Bob Edgar, former CST President
Bob Edgar, president of Claremont School of Theology from 1990 to 2000, died unexpectedly this morning at his home. He was 69.
Since 2007, Bob was president and CEO of Common Cause, a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to increasing accountability in government. During his most recent appearance on C-SPAN, he advocated for increased transparency in campaign finance.
“Bob Edgar led this school to increased viability, visibility and vibrancy during his 10-year tenure,” said President Jerry D. Campbell. “We are saddened to learn of his untimely passing, and our prayers are with his family, friends, and the staff of Common Cause.”
An Ordained Elder of The United Methodist Church, Rev. Robert W. Edgar came to Claremont in 1990 after a period of acute financial distress at the school. Over the next 10 years, Bob led the School through a period of growth, fundraising, and intellectual vitality. He also oversaw the rebranding of the institution to its current name, and the Edgar Community Center on campus today bears his name.
After his tenure at Claremont, he led the National Council of Churches for seven years, where he addressed issues of poverty, environmental degradation, international peace, and interfaith relations.
Bob leaves a distinguished legacy in public service. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1974 to represent the Seventh Congressional District of Pennsylvania, and was part of the congressional class nicknamed “the Watergate babies,” those elected in the wake of the Watergate scandal, who led sweeping reforms of Congress. During his six terms there, he led efforts on a number of environmental and reform bills, and worked on veterans’ issues including Agent Orange and readjustment counseling for those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
Bob received a B.A. from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pa., and an M.Div. from the Theological School of Drew University, Madison, N.J. He sat on the boards of several organizations, including the National Coalition on Health Care, the Environment and Energy Study Institute; the National Foundation on Alternative Medicine, Drew University; and the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.
Bob was the author of Middle Church, a call to progressive people of faith to take back the moral high ground from religious extremists and make America a better and less divided country.
Bob’s family has indicated that those wishing to make a gift in Bob’s memory can donate to Common Cause 1133 19th St. NW, 9th Floor, Washington D.C. 20036, with a note that it’s for the Bob Edgar Legacy Fund.
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