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Former Piedmont College president dies at 81
Ray Cleere 2018.jpg
W. Ray Cleere

W. Ray Cleere, 81, former president of Piedmont College, died Jan. 26 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, according to an obituary posted on the school’s website.

Born in Atlanta in 1936, Cleere earned degrees from Appalachian State University, the University of Mississippi and the University of Georgia.

In 1962, he joined the Georgia Department of Education and in 1982 became vice chancellor of academic affairs for the University System of Georgia.

In 1995, Cleere was named president of Piedmont College. Upon retirement in 2011, he taught graduate courses for Piedmont and served as a trustee of Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School.

He is survived by his wife, Ashley Cook Cleere; daughter, Jennifer Cherry Cleere (Kelly Burns); sister, Adrienne Cleere (Robert Moor), and others.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Feb. 17 at First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, 105 Courtland St. NE, Atlanta. A reception will follow. Memorial contributions may be made to Piedmont College, P.O. Box 429, Demorest, GA 30535. A guest book is available at