I entered Duke University in 1968 in the graduate chemistry program. Mine was a class of 16 with, I think, two or three women. By the time I left Duke, all of my male classmates were gone. Some went into teaching, some joined the National Guard, some were able to secure other draft deferments, and some went to the Vietnam war.

I had drawn a very low lottery number. I went through all the usual appeals, all of which were denied. I remember having to travel back to Michigan to undergo a pre-draft physical, and I actually received a letter with the date to report to the local selective service office for induction.

During this time I was also looking for a job that might offer me a deferment. I received my M.A. from Duke in 1969 and was fortunate enough to receive a job offer from Rohm & Haas Co. in Philadelphia. They were involved in R&D for plastics in jet aircraft. Rohm & Haas took care of all the paperwork and I received a deferment. Two years later (when I was 26 and safe from the draft), I returned to school and received my Ph.D from Ohio State U. and as they say, lived happily ever after.

Clearly, had I not obtained the job with Rohm & Haas, my life would have been completely different assuming I would have made it back from Vietnam.