teachers was “the convenient and practical
thing to do.”
Blum had begun his college career at nearby
Union College in Schenectady as a premed major, but transferred to the
College for Teachers after one semester. “We ran out of money, and I decided
that I wasn’t suited for premed, anyway,” he said.
Luckily, his math instructor at Union was
also his academic adviser. He suggested that Blum, an ace math student,
consider becoming a math teacher. Blum took his advice, transferring to
the College for Teachers, the predecessor to the University at Albany,
in January of 1951. There was no tuition, and Bertha Brimmer, executive
secretary of the Alumni Association, gave him a kitchen job to pay for
his room and board at Vanderzee Hall, a residence on State Street which
housed about 50 men.
“I was a waiter and a cook on the weekends,”
said Blum, now a retired San Francisco schoolteacher. Recently, he gave
the University a total of $150,000. “I feel a great debt to New York State
and Albany in particular for giving me the opportunity to earn that bachelor’s
degree,” he explained.
After graduation and a brief stint in the
U.S. Army, Blum climbed on a Greyhound bus and headed for San Francisco,
where he served for more than 30 years as a math teacher, principal and
computer consultant, mostly in a middle school in the Millbrae School District.
Now in his 12th year of retirement, the 66-year-old Blum still lives in
the heart of San Francisco.
Blum designated $50,000 of his gift to set up an endowment in the School
of Education to support teacher preparatory programs. The University is
using the remainder for an income-producing trust fund known as a charitable
gift annuity. Blum will receive income from the trust fund during his lifetime.
He said he decided to make the
gift because “I want to express my gratitude to the University for my own
education by helping young people become teachers. I’m a staunch, staunch
advocate of public education. This country would just not be where it is
Character in the Academy
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News and Notes
Making a Difference
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