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In Memoriam

Emeritus Professor Robert B. McLaren

October 14, 2008

Robert B. McLaren

Robert B. McLaren, emeritus professor of child and adolescent studies and an active campus supporter since he joined the campus in 1967, died Oct. 9 after a yearlong battle with Myasthenia Gravis. He was 85.

One of the first faculty members in child development, McLaren also was a co-founder of the Department of Religious Studies — now known as comparative religion. During his 30 years of service, he established campus chapters of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the Freshman Honor Society of Phi Eta Sigma, and founded, coordinated and chaired the Faculty Lyceum for seven years.

Prior to joining Cal State Fullerton, he taught philosophy and served as director of religious activities at the University of Houston. McLaren also was an ordained minister of United Presbyterian Church.

Retirement never put a dent in McLaren’s involvement on campus, his writing, travels or other activities. He continued to write, lecture around the world and be interviewed on topics ranging from moral development, ethics and philosophy to gun control.

In 2003, he reported yet another article that he published, and proclaimed: “Cal State has been a good home for all of us, for personal, intellectual and professional development. Since coming to Cal State in 1967, I’ve had the good fortune to have four books and more than 60 articles published in journals ranging from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to the International Gymnast and Philosophy of Education. More will follow!”

In 2005, the Child and Adolescent Studies Department dedicated Room 425 of the Education Classroom Building as the Robert and Althea McLaren Conference Room in honor of the emeritus professor of child and adolescent studies and his late wife, who died in 1995. Althea, a noted sculptor, created the bust of founding university President William B. Langsdorf that resides in the front entryway of Langsdorf Hall.

Both McLarens have university scholarship programs in their names: the Althea McLaren Scholarship for Arts in Child Development and the Robert McLaren Scholarship for Moral Development.

McLaren is survived by his sons, Craig and Kirk, and daughter, Christina Tardiff.

A memorial service in his honor will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, at Morningside Presbyterian Church, 1201 E. Dorothy Ln., Fullerton.

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