B.A., Denison University
Ph.D., West Virginia University
Citation awarded June, 2000
Three years ago, Clifford Lantz left his long-time position as president of the West Virginia Research League to become dean of business and economics at West Virginia State College. As an educator, he teaches two business law courses and a graduate legal studies course. As dean, Cliff brought the League and the college into a collaborative compact that continues the League’s mission and provides his economics faculty with significant new policy research opportunities.
After graduating from Denison, Cliff served in the U.S. Army in Japan and subsequently earned the H.D. from West Virginia University College of Law. In 1961, he began his career as the first director of West Virginia’s newly enacted income tax. By 1968, he was West Virginia’s state tax commissioner and had secured civil service coverage for his staff. He left in 1969 to become the first president of the Research League, which is a governmental research organization dedicated to facilitating public policy decisions. During his 28 years at the League’s helm Cliff led the nonprofit corporation in addressing major state issues such as property tax exemptions, branch baking, financing public education, collective bargaining in government, and developing a comprehensive revision of the state’s tax system.
Cliff’s record of community service includes board membership on the Fund for the Arts, Friends of Culture and History, and the Charleston Community Music Association. Cliff is past president of the St. Albans Rotary Club and is a Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary Foundation. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors of Eberly College of Arts & Sciences of West Virginia University. This year, Cliff will complete his fifteenth year of exceptional service to Denison’s admission program, the Denison Alumni Recruiting Team. He has also served Denison in fundraising and in career advising.
Since 1965, Cliff has been president of his family firm, Lantz Lumber Company, Inc. He and his wife Barbara make their home in Charleston. Both their daughter, Dr. Elizabeth Cary Lantz ’94, and Cliff’s sister, Linda Lantz Stevens ’57, are Denison alumnae.