Wescoe Namesake Dies at 83
W. Clarke Wescoe ’41, for whom The Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College is named, died February 29 in Mission, Kan. He was 83.
A native of Allentown, Wescoe attended Muhlenberg thanks to a wealthy family friend who paid for Wescoe’s education. He graduated first in his class and went on to graduate from Cornell University Medical School in 1944. He served as a pharmacology research fellow and instructor at Cornell before taking a lifetime professor position at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and Medical Center. From 1953-60, Wescoe was dean of the school and director of the medical center. At age 40, Wescoe became the nation’s youngest-ever university president when he was named chancellor of the University of Kansas. He served as chancellor from 1960-69 before returning to New York and, eventually, Allentown, where he was named CEO of Sterling Drug Company, which merged with Kodak and was sold to Bayer.
A life trustee of Muhlenberg College, Wescoe received an Alumni Achievement Award in 1955 and an honorary doctorate in 1957. In 1998, the School of Professional Development was named for him, and in 2002, the Muhlenberg Evening College was renamed The Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College in his honor. Trustees have called Wescoe Muhlenberg’s “most illustrious and accomplished alumnus.”
“W. Clarke Wescoe had a distinguished career in higher education,” said President Randy Helm in a written statement following Wescoe’s death. “Given his commitment to the College and his belief in lifelong learning, naming our continuing education program in his honor was more than appropriate.”
Predeceased by his wife, Barbara, Wescoe is survived by three children – Barbara, William and David – as well as five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
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