Howard Bremer Tribute

ImageHoward Bremer, Technology Transfer Icon

The AUTM Community Shares Thoughts on Howard Bremer's Legacy

AUTM mourns the passing of one of the most important, most influential, most generous and most beloved members of our profession, Howard Bremer. Howard Bremer passed away October 11, 2013 at the age of 90. Beloved and respected by AUTM members everywhere, the AUTM community shares its thoughts and memories.  

Read "Howard Bremer's Legacy Should be Celebrated," by AUTM President Sean Flanigan.

Read "The Passing of a Legend: Remembering Howard W. Bremer," by Joe Allen.

Read “WARF Donates to Howard Bremer Scholarships to Honor a Pioneer," by Vicki Loise

"I feel very privileged to have been able to work with Howard in recent years. His work and contributions to our profession inspire and enrich all of us." 
David Winwood PhD, RTTP, UAB Research Foundation

"Our profession lost one of its titans today. Howard's tireless efforts to promote and protect university technology transfer will never be forgotten. He was a great friend of UC as together we and others faced off against those who would weaken patents and compromise the ability of universities to drive innovation in this country." 
William Tucker, University of California, Office of the President

"A bright light has gone out and our community will only recognize the size of the loss in the years ahead." 
John Fraser, CLP, RTTP, Florida State University

"Condolences to Howard's family and our colleagues at WARF from MSU Technologies. Howard's passing is a loss we'll feel for many, many years. We will miss his warmth, guidance and support. I have a story about Howard that I hope will make everyone smile. In 2009, the Central Region Meeting was in Madison and Howard was in attendance (of course!) Howard participated in the Trivia Contest and was thrilled to be on the winning team (Linda Kawano and I are looking for the picture of Howard in a "cheesehead" hat as he celebrated his team's victory.)  Of course, with Howard on a team, it really wasn't a contest." 
Anne DiSante MBA MS CLP, Michigan State University

"WARF and we have truly lost a great technology transfer legend. He was such great advocate of technology transfer and the profession and mentor to all of us. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Howard's family and to WARF on such a great loss. I will always remember how sincere and helpful he has been to me." 
Dale Zetocha MS, RTTP, NDSU Research Foundation

"WARF and our profession have lost a great friend and teacher... we can take some comfort in knowing that Howard's legacy will live on via the multitudes of individuals whose lives were made better simply by knowing him. I consider myself very privileged indeed to have had Howard as a mentor and will miss him profoundly. Please pass on my sincerest condolences to the Bremer family." 
Mark G. Bloom, CLP, RTTP, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

"Few people leave a legacy like the legacy that Howard leaves. It is impossible to calculate how many lives have been positively impacted either directly or indirectly through the work that Howard did. In addition to being an intellectual leader in our field, he exhibited sincere grace and humility. Howard may have passed, but his contributions will live on." 
Michael Dilling PhD, Baylor College of Medicine

"I am deeply saddened to hear the news about Howard. He was a giant in academic tech transfer and a genuinely nice person." 
Richard Kordal PhD, RTTP, Louisiana Tech University

“I drove through Madison this afternoon to a wedding in IL and couldn't help but wonder how Howard was doing. Now I know.....He is in a better place. What a footprint he left. UND passes along its condolences to the Bremer family. Howard we all will miss your wisdom, your leadership and most all your friendship.” 
Michael F. Moore, MS, University of North Dakota

“I am deeply saddened by the news of Howard's passing.  Academic tech transfer would not be where it is if not for Howard's hard work, advocacy, and just plain common sense. Things won't be the same without him. On behalf of CHOP and its Office of Technology Transfer, please accept our sincerest condolences and know that you are in our thoughts.” 
Ellen Purpus, PhD, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

“My staff and I send our condolences to the WARF family and to Howard's family. Few people leave a legacy like the legacy that Howard leaves. It is impossible to calculate how many lives have been positively impacted either directly or indirectly through the work that Howard did. In addition to being an intellectual leader in our field, he exhibited sincere grace and humility. Howard may have passed, but his contributions will live on....” 
Michael B. Dilling, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine

“After 10 years working with him, and in the 9 years since, please tell his family that he brought a level of civility and gentlemanliness rarely found in the workplace; our profession has been diminished.” 
Steven Price PhD, RTTP, Oklahoma State University

“Howard was the icon of our profession. He will be missed.” 
Michael Batalia PhD, Wake Forest Innovations

"Mr. Bremer showed America (and, the world) a new way to harness the awesome power of discovery. Millions of patients, students, businesses and workers have benefitted from his skills/talents. We will continue to do so. For 22 years, I have sought his supportive, nurturing mentorship. I will cherish those 22 minutes we recently shared in San Antonio. His family and communities are in our thoughts and prayers." 
Garold Breit CLP

"I always enjoyed my times traveling and meeting with Howard. Not only was he a wonderful mentor -- always willing to spend time answering questions or helping out with the tech transfer issue of the week -- but perhaps most important in the world today, Howard was a true gentleman. I will definitely miss knowing that he was just a phone call away." 
Robin L. Rasor, CLP, The University of Michigan

