College to Mark Former Leader's 100th Birthday

Posted: Updated:

Earlham College is planning events in Richmond and Washington D.C. to celebrate the 100th birthday of its former president. Landrum Bolling will attend two private events marking his contributions to the school and efforts to promote peace in the Middle East.

November 8, 2013

News Release

Richmond, Ind. -- Earlham College is celebrating yet another milestone by President Emeritus Landrum Bolling: His 100th birthday.

During two private events taking place this month on campus and in Washington, D.C., Bolling will be recognized for his lasting contributions to internationalizing the College and also for his work to achieve peace in the Middle East. Bolling served as the College's president from 1958 to 1973.

Both events, which Bolling will attend, are being organized with help from the Bolling family, and MercyCorps, the international humanitarian assistance agency that Bolling remains actively involved with.

"Landrum's influence on Earlham is still recognized on campus today, and his humanitarian work across the world, especially in the Middle East, is widely respected across the United States and abroad," says Gail Clark, Earlham’s senior director of alumni relations and an organizer of the events. "When Landrum visits campus, people want to speak with him, but what they really want is to hear him speak. They want to know what’s going on in the world from his perspective."

Bolling came to Earlham as a professor of political science in 1948 before ascending to the presidency. He was at the helm as the College developed into a truly international institution, having a personal role in establishing the Japan Study program in Tokyo that recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, along with other opportunities for students to study abroad.

Today, about 70 percent of Earlham’s graduates complete off-campus study programs both domestic and abroad, with more than 20 semester-long and May-term opportunities now available for students.

After his years at Earlham, Bolling served as President of the Lilly Endowment, as CEO of the Council on Foundations, and later as Rector of Notre Dame’s Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem.

He is known for his ongoing efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East. At the request of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Bolling headed an international working group studying the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He was the principal author of its report that was published in 1970 and titled "Search for Peace in the Middle East."

During the administration of President Jimmy Carter, he served as a primary channel of communication between the White House and Yasser Arafat, the former Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Friends not attending the events can send greetings to Bolling at 914 19th St. South, Arlington VA 22202.

Challenge to Class of ’63 will establish internship in Bolling’s name

The Class of 1963, which recently celebrated its 50th reunion, is leading the charge to raise $250,000 for an endowed internship for students interested in international or peace studies.

An anonymous donor has already agreed to match, dollar-for-dollar, any gift made to the College to support the endowed internship, for up to $100,000.

The internships will be managed by the Center for Integrated Learning, the College’s hub for experiential learning, which includes internships, and opportunities for service-learning and faculty-student collaborative learning. On average, students complete about 23,000 hours of service learning annually and 85 percent of faculty collaborate on meaningful research with students.

"There were a number of people in our class who were politically involved and very much concerned with what was happening in the Middle East in the early 1960s," says Jerry Dusseau '63, a co-chair of the 50th Reunion Fundraising Committee.

"Landrum was a significant person to us beyond his role as a professor and president of the College, and a vocal supporter at athletic events," he says. "He had a major impact developing, promoting, and supporting Earlham's outstanding study-abroad programs. You could see his world-view influence on students and feel his lifelong commitment to peace-making efforts around the world."

More than 50 years later, Landrum is still sought after for his advice and counsel, which is truly a mark of respect, Dusseau says.

Though Dusseau did not have a personal relationship with Bolling, he continues to follow Bolling’s life’s work and is pleased to contribute to his ongoing legacy.

"When we realized 50 plus years of international study programs, our Class 50th reunion, and Landrum's 100th birthday were all occurring this year, this convergence led quite naturally to our wanting to establish an internship in international or peace studies for current and future students," Dusseau says.

Fundraising for the internship will continue through June 2014.

To make a contribution to the College that will support the endowed internship, visit

Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. Earlham is one of only 40 national liberal arts colleges ranked among U.S. News and World Reports' "Great Schools at a Great Price."

Source: Earlham College