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Color: Blue
Food: Barbeque
Quote: The Purpose For Education Is To Keep The World From Cheating You.
Season: Summer
Vacation Destination: Virgin Islands
Birthplace
Milwaukee, Wisconsin United States
Interview Description:

Biography |

Interview Date: 2/21/2017

Academic administrator Reuben K. Harpole, Jr. was born on September 4, 1934 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Reuben K. Harpole Sr. and Mardree Johnson Harpole. He graduated from North Division High School in Milwaukee. Harpole earned his B.S. degree in elementary education in 1978 from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Harple served at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education for 31 years. He was a senior outreach specialist at the University Center for Urban Community Development. In 1998, he went to work as a program officer for the Helen Bader Foundation (now Bader Philanthropies, Inc.), where he spearheaded the selection of 758 grants totaling more than $6.4 million. In 2007, Harpole established the Reuben K. Harpole Jr. Education Scholarship at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which has invested $19,000 in the college education of young African American men interested in teaching.

Harpole served as a civil rights worker and community leader who led development efforts for several Milwaukee institutions including the Black Holocaust Museum, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Center for Urban Community Development, and the Harambee Community Development Corporation. Harpole is credited for his contributions to the founding of more than twenty-five community centers and programs that promote education as the ultimate equalizer among young people. Among them are Milwaukee Public Schools’ Homework First program, the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, 100 Black Men of Greater Milwaukee, and Bader Philanthropies’ Community Partnerships for Youth.
He was the recipient of numerous awards and honors for his dedicated civic work and promotion of education. In 2005, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee awarded Harpole an honorary Ph.D. degree of humane letters for his work in improving Milwaukee communities. On September 21, 2009, he was honored as the official “Paramount Chief of Milwaukee” and received a portion of Second Street, near North Avenue. Milwaukee named the section of Second Street, “Reuben K. Harpole, Jr. Avenue.” The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Alumni Association honored Harpole with its Community Service Award in 2016.
Harpole and his wife, Mildred Carwin Harpole, live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They have two children: Annette and John.

Reuben Harpole was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 21, 2017.

Speaker Bureau Notes: