Gordon Foster was born in 1918, in Cincinnati, OH, and grew up on the family farm near Loveland, OH. His Quaker ancestors were involved in the anti-slavery movement and the farm was a stop on the Underground Railway. Throughout his life, Gordon was guided in his personal philosophy and his work by the principles of his Quaker heritage.
During World War II, Gordon was a Conscientious Objector and was assigned to various Civilian Public Service camps in North Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland (see image below of the Maryland CPS camp), and Virginia. He served as Director of a CPS camp for the American Friends Service Committee in 1945. After the war, he worked for the AFSC Peace Section.
For ten years, 1948 to 1958, Gordon managed the family farm and worked as a school administrator in the Loveland, OH school district. In 1960, Gordon received a MEd from Miami University (OH) and, in 1965, a PhD in Educational Administration from The Ohio State University. From 1966 to 1990, he was a Professor at the University of Miami (FL) and served as Associate Director and then Director of the Southeastern Desegregation Assistance Center at the University (1966-1996). He served as an expert witness for numerous school desegregation cases in federal and state courts across the U.S. From 1967 to 1998, Dr. Foster also served as a consultant on desegregation issues for many school districts in the southeastern United States, was a director of the Southern Education Foundation (1972-1982), and served on the BiRacial-TriEthnic Committee of the Dade County Schools, Miami, FL. It was Gordon’s mission to work for the integration of public school systems throughout the country and to promote equality by providing equal opportunities to children of all backgrounds. After a full life of service, guided by his Quaker beliefs, Gordon Foster died in 2011 at the age of 93.