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Alumni Feature 1

Douglas La Follette, Class of 1963

Public Servant and Activist

Douglas La Follette

Doug has a long record of public service. He was elected to the Wisconsin State Senate in 1972, and elected Secretary of State in 1974. After a four-year hiatus, he was again elected Secretary of State in 1982 and has held the position ever since then. He also has twice run for federal office.

Doug is a well-known environmental activist and co-founder of Wisconsin’s Environmental Decade, now known as Clean Wisconsin. He continues his advocacy for the protection of the state’s clean water and clean air resources while promoting clean energy initiatives. Doug helped organize the 1970 and 1990 Earth Day events and authored the book, The Survival Handbook: A Strategy for Saving Planet Earth. In the years following the first Earth Day observance, he gained a national reputation for advancing dialog surrounding the environment-population-resource crisis.

Doug distinguished himself in various roles for the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, D.C. and the Mid-American Solar Energy Complex in Minneapolis. He served on the national board of Sierra Club and was a Distinguished American Fulbright Scholar in 2003.

After earning his B.S. from Marietta College in Chemistry and Business in 1963, Doug went on to complete a master’s degree in Chemistry from Stanford and a doctorate in Organic Chemistry from Columbia in 1967.

He has remained an active member of the Marietta College community, returning in 2004 to participate in an open forum conducted by the Environmental Science Program and the Career Center. He visited in 2002 as a guest lecturer for Earth Week and on previous occasions to share his perspectives on energy and environmental policy.