Henry W. (Hank) Founds

July 3, 2008


Interviewed by Ann Kelsey

Filmed by Michael OíHagan

For the County College of Morris, Learning Resource Center

Randolph, New Jersey

County College of Morris 40th Anniversary

Transcribed by Jardee Transcription, Tucson, Arizona


Today is Thursday, July 3, 2008, and this is an interview with Henry W. Founds.  Mr. Founds is being interviewed at the Media Center, County College of Morris, Randolph, New Jersey.  The interviewer is Ann Kelsey, Associate Director, Learning Resource Center, County College of Morris.  The interview is being filmed by Michael OíHagan, Producer, Learning Resource Center.  This interview is for the County College of Morrisí 40th Anniversary Oral History Project.  Mr. Founds is one of County College of Morrisí founding faculty.

Kelsey:   When and where were you born and raised?

Founds:  I was born in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, and I spent quite a few years there before I went to college.  And then ultimately my father was transferred to Morristown.  At that time it was Allied Chemical and Dye Corporation.  So we then moved to Madison.  I continued my education at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, graduated from there, and then began teaching at a local private high school for four years.  During that period I went for my masterís degree:  the NIH [National Institutes of Health] had a program for high school teachers to get a masterís degree in biology at the University of Notre Dame.  So I spent quite a few summers taking courses at Notre Dame.  And then ultimately in 1967, I saw an advertisement for a position here at the college, just getting its start.  I applied for the position, even though at that time I didnít have my masterís degree in hand.  So I interviewed and was hired as an instructional assistant, until I got my masterís degree, which happened to be the very year I joined the faculty here.  So I served as what they called an instructional assistant in biology for the first year, and then I was promoted to instructor in the second year.

Kelsey:   Where were you teaching when you decided to start going for your masterís?

Founds:  The name of the high school, which is now closed, was Bayley-Ellard High School in Madison.

Kelsey:   Were you in college when your family moved to Madison?

Founds:  Yes.

Kelsey:   So you were already going to Villanova?

Founds:  Yes, I was going for my bachelorís degree at the time.

Kelsey:   What subject was your bachelorís and masterís in?

Founds:  I had a major in biology and a minor in chemistry.

Kelsey:   And that was true for both your bachelorís and your masterís?

Founds Masterís was strictly biologyóbiochemistry.

Kelsey:   And so then you were an instructional assistant when you started in September of 1968?

Founds:  Right.  There were two of us in biology at the time.  Tim Patschkewas the instructor, and he had his masterís at the time, and I was the instructional assistant.  So my duty was Ö I think I did some teaching, but my responsibilities really centered around getting the department up and running, as far as the laboratories were concerned.

Kelsey:   Why did you decide to teach?

Founds:  Well, I always wanted to teach.  I felt that that was a career choice that I had made when I was in eighth grade, believe it or not.  A lot of kids today donít know what they want to do.  I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and I pursued that.  But I knew that ultimately I would want to teach at a college level, and I got four years of experience teaching at a private high school, which was very good experience, but this became a dream for me, that when this school opened, I thought, ďWow, this is a brand new school, brand new facilities,Ē and it looked like an exciting opportunity, so I decided to apply and determine if this was for me.

Kelsey:   County colleges were brand new, at least on the East Coast, in the sixties.

Founds:  Correct.

Kelsey:   What drew you to a county college?

Founds:  Well, first of all, to teach at a full four-year college, you need a Ph.D.  They donít hire many people with masterís degrees.  And I knew what the salaries were at the four-year colleges, and they donít hire you so much to teach, as to do research.  And to do that, you really need a Ph.D.  So the County College of Morris was more of a teaching institution than a research institution.  And it seemed to be a school where there was going to be quality stressed, in a lot of different ways.  We were very proud as a faculty when the school opened, because the school was, I think, founded on a lot of quality principles.

Kelsey:   How do you think that came about, that it had that kind of a reputation, even when you were being interviewed?

Founds:  Well, I think that a good part of that was that the school had money to spend, and the institution, as you could see from its founding, had buildings that didnít look like something out of World War II.  I mean, they built solid buildings, they were architecturally nice-looking, very sound and efficient inside.  The laboratories were all new, and all the equipment was new.  I think the faculty felt that they wanted to have this school be the best of the two-year colleges in the state.

