Golding, Brage (1920-2016) | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
Brage Golding was born in Chicago, Illinois on April 28, 1920, and received his elementary and secondary education in the public schools of Oak Park, a western suburb of Chicago. After receiving a B. S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University, he began graduate work in chemistry at the University of Chicago. His higher education was interrupted by the entrance of the United States into the Second World War. He spent four and one-half years as an officier in the Army Field Artillery, leaving the service in 1946 as a Major. He returned to Purdue where he served as an instructor in mathematics and as a Lilly Fellow in Chemical Engineering. He received his Ph.D. degree from Purdue in 1948.
Upon completion of his graduate studies, he was appointed assistant director of research for The Lilly Varnish Company of Indianapolis with primary responsibility for administering the research done for the company by graduate fellows at Purdue University. He became at the same time a research associate at the University.
His own fields of inquiry during those years included work in phenolic and alkyd resins, silicones, urethanes, mechanical and chemical dispersion systems, and the optical properties of films. In 1953, he organized and taught the first courses in polymer chemistry and engineering at Purdue. He wrote a book Polymers and Resins: Their Chemistry and Engineering, a text and reference work for the rapidly growing plastics field. This book, published by the D. Van Nostrand Company in 1959, grew out of his own teaching in a field for which there was no adequate comprehensive work. He became Director of Research for The Lilly Varnish Company in 1957, and was appointed Visiting Professor of Engineering at Purdue University.
In 1959, he left industry to become Profesor and Head of the School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue where he continued to serve until accepting the presidency of Wright State University in October 1966. During this time he continued his teaching and research activities in the area of polymers, adding now fundamental studies of the mechanisms of adhesion. He has paptents in nylon manufacture, dispersion systems, packaging design, and molding. Golding served as a consultant to industries in the chemical field.
After six years at Wright State, he went to San Diego State and served as president there from 1972-1977. Brage Golding was appointed president of Kent State University in 1977, succeeding Glenn Olds. The campus was still in turmoil following the shootings of four students on May 4, 1970 and the Tent City Gym Annex protests of 197-1977. Golding remained at Kent State until his retirement in 1982.