Gus Zimmerman '72 Ability and Desire

August 23, 2019

 

As a kid growing up in Northeast Philadelphia Rhawnhurst Section, I had a true passion for plants at a very young age and I was nurtured by my parents and grandparents. Attending Woodrow Wilson Jr. High my 8 grade science teacher Mr. Warfield introduced me to a book of courses and W.B.Saul information was there. He was a wonderful teacher! I was amazed that there was a school like Saul in Philadelphia. I was accepted into Saul in late spring and heading to Saul's summer 30 day pre school training for all new students. I started school in September 1968, and graduated 1972. They were the best years of my school life, even though it took for me 3 buses 90 minutes to get there everyday for 4 years. I had wonderful teachers that taught learning by doing and doing by learning and lots of good friends. As of today I always mention W. B. Saul on my travels when I talk to students and colleagues that I worked with. It was a great 4 years!

My senior year I was allowed to leave school in early May to work full time and come back the last week to graduate with my class. I was hired by Asplundh Tree Expert Company on the reputation of W.B. Saul High School. I was hired that day of my interview. My Agricultural career expanded from Asplundh to working and living on a 1000 acre estate in Bucks County for 11 years. I also worked for Burpee Seed Company at Fordhook in Doylestown on their flower and vegetable trials for a few years when David Burpee was alive. My last career move was working for American Cyanamid Company in Princeton, NJ in 1986. I started as a greenhouse research technician and moved up to greenhouse supervisor. American Cyanamid Company was bought by BASF in 2000 and they closed the site in Princeton with 1100 employees being laid off and only 100 of us that were offered jobs down in Research Triangle Park in Durham, NC. I started working for BASF RTP in 2002 supporting greenhouse research until December 2016 when I retired. They carried all my years with American Cyanamid with BASF totaling 31 years. I completely feel that those teenage years at Saul with wonderful parents and grandparents and encouragement with great work effort and high skill interest with great related work experience, BASF was willing to move me down here to North Carolina at RTP to finish out my career in Agricultural Research and also helping the younger people just staring out in there careers. I finished my 44 years work career in Agricultural and Horticultural and growing up as a city kid in Philadelphia. 

I want to thank you for having a wonderful school for students in Philadelphia who have passions like I do and if Saul was not there for me I might have not followed in my ability and desire.

Best Regards,

Gus C.  Zimmerman

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