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August 3, 1978



Editor's note: This is another in the series of articles that will appear from time-to-time about people who grew up in Fostoria and experienced suc- cessful careers in their chosen profession.

Born on a farm on McDougal Road, east of Fostoria, to W. H. and Ida Yochum, Harold, as well as his two sisters, received their early education at the Punk Hollow, one-room school. Harold completed his first eight grades in six years.

Yochum was a member of the graduating class at Fostoria High in 1919...the class that produced a number of outstanding students, who achieved success in their chosen careers. He was salutatorian of the class.

Dr. Harold Leland Yochum served as the ninth president of Capital University, Columbus, from 1946 until a retirement in 1969. During his 23-year tenure as president, the university tripled its enrollment and faculty; more than doubled the size of its campus; added two professional schools, law and nursing, to its College of Arts and Sciences.

After graduating from Fostoria High School, Yochum entered Capital University, graduating in 1923 with a bachelor's degree. He received a master's degree from Ohio State in 1924, and bachelor of divinity degree from Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary in 1928.

His early teaching experience was at Attica, where he was a teacher and high school principal in 1924-1925. Then he returned to Capital University to teach English and Latin until 1928. Later he was pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Hesseville, and after that pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Detroit. From 1937-1946 he was president of the Michigan district of the American Lutheran Church.

Throughout his entire career Dr. Yochum was dedicated to many educational and civic involvements. He was vice president of the Columbus Area Council of Churches from 1951-1964 and was a delegate of the American Lutheran Church to attend meetings of the World Council of Churches in this country and overseas. He was chairman of the Franklin County United Appeal in 1963; a past presi- dent of the Ohio College Association; a past chairman of the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges; past president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio.

Dr. Yochum was deeply concerned with the bricks-and-mortar effort which served as the foundation for the Capital University of today. About half of the buildings now on campus were built during the Yochum administration, and he is credited with nearly single-handedly raising the funds needed to con- struct many of those facilities.

In 1950, when Capital University celebrated its centennial, Dr. Yochum had this to say about the University's future: "We believe that our objectives should be stated in terms of personality, rather than vague generalities and high-sounding ideals. What kind of person do we hope to graduate? One who is in right relationship with his total intergrated personality, living in fellowship with God and man, alert to current trends of thinking, standards of value, norms of judgment, be able to choose what is sound and reject what is fallacious. We best fulfill our obligations to church and society if our graduates are characterized by right attitudes and motivations, by intelligent ways of thinking and making decisions, by gracious ways of living and an appreciation of our entire cultural heritage. At the center of this will be a vital Christian faith and a reflection of that faith in character and life."

Dr. Yochum held several honorary doctorate degrees, including those awarded to him by Capital Universtiy, Central State University, Pacific Lutheran Univer- sity, Dennison University and Ashland College.

He was the author of two books of sermons and was much in demand as a speaker at meetings of educational, religious and civic groups, as well as for com- mencements, forums and conventions.

In 1972 until his death Sept. 1, 1974, Dr. Yochum served as minister to shut- ins at Christ Lutheran Church, Columbus, of which he was a member.

Dr. Yochum's widow resides in Columbus. He is also survived by two sisters, Mrs. Paul Pember, Fostoria, and Mrs. Edward Decker, Florida.

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