Clara L. Simerville

Honored by:Dennis Peterson
Brick location:B:8  map

Dr. Clara L. Simerville was born in 1908. She received a B.A. from Willamette University in Education and French, a M.S. in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Oregon and an Ed.D. in Education from Oregon State University. She taught in the public schools of Oregon for thirteen years, worked in the Office of the Dean of Women at Oregon State University and for fifteen years was the Foreign Student Counselor. As the Foreign Student Counselor, she organized programs and services for thousands of international students. These programs included: orientation, programs for improving relationships between Americans and international students, advising on visa and university rules and intervening on behalf of students who were experiencing financia,l personal or cultural difficulties.

She has traveled to over 100 countries, visiting many international alumni during her extensive trips abroad. Her book, Home Visits Abroad, is about some of these experiences. After her retirement from Oregon State, she began a third career. She was invited by Eugene Clubine Director of Foreign Student and Visitor Services at Iowa State University (ISU) to temporarily replace a staff member in his office. Because of her energy, imagination, and commitment to international education, that one year turned into six months a year for the next six years.

In 1972 Dr. Simerville and Eugene Clubine founded the International Resource Center at ISU. Today the Center loans educational and cultural materials from over 190 countries to thousands of persons on and off campus yearly. She gave the first items from her extensive collection of international hats, shoes, and other clothing. She also greatly expanded ISU's programs and services to U. S. students who wished to study, work, and travel abroad. Her seminar series "Tips for Travelers" was very popular with students, faculty, and the general public. Her book "Ready, Set, Go" was very helpful to seminar participants and to many other travelers.

Dr. Clara Simerville successfully raised three children, Betty Anne, Don, and Jim, while teaching public school, studying for her Ph.D. and working at Oregon State University. At age 86, Dr. Simerville is young at heart, constantly learning new things and a role model for all older Americans. She is an inspiration to staff of ISU's Office of International Students and Scholars and to her many friends around the world.

Submitted on 10/94