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Honoring the life of Alvin Bober

All of us at EAS are grieving the loss of our friend and colleague Alvin Bober, who passed away last year at the age of 97 (Alvin Bober obituary).  Alvin was a member of the EAS board for 30 years, a former secretary, and a former delegate of the Society of Applied Spectroscopy. A gifted writer and fearless fund raiser, with an engaging personality, he had a lasting influence on the organization. He and his wife Dena attended nearly every symposium until his health made it difficult for them to travel to NJ. On the board, he was a champion for chemistry education, which he considered a key part of the technical program and he often volunteered to organize and chair the Education sessions.  His real passion was for Student Seminars which he coordinated and ran almost single-handedly for many years. Many of us remember him at the seminars, surrounded by high-school students, discussing their future and encouraging their interest in chemistry.  In his last years on the board, Alvin served as a mentor and advisor for the Seminars and Fund Raising committee chairs.

Alvin was a graduate of the University of Connecticut (BS Chemistry 1943) and New York University (M.S. Chemistry 1948). He had a long career as an Analytical Chemist at the United State Customs Office, first in New York, then in Baltimore. After retiring in 1979, Alvin worked for a custom software developer, Fein Marquart Associates, before returning to government as Director of the Environmental Laboratory for the State of Maryland.  Alvin also taught general and forensic chemistry courses at McDaniel College, UMBC and Towson University.

In addition to EAS, Alvin remained active in several chemistry professional organizations throughout his long career and in retirement. A 60-year member of ACS and distinguished member award recipient for the Maryland Section, he was an active participant in many of their events. He held several leadership roles at the Society of Applied Spectroscopy, culminating with his serving as their National President in 1989, and managing the Journal of Applied Spectroscopy for many years.

Anne-Françoise Aubry