Careers in Teaching and Industry
Bud Blue (B.S. '35)

Bud Blue and his wife, Molly, are generous supporters of the College.

E. Morse ‘Bud’ Blue has had the kind of success in each of his careers that most people would be happy with in one. But success never spoiled him—he is one of the most active and, together with his wife, Molly, charitable supporters of the College. He is also going to be ninety years old this year and does not look a day over sixty. His secret to staying young and vibrant is to be mentally active. “When I retired, I was determined to keep my mind alive and take on new challenges,” he notes. That was when, after forty years with Chevron, Blue retired and started an engineering consulting business.

“My first twenty-five years at Chevron were spent developing and designing catalytic process plants. I was very fortunate working at that time because those were the years that catalytic processes for the refining industry were being developed. But eventually my natural talent for talking was noticed. Chevron thought I had sales potential, and I was transferred to technology licensing,” Blue said.

He earned a B.S. from Berkeley in 1935 and an M.S. from MIT in 1937. He then went to work for Chevron, but his Chevron career was interrupted by a call from Uncle Sam. Blue, having taken Naval ROTC at Berkeley, was called to active duty early in 1941. All during World War II he was responsible for inspecting petroleum products received by the armed forces in the 13th Naval District, putting his education to good use. After the war, Blue returned to Chevron, where he was a consultant on catalytic process plants.

During his years at Chevron, Blue was also a lecturer in Chemical Engineering at Berkeley. “I became involved with teaching after Theodore Vermeulen, the chair of the department, approached me in 1959 and asked me to teach the senior course on Design of Chemical Process Plants. The students were only learning the science of chemical engineering in their classes, whereas in the real world, engineering is a combination of economics and science. For thirty years I taught students that profit is not a dirty word,” Blue said.

Currently, Blue works with alumni relations, both with the College and the University. “I have been involved in the Cal Alumni Association raising funds for scholarships. I am also very proud of the fact that the UC Class of 1935, of which I have been president for the past ten years, was able to endow a Chair in the Energy and Resources Group in 1985. That endowment has since grown to over $1 million, and we now support a Distinguished Professorship.” Additionally, he has been a member of the Steering Team of the College’s Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Alumni Association since it began in 1991, and he has been both a major donor and a lead volunteer for the fund drive to establish a G. N. Lewis Chair.

Blue also funds two scholarships at Berkeley, the E. M. Blue Family Alumni Scholarship for students in chemistry and chemical engineering, and the Bonnie Blue Schmitz Alumni Scholarship, in honor of his daughter, who died of cancer. “There is a luncheon every November where I get to meet and chat with the students who received our scholarships. There are some outstandingly bright students coming out of this University.”