Charles and Dorothy Maddin Graduate Fellowship in Analytical Chemistry

Feb 9, 2006 | Graduate Fellowships

Charles and Dorothy Maddin met at Howard Payne College when they were freshmen. Dorothy recalls that Charlie was the most handsome young man she knew. Dorothy grew up in Luling, Texas, and Charlie in Vernon, Texas. Charlie served in the Army for one year, stationed in Japan to serve in the occupation force and relieve the US soldiers who were already there. Charlie returned to his studies at Howard Payne College with Dorothy in Brownwood, Texas. Following her graduation in math and secondary education as valedictorian, they married on August 19, 1948. Charlie and Dorothy moved to Austin where Charlie enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin.

Charlie originally planned on studying pre-med, but he took an aptitude test that indicated he would enjoy becoming a forest ranger. Though he did not pursue forestry, with the support and encouragement of Dr. Stanley H. Simonsen, a UT chemistry professor, Charlie switched from pre-med into chemistry. Later Charlie graded papers for Dr. Simonsen and worked every problem in the textbook that Simonson used. Charlie later worked with Dr. Gilbert Ayres on a contract with the Air Force working on low alloy elements. Charlie also researched and wrote reports for the Atomic Energy Commission before earning his PhD in chemistry. He still has his UT textbooks.

The Maddins moved to Austin as newlyweds and shared a home with other students where they paid their own expenses and shared a bathroom. Dorothy worked as a cashier at a local cafeteria, at Goodfriends Department Store on Saturdays, and graded papers for a professor at night. During the summer, she completed coursework to earn her teaching certification. She was hired by the city of Lockhart to teach and was paid a salary of $2,404 a year. Charlie received $105 a month from the GI Bill. Their food budget was $20 a month, and the couple recalls often spending just $16 a month on food. They were able to supplement their budget with the occasional wild rabbit that Charlie would bring home after hunting trips in Luling. Soon, Charlie and Dorothy were able to buy a car, and they relocated to Lockhart, Charlie commuting to Austin by carpooling with other UT students. During one year he took 16 courses for 53 credit hours.

Charlie and Dorothy Maddin

Charlie’s work ethic led to his success when he went on to work for Dow Chemical, where he stayed for 31 years, and Schlumberger, the company that acquired Dow in 1984. Charlie oversaw labs and managed chemists who researched a wide range of projects, from establishing protocol for coal mine fire safety to determining the cause of death in workplace accidents. Charlie continues to work for Schlumberger on a contract basis, often serving as an expert witness or consultant on industrial claims. He received a distinguished service award for 50 years of service with the American Chemical Society, and during his career he met three Nobel Prize winners.

Charlie and Dorothy Maddin are passionate about education. They credit their success to careful budgeting and planning — success that allowed them to help 26 nieces and nephews with college expenses. With the Charles and Dorothy Maddin Endowed Scholarship in Chemistry, Charlie and Dorothy have created a legacy of giving that will educate aspiring chemists well into the future. They are grateful for their experiences at The University of Texas at Austin and enjoyed participating in the UT 100th-anniversary celebrations in 1983.

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