About Edmund J. Gleazer, Jr.

Edmund J. Gleazer Jr. and Ken McClainGraceland 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 liked 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 was "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 traveled the world from Baghdad to Bangkok and Moscow to Zimbabwe advocating for community-based education - education tailored to a community's specific needs, which may have included literature or literacy, advanced chemistry, or the basics of health and sanitation. Ed passed away in Aug. 2016 but is still considered 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 website: http://www.nisod.org/Gleazer/index.html.

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