Clement F. Shearer, one of Carleton College's most admired and respected administrators, died of a heart attack on Thursday, May 14, 1998, at his home in Northfield. He was 49. A memorial service is planned for Friday, May 15, at 4:30 p.m. in Carleton's Skinner Memorial Chapel.
Born and raised in Boston, Mass., Shearer began his service to Carleton as the Bernstein Geologist in Residence in October 1988. In 1989, he was appointed the College's first dean for budget and planning.
"Clem and I developed an extemely close working relationship, and I relied heavily on his judgement, analytical ability and communication skills," said
Carleton President Stephen R. Lewis, Jr. "Clem was an elegant person with a wicked wit, a committed Christian and a volunteer leader in many Northfield activities. Those of us who knew Clem find it hard to imagine our lives here at Carleton without him. He will be enormously missed."
Shearer was responsible for preparing the annual budget for the College and overseeing facilities planning. During his tenure, Carleton has completed numerous renovations and constructed several new facilities, including the Center for Mathematics and Computing, Hulings Hall of Science, and renovations to Boliou, Mudd and Olin halls. Shearer was heavily involved in the current planning of Carleton's new recreation center, an additional dining hall, and the updating of several residence halls.
Shearer served on many Carleton committees and played an integral role in the College's governance system. He supervised numerous Carleton
administrative departments, including Academic Computing and Networking Services, the Carleton Arboretum, Archives, Institutional Research, the Laurence McKinley Gould Library, Media Services and Student Financial Services. He also served as a professor of geology, occasionally teaching a course in the geology department. In 1989, Shearer was one of only 95 people selected to participate in Harvard University's prestigious Institute for Educational Management.
Prior to coming to Carleton, Shearer was deputy assistant director for engineering geology at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Reston, Va., where he worked for 10 years. The USGS honored him with its Quality Achievement Award in 1988.
Shearer graduated from Boston's English High School in 1967. He attended Brown University as a National Achievement Scholar and earned his A.B.
degree in geological sciences in 1971. In 1978, he received his Ph.D. in earth sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He was married for 26 years to Cynthia Luck Shearer, a classmate from Brown who is currently director of the Modern Language Center and a lecturer in French at Carleton.
Shearer taught at UC-Santa Cruz while in graduate school, and then served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science Congressional
Science Fellow in the office of U.S. Representative George Brown, Jr. He won numerous awards for his government service, including a USGS Special Achievement Award and a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Certificate of Appreciation for his work on the Mount St. Helens volcanic eruption and its aftermath. He also was awarded a National Science Foundation Certificate of Recognition in 1987.
In addition to publishing numerous scientific articles, Shearer served a number of organizations in an advisory capacity. His many professional commitments included service as executive secretary of the National Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council; member of the advisory board of the Natural Hazards Research Applications and Information Center at the University of Colorado; member of the FEMA Subcommittee on Federal Response to a Catastrophic Earthquake; and work on several committees of the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Shearer was a strong advocate of community service and was a member of the Northfield Economic Development Authority, serving in 1994 as its vice
president and chair. He also was president of the Northfield Area United Way in 1992 and held several positions on the Board of Directors of the Greater Minneapolis Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. In addition, he was a member of the Board of Directors of Support a Rising Star, Inc., in Minneapolis, and the United Nations Rally Board of Minnesota.
Shearer was an associate member and deacon of First United Church of Christ in Northfield, and was a longtime member of the United Christian Parish of Reston, Va., where he served as a lay leader of the South Lakes congregation.
In addition to his wife, Shearer is survived by his mother, Mrs. Erline Shearer of Dorchester, Mass.; one brother, Mr. Charles Shearer of Boston; two sisters, Ms. Deborah Shearer of Dorchester, Mass., and Mrs. Linda Gossage of San Francisco; two brothers-in-law, Mr. Harry Gossage of San Francisco, and Mr. Ira Hartwell of Annapolis, Md.; one sister-in-law, Mrs. Millicent Hartwell of Annapolis, Md.; two uncles, Mr. Robert Isaacs of Ayer, Mass., and Dr. Albert Whiting of Columbia, Md.; four aunts, Mrs. Esther Knudsen of Cambridge, Mass., Mrs. Ruth Irving of Dorchester, Mass., Mrs. Lotte Whiting of Columbia, Md., and Mrs. Maxine Muse of Danville, Va.; two great-aunts, Mrs. Evelyn Isaacs of Boston and Mrs. Alice Isaacs of West Medford, Mass.; three nieces, Ms. Christina Arbuz, Ms. Sydney Clark, and Ms. Naomi Gossage; four nephews, Mr. Jesse Gossage, Mr. Cameron Clark, Mr. Seth Gossage, and Mr. Zachary Clark; many cousins and a host of other relatives and friends.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to Cynthia Luck Shearer. The gifts will be distributed among several of Clem Shearer's favorite charities.