When the new Arizona Science Center chairman of the board, Katharine A. Corbin (Kay), was a young girl growing up in Boston, her grandmother would bring her along to attend board of trustee meetings. Attending board meetings with your grandma. Sounds a bit boring, right? Not in eight-year-old Kay’s case. Those meetings were held at the Boston Museum of Science, where her grandmother was a charter trustee. And young Kay was placed in the care of the curatorial staff who allowed her to wander the floor.
“I could be found standing by the Foucault pendulum, watching it knock down a domino from a circle of them surrounding its base every five minutes,” says Corbin. “It did this because the earth was turning under the pendulum. That seemed like a miracle to me, and still does.”
From there, Corbin explains that “science got under my skin” and she was fortunate enough to have mentors who encouraged her love for science. Following her graduation from Harvard, where she graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in biochemistry, Corbin went on to teach introductory and organic chemistry at the University of Virginia.
Corbin and her late husband Kent went on to found Corbin Financial, which for 40 years, has provided retirement income planning, investment management and estate planning advice to individual clients and families.
Corbin has served on Arizona Science Center’s Board of Trustees since October 2003, and in her new role as chairman of the board, she hopes to inspire young women to consider pursuing a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Her tenure began July 1, 2018 and will continue through June 30, 2020.
“I hope that we at Arizona Science Center can play a part in inspiring little girls to wonder and ask ‘why?’ and that some of the women scientists who are further up that ladder can mentor them,” Corbin said. “I believe in girls in STEM.”
Corbin is an active volunteer in many Arizona organizations including the Phoenix Art Museum League, the Phoenix Mid-Town Rotary Club and the Museum of Northern Arizona, and serves on the Advisory Board of the Lowell observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. She is also a member of Valley Leadership, Class V, and chaired the Schools and Scholarships committee for the Harvard Club of Arizona for 40 years, before stepping down in 2018.
“Kay has been a huge asset to the Science Center, and we are privileged that she is our new board chair,” said Chevy Humphrey, The Hazel A. Hare President and CEO of Arizona Science Center. “Her love of science is inspiring and infectious, and her belief in the Science Center’s ability to become one of the great science centers in the country will help us achieve remarkable things over the next two years.”