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October 15, 2018

Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight - Alfonso Miguel Alvarado

In 1965 Alfonso M. Alvarado became Assistant to the Provost for International Programs at Case Institute of Technology. He was head of a program of assistance to Mexican colleges and universities.

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Alfonso M. Alvarado

Born in Cartago, Costa Rica in 1900, Alvarado came to the United States as a boy, living in New Orleans. He received his B.E. in Chemical Engineering from Tulane University in 1921. He attended graduate school at the University of Iowa, receiving the M.S. in Industrial Chemistry with minors in bacteriology and water analysis in 1922, and the Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry with a first minor in Organic Chemistry in 1924. Dr. Alvarado married Bertha V. Couture in 1924, and they had 3 children: Donald M., Shirley L., and Nancy E. He became a naturalized citizen in 1935.

After completing his education, Alvarado served as Professor and Head of the Department of Science at Waukon Junior College in Waukon, Iowa, 1924-1925. He was Associate Professor of Chemistry at Loyola University in New Orleans for 2 years, 1925-1927, before beginning a 37-year career as a Senior Research Chemist in the Central Research Department at E. I. duPont deNemours Co. After his retirement from DuPont, Dr. Alvarado joined CIT.

The Ford Foundation had approved a grant of $70,000 to CIT for a “1 1/2 year participation in the Foundation’s program for Technology Manpower Training in Mexico....The Case program involves working with educators in Mexico to help the development of higher education in engineering and science. Case already has a program in Monterrey, Mexico under which seven Case juniors study for a year at the Institute of Technology.”

After Dr. Alvarado’s retirement from CWRU in 1968, he was retained as a consultant in patent matters by the Office of Research Administration. During his career at DuPont he received 15 patents.

He was a member of Gamma Alpha Honorary Scientific Fraternity and the American Chemical Society. At CIT he was a member of the Provost Council and the Steering Committee Representative for the Indo-American Program at the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur, India.

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