Retired Clarkson professor and administrator, Dr. Herman Shulman, 98, passed away on April 28, 2020 in Houston, Texas. He is among the members of the greater Clarkson family to have fallen ill with COVID-19.
Dr. Shulman joined Clarkson College of Technology in 1948 starting as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Over an illustrious career at Clarkson that spanned the next 40 years, he accepted leadership positions in his department, the school of Engineering and the University before he retired in 1988 as Executive Vice President. In 1966, he served as Acting President during the transition from President William Whitson to President John Graham, Jr.
“With our condolences to the Shulman family, we mourn the passing of Dr. Herman Shulman. He was a tremendous leader for decades at Clarkson, and his impact is still being felt here to this day,” said President Tony Collins. “His legacy will live on for years to come.
”The Wallace H. Coulter Foundation honored his service to the University by endowing a chair in his honor in 2003, currently held by Prof. Charlie Robinson in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Due to COVID-19, all memorial services will be private. His family has asked that memorials be made to Clarkson’s Student Emergency Relief Fund in his honor. Clarkson will forward personal messages of condolences to his family.
More about Dr. Shulman
Herman Shulman was born in the Bronx, New York in 1922, to Samuel and Sophie (Kaufmann) Shulman. Growing up in the Great Depression, he worked in a button factory and was a talented student who attended Stuyvesant High School, one of the most competitive schools in the city, and graduated in 1939. As a child, he and his brothers would sneak into Yankee Stadium to watch the legendary Babe Ruth hit home runs. His interest in science led him to study chemical engineering at the City College of New York, graduating with a B.Ch.E in 1942. During World War II, he worked for General Motors as an engineer helping formulate the paint on torpedo bombers used in the South Pacific. He married his high school sweetheart, Florence Israel, on December 24, 1942.
After the war, he worked for several chemical companies while he earned Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania as a DuPont Fellow. He joined Clarkson College of Technology in Potsdam, New York, starting as an assistant professor of chemical engineering in 1948, and worked there for forty years before he retired in 1988 as Executive Vice President.
He established the graduate school with Ph.D programs and held positions as Director of the Division of Research and Graduate Study, Chairman of the Chemical Engineering Department, Dean of Engineering and Executive Vice President and Provost.
In 1983, he led the team that made Clarkson the first college in the nation to provide each freshman with a Zenith Z-100 desktop PC. News media from all over the country came to Clarkson to witness this first in collegiate education and by the next year, the story had gone global with Clarkson featured in national and international media.
He also led the team that built and managed the Clarkson Inn, a boutique hotel on the scenic Racquette River in downtown Potsdam. Herman was a founding member of Congregation Beth El Temple in 1955, and served as its president in 1963. He was an avid golfer, and a regular member of the Thursday night men’s league in the summer. He was also a season ticket holder for the Clarkson College Golden Knights, a Division I hockey team. He attended the famous "Miracle on Ice" Olympic hockey game at Lake Placid in 1980. He was active in the Rotary Club, served for five years as the chairman of the St. Lawrence County Planning Board, and was a board member of the Adirondack Park Agency and the St. Lawrence East Ontario Commission.
After retiring, Herman and his wife, Florence, bought a home in Bradenton, Florida, spending six months of the year as “snowbirds” and six months in Potsdam. Many of their friends from Potsdam and the north country joined them in Bradenton. In 2010, they sold both homes and moved to Eagle’s Trace retirement community in Houston to be closer to family. Florence passed away in 2013. Herman was a long time member of the Fabulous Flyers WII bowling team there.
He is survived by his daughter, Nancy Weigel of Pearland, Texas and son Richard of Seattle, granddaughters Dana Weigel of League City, Texas, Jessie Shulman of Seattle, and Sophie Shulman of Denver, and great-grandchildren Kaden and Zoey Johnson-Weigel and Tatum Deebach of Seattle.