Edmund J. Gleazer, Jr.

GracelandEd Gleazer and Ken McClain University's School of Education is named for Edmund J. Gleazer Jr., Graceland's seventh president (1946-57) and a man considered by many to be the Father of the American Community College.

This 1936 Graceland graduate became the university's youngest president, but it was in 1957 that Ed (as he likes to be called) found his true calling. He became Executive Director of the American Association of Junior Colleges and during the next 25 years he shepherded the phenomenal growth of community-based education in the United States. Ed's vision of the intrinsic value of every human life fueled his desire to make the pursuit of higher education available to all who sought it.

Ed's mantra is "Peace through life-long learning." Driven by this principle, he began a second career, with his wife Charlene (Allen) Gleazer, a 1938 Graceland graduate, when he retired at age 65. They have traveled the world from Baghdad to Bangkok, from Moscow to Zimbabwe, advocating for community-based education - education tailored to a community's specific needs. That might be literature or literacy, advanced Chemistry or the basics of health and sanitation. Now in his early nineties, Ed is still one of higher education's greatest champions.  He has been a prolific writer on the subject and many of his articles and papers are available to read online at the University of Texas at Austin's Community College Leadership Program (CCLP) staff development Web site - http://www.nisod.org/Gleazer/index.html

The School of Education is very proud to be identified with this outstanding educator.