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Bob Carter ’42

In 1943, as World War II escalated, Bob Carter ’42 was recruited to the Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico to work on The Manhattan Project, the international effort to build the first atomic explosive. “In large part,” he says, “Washington College determined my future with the project. As the College’s only physics major, I was asked to be a lab assistant for Dr. Coop, responsible for setting up lab experiments for other science majors.” Today, the 90-year-old nuclear physicist still has his hand in the field as he sits on a professional committee for the American Nuclear Society, reviewing rights and standards in the nuclear industry.

The father of 11, Carter gives back to WC because he wants today’s students to have the same opportunities he had. He recalls a time in his undergraduate career when he owed almost $100 on his bill and would not be allowed to take his finals until the bill was paid. “I told Mr. Johns, the comptroller, that I didn’t have the money and neither did my father. Mr. Johns pulled out his checkbook and paid the bill. In return he asked me to return to Chestertown for two weeks in the summer and take his son and a friend of his camping. It doesn’t get more personal than that.”