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Clarence C. Walton, Former General Studies Dean, Dies at 88

Clarence C. Walton, dean of Columbia's School of General Studies in the 1960s, continues to be mourned. He died in April at his home in Maryland after a long illness at the age of 88.

He served as General Studies dean from 1963 until 1969, when he became the first lay president of The Catholic University of America, a position he held until he retired in 1979. Walton then joined The American College, where he became the college's first professor of ethics. He was often called "the father of business ethics."

Born in 1915 in Scranton, Penn., Walton was the son of a railroad yard superintendent. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Scranton in 1937, then earned a master's degree in history from Syracuse University and a doctorate from Catholic University.

Walton wrote or edited 14 books. He was instrumental in making business ethics an essential part of executive training at major corporations such as U.S. Steel, IBM, Prudential and GE.

In the wake of business scandals at companies such as Enron and WorldCom, Walton told a reporter that "the time is past due when business ethics must take into account the Judeo-Christian values which undergird American society.

"Many of our prestigious schools are staying away from religious business ethics because they feel that it's indoctrination rather than education," he continued. "But properly taught, both the theological and ethical dimensions are appropriate."

Published: July 14, 2004
Last modified: Jan 10, 2005

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