Robert H. Gumtow was a beloved colleague and faculty member who taught in the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences for more than thirty years.
Gumtow served in an army during the Korean War, during which he contracted tubercular meningitis and was left partially paralyzed and an amnesiac. He underwent five years of rehabilitation where he recovered movement in his limbs and relearned what had been blotted out by the illness.
His dramatic personal experiences were instrumental in teaching him to persevere through any obstacle. His fortitude complemented his compassionate approach to healthcare, and he served as a model and inspiration for the many students he counseled through pharmacy-student affairs, advisor to the pharmacy academic honor society, Rho Chi, and those for whom he taught pharmacy education.
Author and co-author of numerous papers, he was a member of the American Pharmaceutical Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, and the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan.
In 1970, Gumtow's colleagues petitioned the university to grant him professorial rank, which he received. Eleven years later, he was awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Prof. Gumtow passed away July 30, 1994 at the age of 64 immediately after retiring from the School. “Many students are indebted to him for their success,” said Dr. Ho-Leung Fung, who was then chairman of the pharmaceutics department and a personal friend.