Grove City Apologizes to Professor It Fired in 1962

October 28, 2015

In 1962, Grove City College fired Larry Gara, a history professor whose left-wing politics offended a powerful trustee. As recounted in an Associated Press article, the college brought various charges of incompetence against Gara and fired him. Gara went on to a successful teaching career at Wilmington College, in Ohio. But a Grove City alumnus, Steven Taaffe, a history professor at Stephen F. Austin University, did research on his firing and found considerable evidence that the charges were unfair. All the Grove City officials involved in the firing are dead. Based on Taaffe's research, a former president of the college, Richard Jewell, recently visited Gara and personally apologized on behalf of the college. Gara, 93, told the AP, "I never thought they would come around."

Grove City is the college that has been on the censure list of the American Association of University Professors for the longest time, due to this case. While all the information about the case was not available at the time, the AAUP noted a denial of due process to Gara, who was never given a chance to defend himself against charges now known to be false.

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