Kelsey:   How old were you when you started working at CCM?

Founds:  I was twenty-six years old.

Kelsey:   And you had been in college pretty much straight through.

Founds:  I continued my education.  As I graduated from my bachelorís degree and teaching, I immediately applied for this NIH grant to continue my education.  So my goal was always to continue my education.

Kelsey:   What year did you graduate with your B.A.?

Founds:  I was a B.S. in 1964, and I got my masterís when I joined the college in 1968.

Kelsey:   What was the physical campus like at that time in í68?

Founds:  Well, there was only one building, and that was Henderson Hall.  Everything was located there.  And I had the unfortunate problem of having to equip the laboratory.  There was only one biology lab that I can remember, in that building.  And I think I was also involved in the chemistry laboratory as well.  But I remember that I had to make sure that everything was safe, and one of the elements of that building was shower heads, showers, in case someone were to spill something on themselves that was caustic or whateveróunsafe.  Actually, we had started teaching before those laboratories were complete.  So the president was downstairs, under the laboratory.  So I asked the guy to pull the chain to make sure that the shower head was working properly, and of course what they didnít tell me was they had not plugged all the holes in the floor around the drains.  And the shower went off, as it was supposed to, but it didnít turn off.  So it basically filled the container that was supposed to collect the water, and continued to fill, and they could not get the thing to turn off, and they didnít know where the valve was.  So as a result, there was a flood on that floor, which went right directly down to the president, on his head!  So that was kind of a joke for the time being.  He was baptized in that building by me.

Kelsey:   Thatís a good story.  What was it like around, outside of Henderson Hall, in terms ofÖ.

Founds:  I donít remember clearly, but it was a beautiful campus, and we knew that more buildings were going to be built.  I donít remember if they had started more buildings at that time or not.  But it was a wonderful place to teach and to come, to just be here.

Kelsey:   Was there a cafeteria?

Founds:  I think everything was in Henderson Hall.  I donít know that they had the building across the way built yet, the cafeteria building.  I donít remember that.  I think Henderson Hall served all of those purposes.

Kelsey:   Where did you all eat?

Founds:  Well, as I said, I think there was a cafeteria in that building, in Henderson Hall, because there werenít many faculty members or students, so it didnít require much of a room to cater to these people.  Now, there was another buildingóin fact, my office was thereóit was the Dalrymple House because this was part of the Dalrymple Estate, if I remember correctly.  That building still exists.  Itís down below here on the campus.  I donít know what itís serving the purpose for now, but at that time it was faculty offices.  And then ultimately as Henderson Hall was completed, we moved to Henderson, and then ultimately the science wings were built, and we all moved up there.

Kelsey:   What were the rules regarding smoking on campus and in the classrooms or the labs?

Founds:  I never smoked, so I donít know, but I donít think smoking was allowed in the rooms, in the classrooms.  Whether it was allowed in the building, I donít know, at that time.

Kelsey:   What about the labs?

Founds:  Labs you could definitely not smoke.  That was a safety issue.

Kelsey:   What was the atmosphere like on campus during that first semester?

Founds:  I think it was very positive.  People were excited about the expansion that was going to take place.  The student body, I thought, was very good.  I mean, it was your average college group.  I think the makeup, as time went on, could be described as sort of bicameral.  There was a group of students that were solid college students, and there was a group that didnít quite have what it took to compete at the college level.  And I would notice that in my grades, when it came time to grade the students:  There always seemed to be a population, about two-thirds of the students, that you would probably find at any college, four-year school.  But then there was another third that struggledóprobably more so than what you would see for students in a four-year school, only because they probably would not be able to get into [such] a college.  But this was an open enrollment school, they were given an opportunity to try.

Kelsey:   During that first semester in the fall of í68, a lot of things had happened right before that, in terms of the world at large.

Founds:  Correct.

Kelsey:   The Kennedy assassination, Martin Luther King, the Democratic convention, Tet in Vietnam.  Do you remember any of those incidents, the fallout from that, showing up on the campus and in what the students did?

