Robert F. Forster
Hometown: Nashville, TN
Team: Football

Robert F. Forster '79
Hometown: Nashville, TN
Sport: Football
Year Inducted: 1985

During his college years, Robert F. Forster '79 was known for his coin collection; he was always searching for that special 1909 SVDB penny to complete his Lincolns. But he became much better known for collecting honors as one of Brown's best offensive guards ever. The 6'4", 245-pounder from Nashville was named to the honorable mention A.P. All-America team his senior year, as well as to the All-New England and All-Ivy first teams. He started in every game, was named Brown Offensive Lineman of the Year, and was tapped to play in the postseason Canadian-American bowl in Tampa. Forster was also honored for being a scholar-athlete. With his 3.5 average and a slew of glowing recommendations from deans and coaches, the economics major received a NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship and was named a second-team Academic All-American by the College Sports Information Directors of America. He was drafter in the twelfth round by the Detroit Lions. The word was that the scouts from the Lions had been impressed by Forsters play in Can-Am Bowl, and by his speed and agility: He could run the 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds and could jump 31 inches straight up from a standing position. His biggest jump, however, was from the familiar southern environs of Nashville to a very different world in Providence. He almost didn't come, and credits the efforts of Richard Chambers '69 and the advice of his father, Paul Forster, the oldest rookie in the history of the NFL Patriots. Bob Forster had already signed for a four-year scholarship to Memphis State when Chambers saw him play in the first round of the Tennessee high school championships, held at Vanderbilt. Chambers contacted Forster's high school, Father Ryan of Nashville, but was discouraged by the coaches there. "They felt I wouldn't be interested," Forster remembers, "not only because no scholarships were offered at Brown, but also because of the distance from Nashville." Chambers persevered, got through to Forster with the help of a guidance counselor at Father Ryan, and invited him to a Brown party at his home over Christmas vacation. Coach John Anderson and alumni administrator David J. Zucconi '55 spoke to the group. "After attending the party and visiting Brown, I felt that Brown was indeed the best choice," Forster says. Forster's father supported him: "I didn't want to go to a football factory, and my father convinced me that a good education was just as important as anything in the world." From there, it wasn't exactly smooth traveling to Forster's glory days on the Bruin football team. Homesick, he might have transferred to Vanderbilt after his freshman year had Memphis State not refused to release him from his letter of intent. Late that summer, he had an operation to remove a congenital obstruction in his right kidney, requiring two weeks in the hospital and a month of recuperation at home. But he was ready to play in his sophomore season, and still cherishes the thrill of winning the Ivy championship that year. By his junior year, Forster was being noticed for his agile, aggressive style at guard, and he was named second-team All-Ivy and All-New England. He also had become something of a leader on campus, serving as president of his fraternity, Delta-Tau, and volunteering time as a Big Brother. And he has no regrets about leaving the South; on the contrary, he calls his time at Brown "the most influential four years of my life."