Memorabilia from the Dale E. and Clarice Wolf papers includes Delawareana, Gov. Wolf’s contribution to an oral history of World War II veterans from Delaware, material related to his professional accomplishments in agrichemical research and development, and numerous citations for community service and career milestones.

Wolf papers

University Library acquires Dale E. and Clarice Wolf papers, memorabilia

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8:42 a.m., July 19, 2011--The University of Delaware of Library has received a gift from former Gov. Dale E. Wolf and his wife, Clarice Wolf, consisting of personal photographs, plaques, certificates, ephemera, news clippings and memorabilia documenting their personal, professional, public and volunteer work.

Material in the collection documents Wolf’s military service in World War II; his agricultural research and DuPont career; Delaware political and public service; as well as community volunteer work, and includes similar work of Clarice Wolf. Receipt of the collection helps to preserve their remarkable life and many contributions.

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Dale Wolf was born in 1924 in Kearney, Neb., and is an alumnus of the University of Nebraska, from which he received a bachelor's degree in agricultural science. 

He received field artillery officer training at Fort Sill, Okla., and was commissioned a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Infantry Division. For bravery under fire as an artillery forward observer at the Battle of Okinawa on May 12, 1945, he received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

After the war, Wolf received a doctorate in 1950 from Rutgers University, the first doctorate awarded in the field of weed science. He was co-author, in 1951, of Principles of Weed Control with Gilbert Ahlgren of Rutgers and Glenn Klingman of North Carolina State University. This work is still considered a standard text.

Wolf’s pioneering work in weed and soil science was recognized by DuPont, which recruited him to join the business in 1950. In the course of his long career at DuPont, Wolf advanced from research biologist to group vice president of agricultural products. His work at DuPont took him around the world, with extensive travel in Japan, China, Africa and Russia.

Wolf’s professional activities included leadership roles in the National Agriculture Chemical Association (NACA), the International Agriculture Chemical Association (GIFAP) and the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Association (PMA).

Wolf resigned from DuPont in 1987 to accept then-Gov. Michael N. Castle’s appointment as director of Delaware Development, where he was responsible for the state’s capital budget, housing for the poor, tourism and economic development.

He was elected as the state's 23rd lieutenant governor in 1988 and served a four-year term with Castle. As lieutenant governor, Wolf oversaw the Senate and the Pardons Board, and chaired both the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Coordinating Council and the Adult Literacy Council.

In 1989, President George H.W. Bush appointed him to the U.S. Intergovernmental Policy Advisory Committee (IGPAC).

When Castle was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and resigned from the governorship on Dec. 31, 1992, Wolf was sworn in and served a record short term as governor of Delaware until Jan. 19, 1993. He did not seek election to a full term as governor.

In addition to professional involvements, Wolf served as chairman of Daynel International in China, a consulting group assisting companies wishing to do business in that nation. He also helped set up the Guangzhou office in China for the law firm of Mezzullo-McCandlish. 

He has served on advisory committees of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management at the University of Delaware, as well as on the boards of Red Cross, Girls, Inc. and Christiana Care Medical Center. 

Wolf is chairman of SURJ (Stand Up for What’s Right and Just), an organization dedicated to improving the criminal justice system in Delaware.

The Wolfs contribute leadership to numerous civic, community, church and charitable organizations. Clarice Wolf, who received the Jefferson Award in 1998, has a long record of working with children and family services. She was a court appointed special advocate, a board member of Family Services of Delaware, and a volunteer with YWCA, Sojourners’ Place and the Emmanuel Dining Room. These activities are reflected in the many certificates of appreciation and photographs included in the library gift collection.

“The Wolf archive will be housed in Special Collections of the University of Delaware Library. The University of Delaware Library has a strong commitment to the important content of the papers and archives of elected officials,” said Susan Brynteson, vice provost and May Morris Director of Libraries. “The Wolf papers will join the Congressional papers of Delaware U.S. Senator Thomas Carper and former U.S. Senators Michael Castle, Ted Kaufman, John Williams and Allen Frear, among others.”

The University of Delaware Library will process, organize and preserve the Wolf papers, which will contribute to future research efforts of students and researchers. Papers relating to Wolf’s term of office as governor are in the Delaware Public Archives.

Images courtesy Special Collections, University of Delaware Library.

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