Title

Exhibit - President Clifton Wharton

Clifton R. Wharton was born in Boston, Massachusetts on September 13, 1926. At sixteen, Wharton enrolled at Harvard University and graduated with a BA in History in 1947.  He received his Masters degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in 1948. After working five years at the American Institute of International Social Development, Wharton completed his Masters and PhD degrees in economics from the University of Chicago.

Wharton traveled extensively, directing programs in Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia while working as a council associate for the Agricultural Development Council. He taught and conducted research as a visiting professor at the Universities of Malaysia and Singapore. Wharton later became Vice President of the council, and held that position until he began his term as Michigan State University's fourteenth president in January 1970. His term of office featured moments of turbulence, including student protests in 1970 and 1972, and an NCAA investigation of MSU's football program. Fiscal problems due to budget cuts were a constant issue during his tenure.

Despite major budget cutbacks, Wharton successfully maintained the quality of MSU's academic programs. He integrated the School of Osteopathic Medicine with the other medical schools, and remained committed to the education of the economically disadvantaged. One of Wharton's most enduring legacies was the creation of a performing arts center in 1982, named in honor of him and his wife Dolores, in recognition of their strong support. Upon Wharton's resignation in 1977, he served a Chancellorship at the State University of New York, headed TIAA-CREF as Chairman and CEO from 1987-1993, and served as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State in 1993 during Bill Clinton's presidency.

Wharton's autobiography, Privilege and Prejudice: The Life of a Black Pioneer, was released by Michigan State University Press in September 2015.

Exhibit created by Matthew Wilcox, September 2016.


Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections

Related Objects

Clif Wharton interviewed by Coy Eklund, 1978
Clif Wharton interviewed by Coy Eklund, 1978
November 16, 1978
Video: mp4
MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Clifton Wharton Addresses the Faculty Club, 1970
Clifton Wharton Addresses the Faculty Club, 1970
1970
Image: jpg
MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Clifton Wharton at 1971 Commencement
Clifton Wharton at 1971 Commencement
1971
Image: jpg
MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Clifton Wharton at his first press conference, 1969
Clifton Wharton at his first press conference, 1969
1969
Image: jpg
MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Clifton Wharton at his resignation press conference, 1977
Clifton Wharton at his resignation press conference, 1977
1977
Image: jpg
MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Clifton Wharton at the 1972 Commencement
Clifton Wharton at the 1972 Commencement
1972
Image: jpg
MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Clifton Wharton chairs Executive Group meeting, 1971
Clifton Wharton chairs Executive Group meeting, 1971
1971
Image: jpg
MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Clifton Wharton in his office, 1970
Clifton Wharton in his office, 1970
1970
Image: jpg
MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Clifton Wharton in the classroom, 1973
Clifton Wharton in the classroom, 1973
1973
Image: jpg
MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Clifton Wharton speaks with the Executive Group, 1974
Clifton Wharton speaks with the Executive Group, 1974
1974
Image: jpg
MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Clifton Wharton with Family, 1969
Clifton Wharton with Family, 1969
1969
Image: jpg
MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Clifton Wharton with John Hannah, 1969
Clifton Wharton with John Hannah, 1969
1969
Image: jpg
MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Cowles House: Art in Residence, 1971
Cowles House: Art in Residence, 1971
1971
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MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Portrait of Clifton Wharton in 1975
Portrait of Clifton Wharton in 1975
1975
Image: jpg
MSU Archives and Historical Collections
President Wharton Addresses Student Demands
President Wharton Addresses Student Demands
May 11, 1972
Text: pdf
MSU Archives and Historical Collections
President Wharton Statement
President Wharton Statement
May 11, 1972
Text: pdf
MSU Archives and Historical Collections
President Wharton Statement on Anti-War Demands
President Wharton Statement on Anti-War Demands
May 14, 1972
Text: pdf
MSU Archives and Historical Collections
Trial & Triumph: The Wharton Years 1970-1978. A tribute to Clifton R. Wharton, Jr. & Dolores Wharton
Vietnam War Statement from President Wharton
Vietnam War Statement from President Wharton
May 5, 1970
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MSU Archives and Historical Collections