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ROTC advocate David Clayman, 1917-2011

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

David Clayman, founder of the Advocates for Harvard ROTC, died on Monday, January 10. As the obituary on the Advocates website makes clear, he lived a very full life:

During World War II, David taught meteorology and celestial navigation as a civilian instructor in the navy. He went on to have three careers: He ran a highly successful vending machine business. He joined Wang Laboratories, and used his sales abilities to help the company become one of the early leaders in the office computer business. He then taught at Lawrence High School, turning the school into a pioneer in teaching calculus, probability and statistics to high school students, and introduced similar innovations later at Methuen High School.

He gave very generously to Harvard, establishing a scholarship fund to support students attending Harvard who come from Lawrence and surrounding communities. He was forever grateful for the opportunity to get a Harvard education despite his father dying while he was a teenager.

David remained involved with the ROTC effort to his final days. Four days before his death he had long discussions of the implications of the major advances in the ROTC effort in the preceding weeks, and he brainstormed about ways to increase the number of students interested in ROTC attending Harvard.