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WAETJEN, WALTER BERNHARD

WAETJEN, WALTER BERNHARD

WAETJEN, WALTER BERNHARD (16 Oct. 1920 - 16 Aug. 1997) was a university president, professor and author, and an accomplished athlete. He was born in Philadelphia, PA, to Marguerite Dettman, a homemaker, and Walter E. Waetjen, a tool and die maker and industrial arts teacher. He was national Golden Gloves light heavyweight boxing champion in 1939. In 1942 he earned his B.S. in industrial arts from Millersville University, which named him outstanding senior scholar-athlete for maintaining a 3.6 GPA while earning 7 varsity letters in football, track and boxing. During WORLD WAR II he tested submarines for the Navy in a Philadelphia shipyard, and from 1942 to 1946 he played professional football for the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles. He taught in the Philadelphia public schools until 1948 when he earned his M.S. in vocational education from the University of Pennsylvania. He accepted a research fellowship from the University of Maryland where he earned his Ed.D. in 1951. He joined the faculty at U. Maryland and became vice president of general administration in 1963, a position he held until he was named the second president of CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY in 1973. During his administration, Waetjen was credited with several university improvements, including the Convocation Center and the conversion of a EUCLID AVE. Holiday Inn into dormitories. In 1988 he retired from CSU and accepted a one-year visiting professorship at Cambridge University in England. In 1991 he became a research fellow at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland before accepting the position as interim president of Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio, from 1992 to 1993. Waetjen authored two books and 61 articles. He served on the boards of several companies, including Overseas Capital Corp., St. Vincent Quadrangle, Inc. (see SAINT VINCENT CHARITY HOSPITAL AND HEALTH CENTER), Talbot Philanthropies, Inc., and CASA of Talbot County, MD. He was a member of the International Technology Education Association and for 12 years chairman of its advisory council. He was on the presidential commission of the NCAA (see FOOTBALL), and was a trustee of the Woodruff Foundation. Waetjen received numerous awards and honors, including the Distinguished Alumni Award from Millersville Univ., the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit from the Federal Republic of Germany, the Order of the Yugoslav Flag from the former Yugoslavia, and honorary degrees from Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea, Gama Filho University in Brazil, Cleveland State University, and Ashland University. He was also a 33rd Degree Mason and member of Solomon's Lodge 3 in Pennsylvania. In 1945 he married Betty Walls and they had three children: Walter B., Jr., Kristi, and Daniel. Waetjen died at his home in Oxford, Maryland, and is buried in Philadelphia.

SSH