Remmers series: the talk of the town

A professor once called Walter Remmers, MetE’23, MS MetE’24, “the laziest man in school.” And Remmers owned up to it. “When I started here, I had a better high school education than most freshmen, but I didn’t work.” That professor’s comment lit a fire under Remmers, though, and he went on to excel in his studies and he earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in metallurgical engineering in 1923 and 1924, respectively. But one thing was missing from his education: a “lack of refinement.” 

Graduates of his era “left the campus as well-trained, well-educated engineers. But when it came to the rest of the world, they were a bunch of country bumpkins.” This led Remmers and his wife, Miriam Remmers, to establish the Remmers Special Artist/Lecturer Series. Starting with former U.S. President Gerald Ford in 1979, the series has brought world leaders to campus including former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former U.S. secretaries of state Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, journalists Charles Kuralt and Steve and Cokie Roberts, and renowned performers like Itzhak Perlman, Wynton Marsalis and Yo-Yo Ma. 

Today, the Remmers Series continues under the leadership of Walter and Miriam’s son, John Remmers, a 1984 graduate in metallurgical engineering, and a campus committee.

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