Founds:  No, I think the major issue was the Vietnam War.  And I think a lot of students probably had that in mind, that if they didnít do well in college and continued their college education, they may have been called up for that war.  Now, they did change the way in which students were treated.  Later on, people joined, they had a lottery system later on that was developed.  But if you were a college student, you had a waiver, you werenít called up, unless they absolutely needed you.  But that was really the only fallout.  The Kennedy assassination and all of that occurred before 1968, so that really didnít have much of an effect, I donít think.

Kelsey:   I meant Bobby Kennedy.

Founds:  Yeah.  I think that people were shocked by that, but I donít remember what the fallout might have been at the time.  I still think the war was probably the biggest issue here on campus.

Kelsey:   Do you remember any protests?

Founds:  Yes, there were certainlyÖ.  This was a rather conservative county, so therefore protests were not as active as you might find in more liberal areas.  But there certainly were people protesting the war, certainly as it went on.  So that did occur.  I donít remember, we didnít close school, to my recollection, because of it.  And there werenít any riots or anything of that nature.  These were generally peaceful protests.

Kelsey:   Do you remember if there were any veterans going to school?

Founds:  There probably were, but I donít remember specifically having contact with them, or talking about the war with any veteran that I knew of anyway.

Kelsey:   What was the world like for you in 1968, what concerned you personally?

Founds:  Well, not much.  I mean, certainly the war was on my mind.  But I knew from the draftboard, in which I had to appear to discuss my situation, which was in Philadelphia, that my chances of being [drafted] were pretty slim.  So I wasnít really concerned about having to go to war.  If I had to, I was going to, but it seems as if I was going to be exemptóand for particular reasons:  because I was teaching science, because I was teaching nurses, they felt that teaching that particular population was important to the war effort.  So for that reason, they basically took other people besides myself.  But other than that, I think it was a pretty nice time all around.  I donít ever remember being stressed.  We were very busy here, and excited about the college, and I think it was a nice timeóexcept for those poor people that had to go to the war.

Kelsey:   Because you taught biology, practically everyone who had a nursing major would pass through.

Founds:  Correct.

Kelsey:   What was the demographic of the nursing class like?

Founds:  Well, I think most of the students were older than your typical student, four-year college population.  It was a mix.  There were some younger people, but I think the average age might have been around thirty, thirty-five, somewhere in there.  So it was an older group.  It wasnít a group of students coming directly out of high school.

Kelsey:   And what about in terms of gender?

Founds:  Oh, all women.  There were very few men.

Kelsey:   But there were a few?

Founds:  There were a few.

Kelsey:   How did they do vis-ŗ-vis the women, in terms of class work then?

Founds:  I would have to say that they were probably the brightest crop of students on the campus.  Very hard working.  They had a goal.  They knew after two years they would become a nurse.  So they worked very hard, they were excellent students, and there were very few that I remember having a problem.  I mean, they worked very hard.  The nursing department, I think, was a very sort of exclusive group here, because nursing as a career was highly valued.  A lot of studentsthat go to four-year schools or even two-year schools, really donít know what they want to do, whereas this group of students knew what they wanted, knew that when they got out they would have a job, and a good job.

Kelsey:   What was the social life like for faculty and other people who were working at the college?

Founds:  Well, they had parties here, I rememberóactually for the students and the faculty, for the faculty to mix with the students and the administration.  They were very nice.  I think that there were some groups of faculty that would get together from time to time.  Usually the heads of the departments would have members of the department over for a picnic or whatever during the summer.  But as I said, the first year was really a very hard-working year, so we didnít do a lot of socializing, that I can remember.

Kelsey:   Were there any local hot spots?

Founds:  Because I wasnít much of a beer drinker, I didnít really frequent many of those places that I can remember, but we would go to a place down here on Route 10, which was an Italian restaurant.  A lot of our affairs were held there.  It burned down.  I canít even remember the name of it now.  But itís just down below the college, as you go east, on the west side of Route 10.

Kelsey:   How did you dress to go to work?

Founds:  Hm, thatís a good question.  Honestly, I donít remember whether we wore suit coats and ties at that time or not.  I donít remember.  We certainly didnít dress down.  I mean, we wore business clothes.  But whether we wore a suit coat and tieÖ.  I think in the beginning we did.  It was a requirement of the college that we come dressed in professional business attire.  But as time went on, I think they changed the rules.

Kelsey:   How did you get to work?

