Donor Profile: Paul Burns ’81
Paul Burns ’81, today a physician for The Dow Chemical Company, was the youngest of eight growing up on the family farm in Hubbardston.
Influenced by a local doctor to consider a medical career, Burns narrowed his college search to the University of Michigan, University of Chicago and Alma College.
Alma won out for a variety of reasons.
“Alma offered good professional placements, strong science programs, an ideal campus size, friendly and helpful people during my campus visits, and good financial aid,” says Burns.
Paul Burns ’81
He double majored in biology and chemistry, combining his senior year at Alma with his first year of medical school at Wayne State. After completing his medical degree, Burns did a residency in Saginaw, a fellowship at Michigan State University, and private practice in a coal mining area in the mountains of Pennsylvania before returning to mid-Michigan and joining Dow.
He has fond memories of all of his professors, including Charles Skinner in chemistry and Larry Wittle in biology. “I didn’t major in history, but I took a course from M.J.J. Smith that was a lot of work but fun,” he says.
Burns has worked as a physician with Dow for 18 years, running multiple clinics and seeing patients. In 2009 he served as the company’s global pandemic coordinator with the outbreak of the H1N1 influenza.
He has given consistently over the years to the Alma Fund.
“I had a very positive experience at Alma,” he says. “I was treated well and feel that I should give something back. I encourage students who are capable to go to Alma. We need to help provide scholarships and financial aid at levels that can help students who can’t afford to attend.”
Paul and Carol Burns are the parents of Ken, 16; Dan, 15; and Ann, 13. They reside in Sanford.