Clarence Knight Studley

At the Department of Geography and Planning’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2014, Clarence Knight Studley was recognized posthumously for his all-encompassing vision, leadership, and teaching during his 40-year career at Chico State College.

Studley began his academic career at Chico Normal School in 1907, teaching geography, physical geography, map reading, and geography instruction. In 1918, he also began serving as vice president and helped transition the school to Chico State Teacher’s College in 1921 and Chico State College in 1935. He served as vice president until his retirement in 1946, stepping down only for health reasons. He also served as acting president from 1930 to 1931, when then-president Charles Osenbaugh died unexpectedly; he continued teaching geography, trigonometry and physics during that time.

Concurrent with his administrative roles, he served as head of the geography and geology program from 1930 to 1939 and as head of the social science and commerce program from 1940 to 1946. Three of his early publications from 1912 and 1913 on preparing elementary and middle school teachers are still available in print.

According to historical records, Studley was known for walking to campus each day from his home in Mansion Park, and all over Chico, greeting everyone he met. He walked well into retirement and up until his death in 1954.

Studley is considered to be a founder of academic geography instruction at CSU, Chico, and  one who laid the foundation for today’s renowned program. Indeed, he ushered in the hiring of David Lantis, who founded the department in the 1950s.