Steere, Douglas V. (Douglas Van), 1901-1995

Douglas and Dorothy Steere served the Society of Friends for much of their adult lives and their influence remains strong to this day. Douglas V. Steere was born on August 31, 1901 in Harbor Beach, Michigan and was educated at Eastern High School in Detroit; Michigan Agricultural College, earning a BS in Agriculture in 1923; and Harvard University, earning his MA in Philosophy in 1929 and his PhD in 1931. As a Rhodes Scholar, Steere attended Oxford University from 1925 to 1928, earning both a BA and an MA. Dorothy Lou MacEachron was born on December 22, 1907 in Grand Haven, Michigan, and graduated with distinction from the University of Michigan in 1928. After their marriage in 1929, they worked together for Quakerism and for the American Friends Service Committee until his death in 1995.

From 1928 to 1964, Douglas Steere was professor of philosophy at Haverford College. He was the Harry Emerson Fosdick Professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 1936, the William Belden Noble Lecturer at Harvard University in Boston in 1943, and Rauschenbush Lecturer in Rochester, NY in 1953. From 1961 to 1962, Douglas Steere served as visiting professor of theology at Union Theological Seminary. The Steeres' involvement with the Society of Friends included memberships, travels, and hands-on work throughout their professional lives. They were instrumental in planning Pendle Hill, a Quaker study center located in Wallingford, PA in 1930. Based in his Quaker beliefs, Douglas Steere objected to military service during World War II. Soon after the war ended, Douglas Steere “helped organize Quaker relief efforts in Finland, Norway and Poland … [and] urged recovery efforts by American Friends Service Committee in Europe,” (NY Times Obituary). From the mid 1940s to 1960s, the Steeres traveled under the auspices of the American Friends Service Committee in order to work with Quaker relief projects in Europe, the Middle East, the Far East and Africa. While continuing their work in these regions, Douglas Steere served as Chairman of the Friends World Committee for Consultation, arranging meetings with international theologians from 1964 to 1970, especially in Japan and India, in order to explore ecumenism and encourage communication. In 1964, he represented the Society of Friends at the Second Vatican Council.


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2016-08-10 06:08:40 am

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