Dorothy Schroeder Lehmkuhl '42 '46 MA was ahead of her time. She was one of the few female chemistry majors at Montclair State in the late 1930’s and early 1940s. Dorothy participated in Science Club, Swimming Club, and Players Club during her student days. She was an excellent science student and become close with chemistry Professor Rufus D. Reed (later professor emeritus). They would remain lifelong friends.rofessor Reed put himself through graduate school at Ohio State University as a high school chemistry teacher in Lakewood, Ohio. He had started his teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse. This background enabled Dr. Reed, now with a doctorate in chemistry, to accept a call from Montclair State Teachers College in 1929 to come to the school as a professor of chemistry. He stayed at Montclair State until his retirement.
After graduation, Dorothy worked at Aberdeen Proving Grounds as an analytical chemist during World War II. Later, she became a chemistry teacher and taught at Lyndhurst High School from 1956 to 1984, sharing her love of chemistry with hundreds of students and staying in touch with many of them after they graduated. Dorothy also remained active with her alma mater. She was a past president of the Montclair State Alumni Association Board and received an Alumni Citation Award in 1986 for her outstanding service and dedication to Montclair State.
Concerned about the dearth of female chemistry students and wanting to help get more women into the scientific field, Professor Reed, Dorothy, and her husband George W. Lehmkuhl established The Rufus Reed/Dorothy Schroeder Lehmkuhl Scholarship in 1992. The Scholarship benefits full-time female undergraduate students majoring in chemistry or biochemistry. The recipient must have at least a 3.25 cumulative GPA, and is chosen by the Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics and the Chair of the Chemistry/Biochemistry Department.
After Dorothy passed away in 2007, Professor Reed’s son Lt. Col. (Ret.) Russell F. Reed ’49 ’50 MA, who knew Dorothy, continued to fund the scholarship in memory of her and of his father. Col. Reed has many wonderful memories of Montclair State over the years. The Reed family lived on McCosh Road, very close to campus. When he first came to Montclair State, the entire school consisted of College Hall, College High School, dormitories Chapin Hall and Russ Hall, and a power plant, plus a football field and tennis courts. The amphitheater came later, in the 1930s. Normal Avenue was the only entrance to campus in those days. Col. Reed remembers the veterans’ facilities on campus after World War II, with separate barracks for single and married returning veterans.
Col. Reed attended College High School on campus and earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the College after returning from WWII. A science major and mathematics minor, he also played basketball for the school his freshman year.
One of his favorite memories is when he received his master’s degree in 1950. Professor Millstead, running the “Hooding” procession, stopped the line of graduates for a special surprise: his father stepped in and put on his master’s degree hood. It was a very meaningful experience.
Col. Reed also remembers Professor Robert McLoughlin, who he worked for as a laboratory assistant. When the professor gave him his master’s degree oral examinations, “he gave me no special treatment for being a professor’s son,” Reed recalls. “The tests were very long and thorough. I felt completely drained at the end,” he shares.
Col. Reed is a retired Air Force Officer and retired pilot for Eastern Airlines. “Flying for the airlines was much safer than flying for the military!” he jokes. During World War II he was stationed in England with the 8th Air Force. He served with close friends, including the late Albert Hunter ’47 and Steve Shanes. His plane was shot down over Germany and he was captured as a Prisoner of War.
After the war he returned to Montclair State and graduated in 1949, later getting his master’s degree as well. He remained active as an Air Force Reservist in the military as a flight instructor at Newark Airport in the late 1940s. In the early 1950s he was again on active duty at McGuire Air Force Base as a fighter pilot with Air Defense Command plus other assignments until the mid-1950s. He was last on campus about seven years ago and was impressed by all the changes and growth.
Thanks to the vision and generosity of Rufus Reed and Dorothy Schroeder Lehmkuhl and the continued kindness of Russell Reed, deserving female chemistry students have a brighter future at Montclair State and in their careers.