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Larry Geraty

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Lawrence T. Geraty
2nd President of La Sierra University
In office
Preceded by Fritz Guy
Succeeded by Randal Wisbey
President of Atlantic Union College
In office
Personal details
Born 1940[1]
Residence Riverside, California
Alma mater Pacific Union College
Adventist Theological Seminary
Harvard University
Profession Professor
College administrator
Religion Seventh-day Adventist

Lawrence "Larry" T. Geraty (born 1940) is an American academic who served as the second President of La Sierra University in Riverside, California. He completed his undergraduate education at Pacific Union College, a liberal arts college in California's Napa Valley, and received a doctorate in biblical studies from Harvard University. Geraty comes from a family of scholars, his father was also a professor who went on to lead a number of colleges.

In addition to leading La Sierra University Geraty has been President of other colleges, including the American Schools of Oriental Research, and worked as an archeologist and history professor. In 2007 he was recognized as "Citizen of the Year" by the local Chamber of Commerce in his adopted town of Riverside, California. He was also honored in a speech by Rep. Ken Calvert in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Family and early life[edit]

Geraty was born to missionary parents in 1940. With his family he lived in China, Burma, Hong Kong, Lebanon, England, Germany, France and Israel.[2][3] His family also lived in the United States in California, Maryland, Michigan and Massachusetts.[2][3] He has a brother, Ronald Geraty, a graduate of Loma Linda University's School of Medicine in 1971,[3] and a sister, Kathleen Geraty.

His father, T.S. Geraty, worked as an educator and missionary. As a youth Geraty learned from his father's diverse roles as President of Middle East College, now Middle East University in Lebanon, as a missionary in China, a professor at Andrews University in Michigan, Associate Education Secretary for the General Conference and editor of the church's education journal.[3][4][5] His mother, Hazel Geraty, was an elementary school teacher who taught at J.N. Andrews. School in Maryland and Ruth Murdoch Elementary School in Michigan. Geraty attended San Pasqual Academy in the late 1950s, a now defunct Adventist High School in San Diego County, California.[6][7]

Geraty married Gillian A. Keough in 1962 and they are approaching their 55th wedding anniversary. The Geraty family welcomed daughter, Julie, in 1965.

Higher education[edit]

Pacific Union College, where Geraty received his undergraduate degree

Pacific Union College[edit]

After completing high school Geraty went to Pacific Union College (PUC) for his undergraduate degree in theology, which he received in 1962.[7] During his college years he spent time at Le Campus Adventiste du Salève in Collonges-sous-Saleve, France, and Newbold College, then known as Newbold Missionary College, in Binfield, Berkshire, England.[8] During his senior year at PUC he was elected as the editor of the Campus Chronicle, the school newspaper, after running on a platform of "printing all that deserves to be printed" and making the paper "truly representative" of students at the school.[7] He previously had editorial experience at the school newspapers of both San Pasqual Academy and Newbold College.[7] During the summer of 1960 Geraty worked as a colporteur for the Potomac Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.[9]

Andrews University Seminary[edit]

In 1962, while a senior theology student at Pacific Union College, Geraty accepted a ministerial internship with the Southeastern California Conference. The first part of the internship consisted of going to Andrews University for graduate school, after which he was to return to California to begin a field internship.[10] In August 1963 Geraty graduated with a Masters of Arts in Religion[11] and completed his Bachelor of Divinity in May 1965, both at Andrews University.[11]

Harvard University[edit]

In 1966, while the Assistant Pastor of the Adventist Church in Santa Ana, California, Geraty was invited by Andrews University to join their Old Testament Department. Geraty, his wife, and infant daughter Julie moved to Harvard University in July 1966 where he began work on his PhD under the tutelage of George Ernest Wright and Frank Moore Cross. In 1972 he completed his PhD in Syro-Palestinian Archaeology with minor fields in Aramaic, Syriac, classical Hebrew, Northwest Semitic philology, and Old Testament history.[12][13] During the summer of 1970, while a graduate student at Harvard, Geraty studied at Hebrew University in Jordan on a Fulbright Scholarship.


Andrews University[edit]

From 1966 to 1976 Geraty is listed as Licensed Minister at Andrews University.[14] In 1971 he became part of the Old Testament faculty at the University's Seminary, along with S. H. Horn, Gerhard Hasel, A. F. Johns, and Mrs. Leona G. Running.[15] From 1977 Geraty is listed in the SDA Yearbook as an ordained minister; he and his father are listed side by side in the 1977 yearbook, both as employees of Andrews University.[16]


As a field archaeologist Geraty started at Gezer with Darrell Lance as field supervisor. In 1968 he joined Siegfried Horn and Roger Boraas at Tel Hisban. Geraty served the first three seasons there as a field supervisor. In 1974 he took over as director of the Hisban Expedition, which culminated with a final season in 1976. In 1982 Geraty began the Madaba Plains Project with Larry Herr and Øystein LaBianca.[17]

In 1986 he was instrumental in forming the Archeological Consortium of Adventist Colleges when he led a tour of students from the member schools to the Madaba Plains Project dig, including the 'Umayri site.[18] He led a similar 16-day tour in 1984, in his capacity as Director of the Institute of Archaeology at Andrews University, which journeyed to Jordan, Israel, and Egypt.[19]

He is a long-time member of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) at Boston University. He became the organization's vice-president in 1982 and was selected as its President on November 16, 2001.[12][20]

One of the buildings on the old campus of Atlantic Union College

Atlantic Union College[edit]

Dr. Geraty was president of Atlantic Union College in South Lancaster, Massachusetts, from 1985 until 1993.[1] While in this capacity he earned a reputation as a progressive academic administrator.[2][21]

