Making a Difference 

Malcolm Blum: 
Thanks, Albany 
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 without it.” 

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