Methodist ministers were subject to the church doctrine of itinerancy, and by the time Clyde was ready for high school the family was living in Plain City, Ohio, after having moved six times. This must have been a disadvantage in school and when combined with his brilliance and small stature it brought on scrapes with the local bullies. His sister recalls that he kept his dignity when these incidents happened. When he was ready for college, the family was living in the small rural town of Cedarville, Ohio, about 20 miles east of Dayton. Amazingly there were five colleges within 10 miles of each other, including Antioch, the most famous, and Cedarville college, the nearest and cheapest. Clyde took courses in Latin, religion, music, education, philosophy, and a little math and science. He graduated from Cedarville College in 1933 in the depth of the Great Depression, having taken summer courses so as to finish in three years. He had hoped to teach science courses in a high school but the only such jobs available also required him to handle the football team. This was outside of his area of expertise: He claimed to be an athletic moron; and he was smaller than any high school football player. All his college grades were “A’s” except for physical education. Failing in that career choice, he decided to apply to graduate school.
Clyde’s course of studies at Cedarville College did not prepare him for graduate work in chemistry. He had had a year of general chemistry and a year of analytical chemistry and no other courses in science by the end of his third year at Cedarville. He supplemented his education through a course in organic chemistry at Cedarville at the end of his third year and by lecture and laboratory courses in physical chemistry at Ohio State University during the 1933-1934 academic year. He began the required graduate core curriculum in