Robert F. Fleming, one of the early silicone research chemists, graduated from PC in 1935. The planned gift that he and his wife, Irene, have left the College will impact the lives of many students as they prepare for the future.
From Laurens, S.C., Bob earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and received a commission as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve while at PC. He taught for three years in South Carolina schools before going to Cornell University. There, he earned a graduate degree in organic chemistry. Bob joined the J. Franklin Hyde Organic Silicone Laboratory of Corning, Inc. in Corning, N.Y. in 1941.
In August 1942, he was called to active duty and assigned to the army amphibious engineers. He served in the Pacific Theatre in Australia, and in combat in New Guinea, Biak, the Philippines, and Japan in September and October 1945.
After the war, Bob returned to Corning. In 1948, he transferred to the patent department of Dow Corning Corp. in Midland, N.Y., where he worked until his retirement. He was a patent agent registered to practice before the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office prosecuting patents on behalf of Dow Corning.
Bob married his beloved wife, Irene Walther, on Oct. 15, 1950, in Midland. Always active in the work of the church, Bob served many years as a Bible teacher for men, as a lay minister, and in various official capacities. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church.
He was a long-time supporter of PC, the Midland Symphony Orchestra, the Midland Center for the Arts, and many other educational and philanthropic organizations. He voluntarily prepared taxes for the elderly and others for more than 25 years. He was a member of the American Chemical Society for more than 50 years.