La Sierra University[edit]

From 1993 to 2007 Geraty served as President of La Sierra University.[22] He took over following La Sierra's reformation as an independent institution, after it split from Loma Linda University, with his immediate role being to create an identity for the school.[22] Geraty is credited with leading the school as it retired its debt and opened a new $23 million science complex.[22] He was noted for his leadership in supporting the ordination of women in the Adventist church, with a prominent advocate saying he was not "afraid to stand alone for truth" in that regard.[23] Responding to President Geraty's initiative La Sierra University's Board of Trustees voted in November 1996 to establish the first Women's Resource Center in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.[24] Geraty serves on the Center's Board of Advisors to this day.[24] On June 7, 2007, Geraty was honored as the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce's Citizen of the Year at a celebration dinner.[2]


  • 1970 – Fulbright Fellow.[25]
  • 2001 – Awarded the P. E. MacAllister Field Award for his "outstanding career" as a builder of archaeologists and archaeological teams. It noted that he promoted cutting-edge research among his students and colleagues and his work as a statesman in representing the interests of American Schools for Oriental Research archaeologists to the broader public.[12][26]
  • 2002–2005 – President of American Schools for Oriental Research (ASOR). Responsible for oversight of relationships with the institutes in Jerusalem, Amman, and Nicosia, as well as contacts with other professional organizations concerned with archaeology in the Middle East. The award cited his direction of a major archaeological expedition in Jordan, his presidency of a university, his accomplishments as a scholar and leader, and the respect of his colleagues for his non-controversial and diplomatic personality.[26]
  • 2007 – Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year.[2]
  • 2007 – Honored in speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Ken Calvert.[2]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "College History". Atlantic Union College. Retrieved May 7, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Calvert, Ken (June 6, 2007). "Tribute to Dr. Lawrence T. Geraty" (PDF). Congressional Record: Extensions of Remarks. p. E1225. Retrieved May 13, 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Ronald Geraty Heads Human Services at New England Memorial Hospital." (PDF). Atlantic Union Gleaner. February 8, 1977. Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  4. ^ Geraty, T.S. (October 1955). "How Is Your Aim?—An Editorial" (PDF). The Journal of True Education. p. 1. Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  5. ^ Review and Herald Publishing Association (1968). Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook for 1967 (PDF). Washington, DC. pp. 14–15, 394. Retrieved May 13, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Background". San Pasqual Academy. Retrieved May 7, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d "New Campus Chronicle Editor" (PDF). Pacific Union Recorder. December 25, 1961. p. 16. Retrieved May 7, 2011. 
  8. ^ Bernham, Jean P. (June 12, 1959). "Investiture at Newbold Missionary College" (PDF). British Advent Messenger. p. 12. Retrieved May 7, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Literature Evangelism Report for July 1961" (PDF). Columbia Union Visitor. 66 (35): 10. 31 August 1961. Retrieved May 14, 2011. 
  10. ^ "News in Brief" (PDF). Pacific Union Recorder. May 14, 1962. p. 2. Retrieved May 6, 2011. 
  11. ^ a b Andrews University "View List of Graduates by Name or by Term" Check |url= value (help). Vault. Andrews University. Retrieved May 6, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b c "Geraty wins ASOR Award" (PDF). Newsletter. Institute of Archeology, Horn Archaeological Museum. Winter 2001. Retrieved May 13, 2011. 
  13. ^ C.E., Platner (August 1966). "Santa Ana Assistant Paster Goes to New Post of Duty" (PDF). Pacific Union Recorder. p. 6. Retrieved May 6, 2011. 
  14. ^ Review and Herald Publishing Association (1967). Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook for 1967 (PDF). Washington, D.C. p. 44. Retrieved May 13, 2011. 
  15. ^ Review and Herald Publishing Association (1971). Seventh-day Adventist yearbook for 1971. Washington, D.C. p. 304. 
  16. ^ Review and Herald Publishing Association (1977). Seventh-day Adventist yearbook for 1977 (PDF). Washington, D.C. p. 58. Retrieved May 13, 2011. 
  17. ^ LaBianca, Øystein (Winter 2000). "P. E. MacAllister Field Archeology Award Presented to Lawrence Thomas Geraty" (PDF). American Schools of Oriental Research Newsletter. 50 (4): 16. 
  18. ^ "SDA Colleges Form Archaeological Consortium" (PDF). Adventist Review. 153 (10): 7. March 1966. 
  19. ^ "Tour Jordan, Israel and Egypt" (PDF). Lake Union Herald. 76 (5): 22. 28 February 1984. Retrieved May 12, 2011. 
  20. ^ Robinson, Christy; Herr, Larry (December 2001). "Geraty new president of archaeology organization". La Sierra University News and Events. Retrieved April 29, 2011. 
  21. ^ Carpenter, Alexander (March 10, 2011). "Washington Adventist University to Open a Branch Campus at Atlantic Union College.". Spectrum Blog. Retrieved May 7, 2011. 
  22. ^ a b c Agha, Marisa (June 13, 2007). "Retiring president helped La Sierra University forge identity". The Press-Enterprise. Archived from the original on May 20, 2011. Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  23. ^ Underwood, Una J. (2000). Women in their Place. Brushton, New York: Teach Services. p. 415. ISBN 1-57258-160-3. 
  24. ^ a b "The Center". Women's Resource Center: Our Origins. Retrieved May 13, 2011. 
  25. ^ "The End of an Era in Biblical Archeology" (PDF). Ministry: 20. March 1973. 
  26. ^ a b Robinson, Christy; Herr, Larry (December 2001). "Geraty new president of archaeology organization". La Sierra News and Events. Retrieved May 13, 2011. 

External links[edit]