"I have so many great memories of Howard. As everyone has said, he was a true gentleman – willing to share his vast knowledge with most anyone who asked. When people at AUTM would tell me how lucky I was to work with Howard, and would ask me to reach out to him about something, I loved being able to tell them, “contact him yourself – he’ll answer” and knowing that he would. But I also remember other things – like his laughter through the hallways as Andy Cohn would rib him about some political thing, or his calling me into his office to give me some obscure WWII aircraft fact to share with my husband. (Once, when I conveyed one such fact on the way home, my husband was incredulous, and I was a bit worried – who do I believe: my husband or Howard? Once we got home to the internet though, we found that Howard was correct.) He was a lifelong learner in so many disciplines that you never knew what he had to tell you, and he was never too busy for office events and treats. We were so lucky to have him as a colleague and friend." 
Jennifer Gottwald, Ph.D., CLP, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF)

"Howard Bremer can be credited with transforming the field of technology transfer into what it is today:  enabling nascent technologies to improve the lives of others around the world. He was an advocate, scholar and counselor, and a man of great integrity and purpose. Let us carry on his legacy." 
Brenda Akins, J.D., The Ohio State University

"I remember Howard well and with great fondness. Aside from the fact that he is truly the father of Bayh-Dole, I cherished our warm & friendly conversations at AUTM every year. I was honored that he was a mentor of mine and spent valuable time with me. I will miss the old guy! This is the end of an era." 
Dr. Al Poskanzer, CLP, Poskanzer & Associates, LLC

"Howard was an icon and giant in the tech transfer world. But I’ll always remember him as being very gracious and kind in all of his dealings with me through AUTM.  He will truly be missed by me." 
Eric W. Guttag, Eric W. Guttag IP Law Office

"I can only but aspire to attempt to emulate such a great man, Howard Bremer, the technology transfer profession salutes you, sir. To have learnt from your experience adds value to one & all in the community of technology transfer!"  
Ramika Bansi, Intellectual Property Management Office (IPMO), Durban University of Technology 

"This is a sad day for the entire technology transfer community. I will always be grateful for having had the opportunity to have known Howard, to have worked with him, to have called him a colleague and, above all else, to have called him a friend."  
Ashley Stevens D.Phil. (Oxon), CLP, Strategy & Innovation Dept, Boston University

"I first met Howard in 1991. Then and always he epitomized professionalism in technology transfer. The guy was pure class. His legacy will live on in countless professionals who knew him, knew of him, heard him, and/or were lucky enough to speak with him. We all learned from him." 
Greg Galloway, W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc.

"The world is a poorer place because of the loss of Howie Bremer. I was privileged to learn so much about the wonderful power of the Bayh-Dole Act from Howie. However, his legacy also includes the lesson that negotiations can be conducted with courtesy, humor, and good faith. He was a gentleman in all senses of the word. I will miss him, but will remain thankful that I had the opportunity to work closely with Howie for many years." 
Kathleen S. Irwin, Distinguished University Legal Counsel, Emerita, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"I first met Howard in 1990 at a joint AUTM/LES meeting. Being new to the profession at the time, I didn’t realize what fundamental role Howard had played in our business. Yet, he was generous with his time, wisdom, counsel, and friendship. That continued throughout our 23-year association.  When I saw him last at the 2013 annual meeting, I was honored to have breakfast with him and Caryl, talk about life and love, and just enjoy being together. Howard’s mark on academic technology transfer and, indeed, on all of us, is a powerful legacy for which I am forever grateful." 
Christopher D. McKinney, DA, MBA, CLP, RTTP, Georgia Regents University

"We have lost a great leader, mentor, and friend. What a privilege to have known Howard. My heartfelt condolences to his family and his colleagues at WARF and at the University of Wisconsin."
Rita Manak PhD, Naval Research Lab, Head, Technology Transfer Office

"I was saddened to learn of Howard's passing. I thought that he and his achievements were immortal, and he would be doing something in Technology Transfer for generations to come.I first met him in 1982 when I joined what was then University Patents, Inc., and we met at the SUPRA and AUTM meetings for a drink and conversation for nearly 20 years thereafter. I hate to say it, but the old guard (of which I consider myself) are fading fast into the history books. Howard will be missed."
George Yahwak

"I had the pleasure to work with Howard at WARF when I was in college, performing basic administrative tasks like sorting mail and filing, and again as an attorney in private practice, when I worked on an amicus brief with Howard in the Stanford v. Roche case.  It is a testament to Howard’s character that he was just as kind to the lowly mail clerk as he was to the big law firm attorney.  He obviously had a great love of learning and teaching that he shared with anyone who knew him.  He was a true gentleman and will be missed."
Lissa Koop, Perkins Coie LLP

Image"Howard Bremer was the kind of person we should all aspire to be.  He was smart without being smug; kind without being condescending; savvy without being arrogant; and driven without being contentious.  He always made me feel like I was the most important person in the room, even if that room was filled with thousands of Howard fans.  I was thrilled when I found myself sitting next to him at an AUTM dinner a few years ago.  He talked about how proud he was of his family -- without bragging.  Howard Bremer was a class act, through and through.  I miss him, and I hope his family knows how much we appreciate that they shared him with us.This photo shows Howard’s big smile when I asked if he would welcome two new AUTM members:  Sanjay Thrakar and Jennifer Finefield, from Indiana University."
Kristi Johnson

If you have a memory or a photo of Howard Bremer, please contact Paul Stark, AUTM Director of Communications at