An Era In Science

The Brownback-Anders Pre-Medical Society emerged in the late 1920’s as the first student-established biology club. With financial support from James M. Anders M.D., a highly regarded physician, philanthropist, and Trustee, the club further expanded. The Biology Club grew in popularity and became known as The James M. Anders Pre-Medical Society for juniors and seniors intending to become physicians.

As the number of students majoring in the sciences increased on an annual basis, Dr. Brownback was given a temporary teaching appointment in Biology.  The temporary appointment became permanent, and, in six years, Dr. Brownback rose to full professor.  Author and alumnus, Calvin D. Yost ’30 characterized Brownback as a, “single-minded, impetuous, dynamic teacher. He made a strong and lasting impression on all who knew him.”  One such person is Max M. Koppel M.D. ’53 who recalls working in the lab for hours with Dr. J. Harold Brownback ’21.  He attributes his success and admission to Jefferson Medical College in large part to Brownback’s efforts.  In 1939 the Association of American Medical Colleges recognized Brownback and Ursinus for unprecedented growth and success. 

Brownback inspired and instructed generations of pre-medical students, future researchers and scientists.  After his death in 1952, The James M. Anders Pre-Medical Society voted to change the society’s name to The Brownback-Anders Pre-Medical Society.  Sixty years later, the society would again change its name to include the health sciences.  And, in the last seven years, a chapter of the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students, a national organization, broadened opportunities for students on the Ursinus campus.