Dr. Barbara and  Dr. Mark Chamberlain

Dr. Barbara and Dr. Mark Chamberlain

Dr. Mark M. Chamberlain was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island to Lois Monroe, a registered nurse, and Meryl Chamberlain, a chemist. He had one younger brother, Robert. When Mark was 9 years old, the family moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania because his father was offered a chemistry position in the Koppers Company, a global chemical company.

Mark graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (he joined the American Chemical Society as a student and remained a member for 60 years) as one of its top chemistry students and was immediately accepted to the University of Illinois where he conducted research under the renowned chemist, Dr. John Baylor. Mark received his doctorate from the University of Illinois and became a faculty member at Western Reserve University (later Case Western Reserve University). Mark taught there for 13 years and served as assistant chair of the chemistry department and Vice Provost for Student Services before becoming the fourth president of Glassboro State College. In 1969, Mark Chamberlain was the first president selected by a combination of faculty and students, rather than to be appointed by the state, and at 38, he was the youngest president in the school’s history. Mark served as president of Glassboro State College until 1984, when he stepped down to return to teaching. He was appointed distinguished professor of chemistry, a post he held until his retirement in 2000.

During his presidency Mark navigated the college through turbulent times, avoiding the chaos and destructive outbursts that occurred on other campuses. He oversaw the development of three new academic divisions, encouraged a dozen new major programs, two educational specialist programs and multiple minor, specialization and concentration programs. He saw the school’s enrollment go from 3,529 in 1968 to 8,788 in 1984 and oversaw the building or purchase of nine new buildings. He changed the institution from a teachers college to a multipurpose institution, developed the first student security force in the state, and promoted the student ambulance squad and first aid station on the campus. Rowan University named its new student center after Mark in 2006, recognizing his extensive work with students during his time at the institution. While he lived in Glassboro, Mark was a volunteer firefighter. He was also an active member of Friends of Gettysburg National Park and St. Mark’s at the Crossing Church.

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