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Darcy, Robert L. (1928-) | Archival Collections at Wheaton College

Name: Darcy, Robert L. (1928-)


Historical Note:

Robert Leland Darcy was born May 21, 1928 in Chicago (Cook County) Illinois, the youngest son of Robert Michael Darcy and Mabel Marcum Darcy. He received his elementary and high school education in the western suburbs (Haley School in Stickney and J. Sterling Morton High School, Cicero) and attended Morton Junior College for one year before enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1946. He served 12 months as a paratrooper in Japan, rising to the rank of sergeant. He returned to earn his B.A. in economics at Knox College in 1950 and began graduate study at Indiana University before being called for Army service as a 1st Lieutenant in Japan and Korea.

After 21 months of Korean War service, he returned to Bloomington, Indiana, to complete requirements for his M.A. in economics (1953) and then relocated to Denver, Colorado, for private sector employment. He acquired years of valuable business experience at Montgomery Ward mail order, rising from management trainee to division merchandiser. In 1955 he declined promotional transfer and elected to pursue an academic career at the University of Colorado (Boulder), where he obtained a Ph.D. in economics in 1957. Upon completion of his Ph.D. program, Dr. Darcy was appointed assistant professor of economics at Oregon State College (Corvallis) where he taught public finance, economic theory, introductory economics, and other courses for three years (1957-1960). Responding to the law of comparative advantage, the Darcy family moved to Kansas State University (associate professor, (1960-1961) and then Ohio University, Athens (1961-1968, tenured associate professor of economics) where he also served as executive director of the Ohio Council on Economic Education. In 1968, Dr. Darcy was appointed full professor of economics at Colorado State University (Fort Collins) directing doctoral students and earning permanent tenure.

After receiving his doctorate in 1957, Darcy combined his career-long passion for teaching with a busy schedule of writing and editing, summer workshops, research, consulting and speaking, community service, and family travel (ocean to ocean with mountain trails, forest campgrounds, lake cottages in between). Beginning in the 1970s, economic missions took him to El Salvador, Guatemala, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the People's Republic of China. Extensive personal travel included the beautiful countries of Ireland, New Zealand, Switzerland, Scotland. In 1968 he published Manpower and Economic Education along with Phillip E. Powell (definitive edition 1973). Darcy then moved to Colorado State University as professor of economics and later established the Center for Economic Education, remaining until 1975. In 1986, after economic development assignments in the Middle East and directing research as well as teaching at Ohio State University, he published The Economic Process: A Structured Approach.

In 1975 he accepted an economic development position with the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Saudi Arabia, 1975-1976), later returning to Washington, D.C. doing manpower research for the U.S. Department of Labor. In 1977 he was appointed senior research specialist at the National Center for Research in Vocational Education, Ohio State University (Columbus), also teaching economics at OSU's regional campus in Newark and Capital University (Columbus). He was an independent economist in Ohio until moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico in the 1990s.

According to Darcy, "the thread that runs through my career as a professional economist is conscientious effort to apply Gospel ethics consistently and universally in all my teaching, research, service, and writing (see, e.g., my 1986 book "The Economic Process"). This reflects a deep respect for the human dignity of all persons and belief in a capacity for genuine improvement on the part of individuals and social institutions. The special fields of economics absorbing much of my energy have been manpower, economic education, public policy, economic development, and social values." Subsequent to 1997 Darcy added published and unpublished papers on value issues beyond economics, addressing moral ethics in contemporary society. His 2002 paper on Schweitzer, Jung, and Veblen notes the wisdom of people "whose values and institutions nurture the best of human nature rather than celebrating the worst."

Note Author: Wheaton College Archives & Special Collections staff






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