Don Clague recipient of city award

Dr. Donald Clague, professor of educational management and administrator emeritus, has been the recipient of several awards over the years, most recently the award of "Outstanding Older American." / photo by Brian Murphy
Dr. Donald Clague, professor of educational management and administrator emeritus, has been the recipient of several awards over the years, most recently the award of “Outstanding Older American.” / photo by Brian Murphy

by Raechel Fittante
Staff Writer

Dr. Donald Clague, former dean of graduate students at the University of La Verne, is the 1995 recipient of the city of La Verne’s Outstanding Older American Award.

Dr. Clague has led a very busy life, dividing his time between teaching edu­cational management to doctorate stu­dents at ULV and serving on many vol­unteer organizations.

Each year, 88 older American citizens representing each city in Los Angeles County are chosen and honored with the title of Outstanding Older American. The program is sponsored by the Los Angeles County Commission on Aging.

The ceremony recognizing Dr. Clague and the other 87 recipients took place on Wednesday, May 17, at the County of Los Angeles Music Center in the Grand Hall of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

A connoisseur of education, Dr. Clague, a native of Alabama, began his college education at Bridgewater College in Virginia, where he majored in chemistry. He then taught chemistry at Bridgewater and became head of the Chemistry Department.

Dr. Clague went on to the University of Virginia where he earned masters degrees in psychology and communica­tions. Studying at Columbia University, Dr. Clague then received doctorate degrees in those fields, as well as in the higher education administration, which led him to become dean of students at Bridgewater.

In 1965, he received his post-doctor­ate degree in psychology from the University of Michigan, and moved with his family to La Verne in 1966.

“I have a different background in education,” Dr. Clague said with a smile.

Upon coming to La Verne College, he was given the task of creating a doctor­ate program at the school, and the first year he was dean at La Verne two people were awarded graduate degrees.

“I was one of the two originators of the doctor of education program at ULV,” said Dr. Clague of this accomplishment on the small campus.

Since that time, the program has grown and now awards 900 to 1,000 degrees a year.

In 1987, Dr. Clague left his position as dean of graduate students to take on a faculty assignment. He now teaches edu­cational studies and educational management to doctoral students who Dr. Clague described as “quality students who become people with distinguished careers.”

As for his award as Outstanding Older American, Dr. Clague said, “The reason for the honor was because it represents their judgement of someone out­standing in the city.”

Dr. Clague has been president of the La Verne Chamber of Commerce and the Bonita Unified School District board.

In 1985, Dr. Clague was named both citizen of the year by the city of La Verne, and Community Builder of the Year by ULV for his community activity and his ability “to do things that need to be done.” La Verne and Pomona Valley also named Dr. Clague Manager of the Year in 1986.

Dr. Clague has also worked with the Church of the Brethren, where he is presently the chairman of the Korean Advisory Committee.

He has two children, Skip and Gayle, who both graduated from ULV. Skip presently teaches drama and English at Bonita High School and Gayle is Vice President of the Wyllis Coroon Insurance Companies with headquarters in London, the first woman to ever hold the post.

Carla Sullivan, president of the La Verne Rotary Club and former president of the La Verne Chamber of Commerce, described Dr. Clague as “a person with great background and a good knowl­edge of a lot of things, as well as knowl­edge of many specific things about the educational field.”

“My life is benefited just by knowing him,” said Sullivan who has worked first hand with Dr. Clague since 1983.

Dr. Clague described his receiving the honor as a shock.

“I had no knowledge it was even pro­posed until I got a phone call stating I’d received it,” said Dr. Clague, “It was a surprise.

“The city has been very good to me,” he said. “I like La Verne.”

Raechel Fittante, Managing Editor
Raechel Fittante
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