The Clarence Glasrud Lecture and Reading Series is an annual endowed lecture in the name of Clarence “Soc” Glasrud. Established in 1991 and supported by contributions from faculty, staff and friends, the lecture features speakers who can challenge the minds of people and have the potential to improve society.
Glasrud was born in Detroit Lakes and taught at a country school before enrolling at MSU Moorhead in 1930 and graduating in 1934. After a stint in the Army Air Corps during World War II, he earned a master’s degree and a doctorate at Harvard University. He acquired the “Soc” nickname after his classmates in an ancient history course decided that he deserved the name, short for Socrates. He returned to MSU Moorhead in 1947 to teach, and served 23 years as chair of the English department. He helped to develop a separate department of speech and theatre before retiring in 1977. In his active retirement, he traveled widely, served a term on the city council, wrote two comprehensive histories of the university and remained a thoughtful and lively presence until his last days. Urbane and filled with a thirst for knowledge and understanding, his life stands as a model for all of us at MSU Moorhead and in the Fargo-Moorhead area.