Charles Livingston Shearer graduated from the College of Commerce in 1964 with an undergraduate degree in accounting and then received his Masters in Diplomacy and International Commerce in 1967. A Louisville native, Charles earned money for college by working as a lifeguard, a swimming pool manager, and a clerk.
After his Masters degree, he taught for several years at the University of Kentucky Community College at Henderson as an instructor in Economics and Accounting and then taught at Ferris State University where he was an Assistant Professor of Economics. In 1973 he completed his Masters in Economics at Michigan State University and worked at Albion College first as Director of Operations, then as the Director of their Liberal Arts Program in Professional Management. He returned to the graduate program at Michigan State University and received his PhD in Economics in 1981.
Charles became Transylvania University's Vice President for Finance in 1979 and taught as an Adjunct Instructor in the MBA program offered by Xavier University at Transylvania. After adding the responsibilities of chief development officer to his job in 1981, he became Transylvania's 24th President in July, 1983. Under his leadership, Transylvania's enrollment has grown from 655 to 1,075 students; the Transylvania endowment has grown from $17.8 million to over $120 million and the school has spent more than $14 million on new facilities. During President Shearer's tenure, Transylvania's academic gains have been noted by leading national publications and its vitality has strengthened Kentucky's system of higher education.
At the time of his induction, he was a member of the Board of Directors of Kentucky Utilities, Inc., the Triangle Foundation, Lexington United, and Partners for Youth, and serves on the Executive Council of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Charles is a Rotary Club member and belongs to ODK, the National Leadership Honorary Society, Omicron Delta Epsilon, the Economics Honorary and the American Economics Association. Service to former Boards includes: the Fund for the Arts, the Salvation Army, the Henry Clay Memorial Foundation, Homestead Savings and Loan, Albion, Michigan, the Lexington Chamber of Commerce, the Lexington Philharmonic Society, and United Way of the Bluegrass.
Charles and his wife, the former Susan Pulling of Albion Michigan, have three children.