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Reuben Harpole

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Information about Reuben Harpole

Profile image of Reuben Harpole

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Academic Administrator
Foundation Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Barbeque
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Virgin Islands
Favorite Quote:
The Purpose For Education Is To Keep The World From Cheating You.

Birthplace

Born:
9/4/1934
Birth Location:
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Academic Administrator
Foundation Executive

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Barbeque
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Virgin Islands
Favorite Quote:
The Purpose For Education Is To Keep The World From Cheating You.

Birthplace

Born:
9/4/1934
Birth Location:
Milwaukee
See how Reuben Harpole is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Academic administrator and foundation executive Reuben Harpole 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, Wisconsin and earned his B.S. degree in elementary education in 1978 from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Harpole served at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education for thirty-one years as 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 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 including 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 doctorate 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.” In 2015, Harpole and his wife, were awarded the first Distinguished Educator of the Year award at Celebrate Teachers & Teaching. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Alumni Association honored Harpole with its Community Service Award in 2016.

Harpole and his wife, Mildred Carwin Harpole, have two children: Annette and John.

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

See how Reuben Harpole is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Reuben Harpole's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Reuben Harpole lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Reuben Harpole describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Reuben Harpole describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Rueben Harpole recalls how his parent's met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Rueben Harpole describes his parent's personalities and who he takes after
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Rueben Harpole lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Rueben Harpole describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Rueben Harpole remembers his maternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Rueben Harpole describes his early neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Reuben Harpole talks about racial discrimination in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Reuben Harpole talks about his childhood activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Reuben Harpole remembers his parent's divorce
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Reuben Harpole talks about author and scholar Increase Allen Lapham
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Reuben Harpole remembers the entertainment venues and black musicians in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Reuben Harpole talks about important figures in the black community in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Reuben Harpole remembers attending Mount Calvary Holy Church of America in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Reuben Harpole recalls the death of his maternal grandfather
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Reuben Harpole remembers attending North Division High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Reuben Harpole talks about working for Stark's General Cleaners in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Reuben Harpole recalls his experiences at North Division High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Reuben Harpole remembers being drafted into the U.S. Army and proposing to his wife
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Reuben Harpole remembers learning to play the saxophone while stationed in Korea
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Reuben Harpole talks about the Harpole family
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Reuben Harpole recalls meeting his wife while studying at Milwaukee Area Technical College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Reuben Harpole remembers Milwaukee Mayor Frank P. Zeidler
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Reuben Harpole talks about his community initiatives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Reuben Harpole describes the Central City Teacher Community Project
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Reuben Harpole remembers working at the Milwaukee Star and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Reuben Harpole shares his philosophy on community development
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Reuben Harpole remembers the civil disturbance in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Reuben Harpole talks about his mentorship of black college students
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Reuben Harpole talks about his activism for housing reform in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Reuben Harpole recalls helping Oprah Winfrey enroll at Nicolet High School in Glendale, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Reuben Harpole talks about the summer prep program at Campion High School in Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Reuben Harpole describes the success of the students from the summer prep program at Campion High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Reuben Harpole talks about former Miss Black America Sonya Robinson
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Reuben Harpole recalls corruption in the U.S. Small Business Association
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Reuben Harpole talks about the minority business contracts and sports figures in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Reuben Harpole describes America's Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Reuben Harpole talks about the funding for America's Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Reuben Harpole remembers James Cameron's work at America's Black Holocaust Museum
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Reuben Harpole talks about his organizational memberships
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Reuben Harpole remembers Anthony Mensah and his Rites of Passage program
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Reuben Harpole talks about the impact of the Rites of Passage program
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Reuben Harpole recalls establishing the Reuben K. Harpole, Jr. Scholarship fund
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Reuben Harpole talks about the Milwaukee Public School's Homework First Program
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Reuben Harpole recalls the end of the Homework Comes First Program
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Reuben Harpole talks about his retirement and the Harambee neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Reuben Harpole describes his hopes and concerns with the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Reuben Harpole talks about his family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Reuben Harpole reflects upon his life