Oral History Session #1
Date:May 25, 2010
Place:Charlotte, North Carolina
Transcript Production Team:
Perselay, Gerald Oral History Interview, May 25, 2010, by Shaun Illingworth, Page #, Rutgers Oral History Archives. Online: Insert URL (Last Accessed: Insert Date).
Dr. Perselay was born in Irvington, NJ, and raised in Hillside, NJ. He entered Rutgers in September 1944 and studied chemistry there until he was drafted into the US Army at the end of World War II. He trained at Camp Croft, SC, Camp Hood, TX, and Camp Joseph T. Robinson, AR, and later served in the 102nd Weather Group at Mitchell Air Force Base, NY, as a weather observer and clerk. He returned to Rutgers on the GI Bill and graduated with a degree in political science and a commission from the Air Force ROTC in 1949. Dr. Perselay spent over 30 years as an Air Force officer, primarily in personnel and education related fields, in various postings in Georgia, Alaska, the Pentagon and Texas. He served as the Chief of the Rest and Relaxation Branch of MACV in Vietnam from April 1968 to April 1969. He later commanded the Air Force ROTC detachment at MIT, served as Director for Precommissioning Programs in the Office of the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Education and served on the faculty of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. He also earned an MBA from Syracuse University in 1961 and a doctorate from George Washington University in 1970 while serving in the Air Force. Following his retirement as a colonel in the US Air Force, Dr. Perselay held faculty positions at Winthrop College and Pfeiffer University.