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Kerr, Clarklocked

(17 May 1911–01 December 2003)
  • Ethan Schrum


Kerr, Clark (17 May 1911–01 December 2003), university president and higher education leader, was born in Stony Creek, Pennsylvania, to Samuel Kerr, a farmer who held a master’s degree, and Caroline Clark, a milliner who valued education highly. He grew up on his father’s farms and attended Swarthmore College, where he affiliated with the Quakers. Soon after graduating in 1932, he joined an American Friends Service Committee peace caravan to California. He stayed to pursue graduate studies in labor economics, first at Stanford, where he attained a master’s degree in 1933, then at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, where he earned his doctorate in 1939. He met Catherine (Kay) Spaulding at a student meeting in 1934. She passed him a note asking if he was a Communist. He said no. She affirmed the same of herself. They married on 25 December 1934 and had three children....

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