NORMAL — Sol Shulman, now a retired chemistry professor enjoying a quiet, fulfilling retirement, tries not to dwell on the far different life he had as a youth in Russia.
More than 60 years ago, he was a frightened 13-year-old resisting the Nazis. "It was very, very painful. I try not to think about it," he said.
When the Nazis invaded his native Russia, Shulman fled to countryside swamps, joining a group of guerrilla fighters. He was one of the few guerrillas to survive.
After the war, he came to the United States with his family. The 19-year-old couldn't speak English and had only about $4 in his pocket.
Despite the humble beginnings, Shulman went on to earn a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington, Seattle, a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin and a doctorate in 1963 from North Dakota State University.
After teaching at North Dakota State University and Morehead State University, Shulman became chairman of the ISU chemistry department in 1969. He continued to serve on the faculty until 1992, but his influence on the campus extended beyond that.
He was a design and construction consultant for the ISU Science Laboratory Building, which opened in 1997. It's a building of which Shulman is very proud.
Life nowadays has a slower pace for the 77-year-old professor emeritus of chemistry, who spends a good deal of his time traveling, listening to music and gardening. "I like classical music and have about 2,500 CDs," he said.
Among places Shulman visits are the Pacific Northwest, Minnesota and North Carolina.
"Traveling is a joy," he said.
Another passion is chemistry, which he said is important because "everything we see, touch and feel involves chemical reactions."