Ralph A. Wilkins was born in Salem, Massachusetts on April 28, 1897, and graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Maine as a member of the Class of 1919. Wilkins went on to teach in the program from 1922-1923. In 1923, he joined Bird & Son, Inc. in Walpole, Massachusetts.
Wilkins stared as Assistant Superintendent of the paperboard division of Bird & Sons, Inc. and advanced to General Superintendent before becoming Production Manager, Vice President, and finally President in 1960. He was elected as Board Chair in 1964. Wilkins also served as a hospital trustee and as a member of the advisory council of The Suffolk University School of Commercial Sciences, from which he also received an honorary degree.
Wilkins was a charter member of the UMaine Pulp & Paper Foundation, serving as Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair beginning in 1950. Wilkins died in Pinellas, Florida on April 12, 1987.
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Chemical engineering, Pulp science, Paper manufacturing