Mr. Albert Small, Sr., a third-generation Washingtonian, is a real-estate developer who graduated from the University of Virginia in 1946 with a degree in chemical engineering. After serving in the Navy during World War II, he became interested in collecting historical documents. In 2004, he donated his remarkable collection of autographed documents as well as rare, early printings of the Declaration of Independence to the Special Collections Library at the University. Mr. Small also donated his collection of documents about the formation, development, and history of Washington, DC, to George Washington University where he created a museum to foster scholarly inquiry about the creation of the nation’s capital.
At 93 years old, he is currently the president of Southern Engineering Corporation in Bethesda, Maryland, where he lives with his beautiful wife and is happily surrounded by his family. Now a grandfather of six, Mr. Small was very grateful to have recently attended the graduation of his two wonderful granddaughters from the University of Virginia.
One of those granddaughters, Foundation Research Assistant, Isabella Small, recently spoke with her grandfather about why he is excited about focused ultrasound’s impact on medicine.
How did you first hear about the Foundation?
Due to my involvement with the University of Virginia, I used to come to Charlottesville regularly and heard about Dr. Kassell and the important work he was doing at the Focused Ultrasound Foundation. He is a good guy, and through the years I have gotten to know him very well. As time went on, I kept in touch with him and was always impressed by the progress that the Foundation was making in advancing focused ultrasound. Additionally, he hired my granddaughter to work for him.
What moved you to get involved?
I thought the innovative technology Dr. Kassell was pursuing was a very good idea. The fact that there is a technology that can help so many people is very exciting to me.
What excites you most about focused ultrasound and the Foundation?
Focused ultrasound and the Foundation are a very good program and ideas. Focused ultrasound is being developed all over the world, and much of the progress for brain indications is happening in Israel. Dr. Kassell is carrying it on in Charlottesville. The only problem is that Dr. Kassell does not wear a neck tie.
I always say to my granddaughters that relationships do not cost anything. I tell them that being kind to people does not cost anything. Dr. Kassell and I have always kept in touch, and we have developed a great friendship. Through the work of the Foundation, he is helping countless people around the world.
Do you have a personal connection to the technology?
The wife of one of my best friends was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor and had to have brain surgery. When they were evaluating treatment options, I suggested they consult Dr. Kassell to see if focused ultrasound could be an option. I know it has the potential to help a lot of people, and I often encourage others to learn more about it.
What do you tell others about the Foundation?
It is a very good technology, and I am very glad Dr. Kassell started the Foundation to advance its adoption. The less time it takes, the more people it will help.