Oral history interview with Robert A. Roland

Oral history interview with Robert A. Roland

  • 1995-Mar-14

Robert Roland describes his family background and upbringing in Upper Darby, PA, as well as his education at Villanova University and the University of Pennsylvania School of Law. Roland also reflects on his career in the US Navy as General Counsel and Contract Administrator, and his appointment as president of the Chemical Manufacturers Association [CMA]. Roland discusses his role in developing the industry's standards for safety, health, the environment, management training, and finally the industry's future.

Property Value
Place of interview
Original file type PDF, MP3
  • 52 pages
Rights Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

About the Interviewer

James J. Bohning was professor emeritus of chemistry at Wilkes University, where he had been a faculty member from 1959 to 1990. He served there as chemistry department chair from 1970 to 1986 and environmental science department chair from 1987 to 1990. Bohning was chair of the American Chemical Society’s Division of the History of Chemistry in 1986; he received the division’s Outstanding Paper Award in 1989 and presented more than forty papers at national meetings of the society. Bohning was on the advisory committee of the society’s National Historic Chemical Landmarks Program from its inception in 1992 through 2001 and is currently a consultant to the committee. He developed the oral history program of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and he was CHF’s director of oral history from 1990 to 1995. From 1995 to 1998, Bohning was a science writer for the News Service group of the American Chemical Society. In May 2005, he received the Joseph Priestley Service Award from the Susquehanna Valley Section of the American Chemical Society.  Bohning passed away in September 2011.

Physical location


Interviewee biographical information

  • January 14, 1931
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
  • January 31, 2013
  • Alexandria, Virginia, United States


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1952 Villanova University BS Economics
1955 University of Pennsylvania LLB

Professional Experience

United States. Navy

  • 1955 to 1957 Ensign, USS Stribling, Destroyer Fleet Atlantic
  • 1957 to 1959 Lieutenant Jr. Grade, Contract Administration, General Stores Supply Office

National Paint and Coatings Association

  • 1959 to 1961 Representative
  • 1961 to 1971 Executive Vice President
  • 1971 to 1978 President

Chemical Manufacturers Association (U.S.)

  • 1978 to 1993 President


Year(s) Award
1994 International Medal, Society of Chemical Industry

Cite as

Robert A. Roland, interviewed by James J. Bohning in Chemical Manufacturers Association (U.S.) on March 14, 1995. Philadelphia: Science History Institute, n.d. Oral History Transcript 0138. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/w37637891.

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PDF — 346 KB

The published version of the transcript may diverge from the interview audio due to edits to the transcript made by staff of the Center for Oral History, often at the request of the interviewee, during the transcript review process.

Complete Interview Audio File Web-quality download

6 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads