Bulletin September 2006
Volume 74 | Issue 5
September 2006

Late ACUI president saw students as the future

Floyd I. Brewer, ACUI president 1961–62, believed that college students were the key to the future. In his keynote speech at the Region 6 conference in 1960, he said: “College students are a select group. They are the cream of the crop. Practically all of them should have leadership potential. They are the nation’s best hope for survival.”

The rest of Brewer’s speech was aimed at both those who held student and union leadership positions, to which he listed several questions that he said he had “always wanted to hear union leaders answer.” Through his questions, he asked student leaders to be dedicated and loyal, not spreading themselves too thin over several leadership positions on campus; he urged union leaders to start fresh every year to “meet the needs of the changing student body in the dynamic fashion they should be met.”

ACUI recently learned that Brewer died on Nov. 8, 2005, in his home in Delmar, N.Y., at age 84. Outside of being an ACUI president, Brewer also served as vice president, chairman for the Research Committee, and director of two unions—University of Bridgeport, 1947–56, and the University of Cincinnati, 1956–66. Brewer then went to work at the University of Albany, which he retired from in 1983.

Previous to his work with ACUI, Brewer graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine in Gorham in 1944. After graduating, he served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II and was discharged in 1946. Brewer then attended the Teachers College of Columbia University, earning a master’s degree and Ed.D. in guidance and student personnel services.

During his tenure as president, Brewer traveled to more college unions than those who preceded him. An article in the February 1962 Bulletin claimed that Brewer was “fast becoming the travelingist Association president” after he visited four unions in one month.

Brewer served as vice president the year preceding his presidency. As vice president, Brewer planned the 1961 conference in Colorado Springs, Colo. And, it was said at the time that Brewer held the record “for having the conference program set at the earliest date in Association history.”
After he retired, Brewer lived with his wife in Bethlehem, N.Y., where he dedicated his time to brining the history of Bethlehem back to life, working as a town archeologist and editing “Bethlehem Revisited: A Bicentennial Story 1793–1993.”

As his wife, A. Coleen, told The Times Union in Albany, “His purpose all along was to leave a legacy for future generations.”