Founds:  Drove.

Kelsey:   And what kind of a car did you drive?

Founds:  Ah!  (laughs)  I think at the time I was driving a 1968 Pontiac LeMans, if I remember correctly.

Kelsey:   Where were you living?

Founds:  Well, I lived at home, because the high school where I taught was right next door to where I lived in Madison.  But when I joined the faculty here, I started looking around to see if there were any faculty members interested in sharing an apartment, and lo and behold, Jerry Luboff, who was in the English department, was looking for, I think, a third person to join him at an apartment in Morristown.  It was in a two-bedroom apartment where three of us shared the rent.  We couldnít afford the rent by ourselvesóit was too expensive at the time.  Today it would be cheap.  So three of us essentially lived out of that apartment for a while.

Kelsey:   So you drove west then, from Morristown.

Founds:  Correct.

Kelsey:   Describe what Route 10 looked like at that time.

Founds:  Believe it or not, I think there were farm fields on both sides of Route 10, that I can rememberóopen fieldsówhich now are occupied by buildings.So it was pretty well open.  I mean, it wasnít as populated with places as we see today.  So there was still a lot of open land, not many buildings.

Kelsey:   What about the traffic?

Founds:  The traffic was lighter than I think it is today, but then the highways, if I remember correctly, werenít that great.  I think they widened Route 10 as the traffic became heavier.  But I still think at rush hour it probably was lighter than it is today.

Kelsey:   What about the intersection at Center Grove Road and Route 10, where you would turn in to the college?

Founds:  Nothing strikes out in my mind.  I canít remember that there was any difficulty there.  I think they always had a left-hand turn lane there for those of us coming west.  I think they made that additional lane.  But nothing particularly stands out in my mind.

Kelsey:   And what was on those four corners?

Founds:  Actually those four corners looked pretty much the same, except for what is on the right side going west, which is now an A&P shopping center.  That was not there.  And I honestly donít remember what was there.

Kelsey:   What were the students like?

Founds:  I think at that time, when I first joined the college, they were very hard-working, a little older than your typical four-year college student.  Many of them couldnít afford a four-year college education, but they could certainly have easily gotten into a four-year school.  So this afforded them an opportunity to come here for two years and then transfer to a four-year school, and not have to pay four yearsí worth of a four-year tuition.  And this school was reasonably inexpensive at the time, and a bargain, so I think that attracted a lot of students.

The faculty, if you looked at the degrees they held, were as good as any faculty at most four-year colleges that you could go to, and represented a broad range of schools:  Ivy League and state schools, etc.  So I think the faculty were excellent.  Certainly the facilities were new, and the price was right.

Kelsey:   Describe a typical day in the classroom.

Founds:  Thatís really hard, because Iíd have to remember what it was like forty-some years ago.  It probably isnít much different than it is today:  students would show up for class, we told themóI think this was developed early onóthat we would give them a syllabus, let them know what we expected of them for the semester, and it was lecture.  I think for the most part it was lecture-centeredócertainly in science anyway.  They would take notes, and we would give tests.  The classes werenít too large, so there was a lot of give and take, students asked a lot of questions.  And I think in general it felt like any other school.  I had done some teaching at a four-year school, so I knew a little bit about what to expect in the freshman year.  I was teaching at Rutgers when I was going for my graduate degree there, so I got an idea of what that was like.

Kelsey:   Describe what was considered cutting edge classroom technology in 1968.

Founds:  Well, the overhead projector (laughs) was as cutting edge as I can think of.  We may have had closed-circuit TV at the time, too, if I remember correctly.  Certainly the technology has changed a lot.  We had a printing department, which you donít have that anymore, Iím sure.  So you would take your tests that youíd typed up on mimeograph paperóthat was another thing we hadóyou would take it to the printing center, and they would mimeograph off your testsówhich, of course, was all ink-based technology.  Then it went to copy machines, I think in the end.  In the eighties they had new copy machinesóthat was the new technology.  So it was pretty primitive.  And we had Selectric typewriters, the electric typewriters, that I remember using.  Ultimately, if I remember correctly, while we were there, computers finally made our desks.  But I donít remember if that happened while I was still here.

Kelsey:   Describe student behavior and dress.

