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Banner Obituaries

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 PUBLISHED APRIL 7, 2010

 

 Clifford Morris Hardin

 October 9, 1915 - April 4, 2010

Clifford Morris Hardin photo     Clifford Morris Hardin, 94, of Nebraska, died April 4.
     He was born in Knightstown in 1915, a son of the late Alvin and Mabel (Macy) Hardin.
     Mr. Hardin served as Secretary of Agriculture under President Richard M. Nixon from 1969-1971, a tenure that included passage of the 1970 farm bill. He later talked with pride about putting together a bill that won bipartisan support, the result of months of weekly meet ings with key players from both parties. Mr. Hardin extended the food stamp program and established the Food and Nutrition Service to administer food programs for the poor, and the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs to coordinate efforts with state and local officials.
     Mr. Hardin was appointed chancellor of the University of Nebraska in 1954, at age 38, mak ing him the youngest university president in the country. As chancellor of the college from 1954-1969, he presided during a time of racial and social upheaval that largely bypassed the Lincoln campus. However, when he learned a conference rival planned to house Nebraska’s African-American and white football players in sepa rate hotels, he refused to let his players board the plane until the other university relented and allowed for inte grated accommodations.
     Proud of his role as a mentor, Mr. Hardin’s two former assistants in Washington, Richard Lyng and Clayton Yeutter, later became Secretaries of Agriculture. Thirteen administrators who worked for him at the University of Nebraska went on to become university presidents in their own right.
     After his service in Washington, he served as vice chairman and vice president for research at Ralston Purina, as well as chairman of Ralston Purina of Canada from 1971-1980. At age 65, he became director of The Center for the Study of American Business at Washington University and vice president and board member at Stifel Nicolause, an investment-banking firm in St. Louis, Mo. Mr. Hardin also served on the board of the Rockefeller Corporation, Gallup Inc., Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, and others. Additionally, he served as president of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges. He also edited the book Overcoming World Hunger and wrote numerous articles. He received the Flame of Truth Award from the Fund for Higher Education.
     Hardin grew up in Knightstown on the family farm, which was located on Greensboro Pike, five miles north of Knightstown. He was thrust into the role of responsibility at a young age. In high school he ran the family farm while his father ran another in Florida.
     Survivors include his wife, Martha; five children, Sue (husband, Larry) Wood, Clifford W. (wife, Glenna) Hardin, Cynthia (husband, Robert) Milligan, Nancy (husband, Douglas) Rogers and James (wife, Mary Pat) Hardin; 15 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; a sister, Phyllis (husband, John) Walls; a cousin, Lowell (wife, Mary) Hardin; and several nieces and nephews.
     Funeral arrangements are pending.
    Memorial contributions may be made to the University of Nebraska Foundation, 1010 Lincoln Mall, Ste. 300, Lincoln, NE 68508-2886.