The Natick Service Council (NSC) honored UMass Amherst alumnus, businessman, and philanthropist Robert Brack on May 19 with its Founders Award at the council’s annual meeting. Brack graduated from the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department in 1960.
According to the WickedLocal.com article, “Bob Brack has tirelessly given his time and resources over the decades to help meet the needs of all Natick residents and has been a driving force for many of NSC's key programs and initiatives.”
The WickedLocal article added that “Brack started his journey with NSC when he joined the board of directors in 2011. Brack was a steady voice on the board, always adding needed counsel for the direction of NSC at that moment and its future goals and ongoing growth. From the start, his unwavering commitment to Natick Service Council improved the service models and helped develop and launch many new programs in support of our friends and neighbors.”
After his graduation from UMass Amherst in 1960, Brack spent nearly 50 years working in the rebar industry with the family-owned Barker Steel in Massachusetts. Under Brack’s leadership, the company grew to 17 locations in 11 states and nearly 600 employees. He sold the business to Harris Rebar in 2007 and retired in 2012.
Brack has also been a past treasurer, executive board member, and president of the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (CRSI) Education & Research Foundation. In 2013, Brack was the initial recipient of the newly established CRSI Distinguished Service Award and was inducted into the CRSI Hall of Fame.
As an active alumnus of the CEE department, Brack was the major donor behind the establishment of CEE’s Robert B. Brack Structural Testing Facility. He has also been intimately involved with the education of numerous engineering students through his establishment of an undergraduate scholarship endowment, graduate student fellowships, the donation of materials for experimental research in the CEE department, and the funding of a post-doctoral fellowship in the Structural Engineering and Mechanics Group.
Brack’s gifts have provided the stimulus for significant growth in that group, both in research capabilities and overall strength of the program.
In addition, Brack has been a longtime champion for the campus and its College of Engineering, including sitting on the CEE department’s advisory board for over a decade. He is also a member of the CEE Department Academy of Distinguished Alumni. (June 2021)