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Richard, George (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 54, Number 3 (Nov. 1952)

Erlandson, Mrs. W. J.
Claude Leroy: he makes friends for U.S.,   pp. 25-27


Page 25


Claude Leroy:
            He Makes
   Friends for U.S.
       BY MRS. W. J. ERLANDSON, '27
N     HIS BOYHOOD       days in Lake
   Mills, Claude Leroy used to take
   travel books out of L.D. Fargo
library and dream about seeing the
world. Now he's the town's most-
traveled citizen and is making a career
out of international understanding on a
person-to-person basis.
  Leroy has spent most of the last
decade, since his graduation with a
B.A. degree from the University in
1941, packing and unpacking his travel
cases-getting to know his homeland
and foreign countries, studying, teach-
ing and servin' in Un~ted States-spon-
sored bi-national centers in Brazil.
  Although he has traveled throughout
*
*
*
Europe and South America, Brazil re-
mains his first choice for a home abroad
"because I know 'the tempo of the
people and understand them so well."
And understanding people is Leroy's
job.
  Leroy's work in the bi-national cen-
ters-originally c a 11 e d inter-cultural
centers-is part, of an important ven-
ture in this country's planned cultiva-
tion of friendship abroad. The centers
exist to foster good will and under-
standing between nations. We have cul-
tural centers in nearly every country,
seven of them in Brazil.
  The centers vary in size and facili-
ties. The SRo Paulo center has 6,000
*
*
*
Brazilian students; the one at Rio de
Janeiro looks like Wisconsin's Memorial
Union and is similar in its services. It's
a large three-floor downtown building
that includes a well-stocked library, art
centers, and rooms for social gatherings.
  The centers are under direction of
the U.S. Department of State, which
provides teachers, directors of courses,
secretaries, office assistants and librar-
ians. At Santos Leroy is serving as
director of courses and instructor.
  That job involves about six or seven
hours of teaching    d a i 1 y-English,
American history and the arts-working
with day and night students from 14 to
70 years old. He helps arrange confer-
      *          *  -              *
      THE AUTHOR of this article has had pretty much of an interesting life
    herself. The former Charlotte Rathmann, both she and her husband were
    graduated with journalism degrees in 1927, and have been newspapering
    ever since. The first 13 years they were at Elmhurst, Ill., where Bill
was
    editor of Press Publications, a chain of six surburban newspapers. In
1939
    they purchased the Lake Mills Leader and the next year that weekly was
    designated "most improved" in Wisconsin.
      After reading some books on self-sufficiency through living from the
    land, the Erlandsons began a hobby that combines farming and horticulture
    -and she says their interest in this avocation is considerable. In fact,
Bill
    claims if he were to enroll at the Univer-ity again, he'd be taking an
agricul-
    ture course. Not that the Erlandsons are disillus'cned with the Fourth
Estate-
    it's just that they like the land better. Mrs. Erlandson's pride and
joy are two
    Sequoia trees which she believes are the only one of their species in
Wis-
    consin. On their back-yard acre of land they also have 35 varieties of
lilacs,
    a fruit orchard and lots of strawberries and raspberries.
      Oh, yes, there's another Badger in the family. The Erlandson's daughter,
    Pat, also attended the University. After two years, though, the travel
bug
    bit her and after a year at Texas Christian she was graduated from Drake
    in 1951.
      Mrs. Erlandson, with all her activities, still finds time to act as
Lake
   Mills correspondent for the Wisconsin State Journal, in which parts of
the
   accompanying article appeared.
NOVEMBER, 1952
25


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