Founds:  Itís very difficult to remember that.  I think that because the students were a little older, they were more serious.  If you go to a typical state four-year college, you might find the students to be a little immature.  I think this group was a little bit more mature.  However, there were students who were not good students.  They didnít come from classrooms and high schools where they learned much.  So as I said, about a third of the class had difficulty.  But overall, I would say the students were serious, mature, and interested in learning.  But remember, there was a different motivation for that.  If they were to fail out of college, then they probably would have been drafted.

Kelsey:   So the students who were having difficulty, did they really try hard to be able to make it through?

Founds:  Some did, not all.  Some were not very serious.  They were just here to bide their time and hope that they wouldnít be drafted.

Kelsey:   What do you remember most about that first year?

Founds:  Well, the fact that we were all very proud, that the college had such a quality faculty, quality campus, and that we were all interested in making this an excellent school.  And we worked very hard.  I mean, it was a really tough year, because everything was new, so we were starting from scratch.  So we were a very close-knit faculty.  And I remember it being a lot of fun, because we felt that we were really contributing to something that was important, and that would be here for a long time.

Kelsey:   You left CCM in 1983.

Founds:  Correct.

Kelsey:   Did you also leave teaching?

Founds:  Yes.  I had gotten my Ph.D. in microbiology at Rutgers University in 1981.  In 1983, I was recruited to join a biotechcompany, in, of all places, Portland, Maine.  There was a group out of Harvard University that had started this company.  It was cheaper to start it in Maine than it was in Boston, but Boston was only three hours away.  So I decided I would test the waters to see what this was all about.  The biotech revolution had just started.  Back in the seventies, some of that technology laid the foundation for development of products in the late 1970s and early 1980.  So I joined that company, and that was quite exciting.

Kelsey:   Have you been on the campus recently, other than coming for this interview?

Founds:  No, this was the first time in a long time.

Kelsey:   How do you think community colleges have changed since 1968?

Founds:  Well, certainly because of the number of years of existence, theyíve grown in size, and certainly physical plant.  I mean, this place seems bigger than it was when I was here.  I really canít say much more than that, because I donít have any [recent] experience teaching here, so I donít know what itís like.  But I would say it probably has become, and will become, a more important component of an individualís education, as time goes on, because four-year colleges are getting totally out of sight for most families.  They just canít afford them.  So I think that as an alternative for the first two years, I think a lot of students will look toward the two-year college to fulfill those first two years of education.  And theyíll certainly find that the quality is here for those first two years.  And then theyíll go on to a four-year school, finish off in two years.  In actual fact, thatís what my kids didóespecially my daughter wasnít sure what she wanted to major in.  So I sent her here for the first two years.  That was a while ago.  She then went to Rutgers University and majored in English.  And to this day, she said that she felt that she had better teachers hereóas a wholeóthan she had at Rutgers.  So that speaks well for the college.

Kelsey:   Is there anything else youíd like to add?

Founds:  No, not really.  I think thatís about it.

Kelsey:   Okay, very good.  Thank you.

Founds:  Thank you.




Administration, 10

Bayley-Ellard High School, 2

Biotech research, 15

Cafeteria, 5

Campus, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 14, 15

Center Grove Road, 12

Classroom, typical day, 13

Dalrymple House, 6

Daughter, 16

Development, 11

Dress, 10, 14

Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, 1

Early life, 1

Faculty, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

Flood, president's office, 4

Gender, 9

Henderson Hall, 4, 5

Kennedy, Bobby, 7

Laboratory, 4, 6

Luboff, Jerry, 11

Morristown, New Jersey, 1, 11

Military draft, 7, 8, 14

National Institutes of Health, 1, 4

Notre Dame, University of, 1

Nursing program, 8

Patschke, Tim, 2

Protests, 7

Route 10, 10, 11, 12

Rutgers University, 15, 16

Smoking, 6

Social life, 9, 10

Students, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16

Technology, 13, 14, 15

Transportation, 10, 11

Veterans, 8

Vietnam War, 7

Villanova University, 1, 2



County College of Morris opened its doors in September of 1968. Join us in celebrating 40 years of connecting learning and life. Read about THE EVENTS that shaped the times, remember THE CULTURE, and join the founding CCM students, staff, and faculty as they share with us THE MEMORIES of those early days.