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January 2007

Posted On: 1/1/2007 12:00:00 AM

Kenneth Rehage, Director of the University of Chicago's Pakistan Education Program, dies at 96

Dear Pakistani University of Chicago Alumni, students, educators, and friends:

I've been meaning to send this email out since January '07 when I first read about Prof. Rehage's death in the Chicago Tribune. Quite frankly, I did not know of the Pakistan Education Program at our alma mater. The Program actually ended in 1972 when many of us were still toddlers. Nonetheless, it is important for us to know of this piece of Chicago history, and how one of our city's premier educational institutions was involved in shaping the educational landscape of Pakistan. If anyone knows of what became of that program or knows of any of its beneficiaries, please let the Pakistan Club know.

Kenneth Rehage, a Professor Emeritus in Education at the University of Chicago who led a University program to train school administrators and teachers from Pakistan and was also a celebrated teacher himself, died Jan. 31 at the Central New Jersey Jewish Home for the Aged in Somerset, New Jersey. Rehage, a resident of New Brunswick, New Jersey, was 96.

Rehage used his insights in teaching as the Director of the University of Chicago's Pakistan Education Program. The program was established in 1957 by Francis S. Chase (Ph.D.'51), the founding Dean of the Graduate School of Education, with a grant from the Ford Foundation and provided assistance to help local educators develop programs for the improvement of education in the newly independent nation. Dean Chase passed away in 1996, also at the age of 96.

The purpose of the project was to improve education through teacher-training programs at extension centers in what was then East and West Pakistan. The project also improved facilities for students at university campuses, said Rehage, who later directed the project until its conclusion in 1972. A number of influential leaders in education in Pakistan were trained at the University during the program.

The program led to the establishment of 43 pilot secondary schools and the educational centers organized at the University of Dacca and the University of Punjab. More than 5,000 teachers and administrators were trained in the program, which frequently took Rehage to Pakistan. The program also brought Pakistanis to the University for study. Rehage was director of the project from 1963 to 1973. He was Director of the University of Chicago Peace Corps Training Program for Pakistan in 1963.

Pakistanis came to Chicago for training and the Rehage family's Dorchester Avenue home often was filled with students conversing in Bengali and Urdu, his son Larry Rehage said.

Rehage is survived by his wife, Laurel Tanner; a daughter, Joan Kleckner, and sons David and Larry (both Chicago alumni); as well as five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

A memorial service was held at the Hyde Park Union Church, on Saturday May 26, 2007. Unfortunately, most of the GSB Pakistan Club officers were at the HDF convention in Chicago that weekend, and as such, could not attend the Memorial. I did reach out to both of his 2 sons and expressed our condolences. Larry Rehage was pleasantly surprised to learn that the University now has a Pakistan-related organization. 

Here's an interesting tidbit about a conference Prof. Rehage organized about the future of high school education in Pakistan and the US:

Thanks for your kind perusal.


K. Rizwan Kadir, '97
Chicago Booth Pakistan Club