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Remembering Dr. Donald Stanton, Oglethorpe University President (1988-1999)

Dr. Donald Sheldon Stanton, Oglethorpe’s 14th President, passed away on October 30, 2019. Dr. Stanton served in higher education throughout his entire professional life, and served as Oglethorpe’s president from 1988 to 1999.

Dr. Donald Stanton

Dr. Donald Stanton, Oglethorpe University President (1988-1999)

During Dr. Stanton’s tenure, Oglethorpe University saw unprecedented growth in facilities, with added or renovated space equivalent to more than two-thirds of the previously existing campus infrastructure. These included the addition of the Conant Performing Arts Center, Schmidt Sports and Recreation Center, a 71-bed residence hall, six Greek houses for fraternities and sororities, a maintenance and physical plant facility, a $1.1 million campus computer network, an addition to the Philip Weltner Library and Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, conversion of Goodman Hall to office and classroom spaces, and improvements to Lupton Hall.

In addition, the endowment grew from $8 million to more than $22.3 million with The Campaign for Oglethorpe—the largest capital campaign at that time in the University’s history. Oglethorpe also saw a tremendous growth in the outreach to the community and the world through Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, international exchange and sister school agreements with 11 partner institutions in eight countries, and competition in 14 varsity sports as a member of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Originally from Baltimore, Dr. Stanton earned his B.A. in Psychology and Religion from Western Maryland College, M. Div. in Religion from Wesley Seminary, M.A. in Psychology from The American University, and Ed. D. in Education from The University of Virginia. The former Oglethorpe President has also received honorary degrees from Colombia College, Western Maryland College, and Albion College. Prior to Oglethorpe, he served for 10 years as President of Adrian College in Michigan. He also held teaching, administrative, and other academic positions at various other schools including Wesleyan College, Greensboro College, and Wofford College.

Dr. Stanton was a contributing author of several books in the field of higher education, the former editor of Faculty Forum, and the author of over 20 articles and book reviews in various national publications. Additionally, he was listed in the Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Education.

Active in the community, Dr. Stanton served in a leadership capacity at numerous civic and professional organizations, including American Association of University Administrators, Junior Achievement of Lenawee County, the Michigan Colleges Foundation, the Georgia Educational Achievement Council, Rotary Club, the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Michigan, and the Toledo Symphony Board of Trustees. He was also a lifetime choir member, an accomplished bass-baritone soloist, a frequent world traveler, and golfer.

Dr. Stanton was married to Barbara Hoot Stanton for 64 years, father of three children, and grandfather to three grandchildren.

Dr. Stanton is pictured above with 1990 Oglethorpe honorary degree recipient Andrew Young, former Mayor of Atlanta, U.S. Representative, and U.S. Ambassador to the UN. 

Dr. Donald S. Stanton

LAKE JUNALUSKA – Dr. Donald Stanton, 87, passed away on Oct. 30, 2019. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, he was the son of Kenneth and Dorothy Stanton. He served as President of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta from 1988 through 1999, becoming President Emeritus. He is the former President for 10 years at Adrian College in Michigan.

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