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Rudolph (Rudy) Deanin was 13 when he visited the DuPont exhibit at the World’s Fair of 1933-34 and decided he would become a chemist.
Now 85, Deanin continues to teach a course in plastics chemistry to last-semester seniors in the Plastics Engineering Department, and is author of the book Polymer Structure, Properties and Applications. He jokes that “you used to have to retire at age 65, but after I passed the physical and mental exam for an extension, they just forgot to send me back the next yearߞ;and I’ve been here ever since.”
Prof. Deanin joined the faculty in 1967, after 20 years in industry, and was honored recently for 40 years of service. Joining him as honoree was Prof. Stephen Orroth, executive director of the department, who completed his doctorate here and “stayed on” to join the faculty in 1966.
The student chapter of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) led the ceremony and roast during one of the SPE seminars held on campus; the large audience included many industry representatives. Deanin and Orroth each received a UMass Lowell tie and ruby (the 40-year anniversary stone) tie tack.
Department chair Prof. Robert Malloy says, “These two bring an experience for which there’s just no substitute. It speaks to the atmosphere in the departmentߞ;people here are not just counting the days to retirement.”
Deanin’s sense of humor is irrepressible. For an interview by Modern Plastics Magazine recently, he wrote, “When I started at Lowell Textile, we had classes six days a week. All the students wore uniforms. All the professors wore caps and gowns. They didn’t get much respect from the Administration. Or the students. But it really impressed the parents.”
Next year, says Malloy, Profs. Stephen Driscoll and Aldo Crugnola will reach 40 years of service.