Lawrence Thomas Geraty grew up as a citizen of the world as he was part of a Seventh-day Adventist missionary family who lived and worked in China, Burma, Hong Kong, and Lebanon. Dr. Geraty received a rich educational experience by attending schools in China, Hong Kong, Lebanon, England, Germany, France, Israel, California, Maryland, Michigan, and Massachusetts. These experiences set him on a lifelong course committed to the values of diversity.
Completing his undergraduate degree at Pacific Union College, Dr. Geraty graduated from the Theological Seminary at Andrews University following which he served a short term as a pastor in Santa Ana, California. Then accepting an invitation to join the Andrews Theological Seminary faculty, he first went to Harvard University to study Hebrew Bible and biblical archaeology where he earned and received with distinction his Doctor of Philosophy degree. Returning to Andrews as Professor of Archaeology and History of Antiquity, Dr. Geraty distinguished himself as a teacher and scholar for the next thirteen years, teaching also in Jamaica, Jordan, Trinidad, Costa Rica, Europe, and Australia, and directing a series of major archaeological expeditions to the Middle East, including the Madaba Plains Project in Jordan. During this time he was also the curator of the Horn Archaeological Museum and founding Director of the Institute of Archaeology at Andrews University.
In his notable scholarly career, Dr. Geraty has received numerous honors, having served as president of several scholarly societies; vice president (from 1982 to 2002) of the American Center of Oriental Research in Amman, Jordan; lectured all over the world and contributed to numerous publications (edited 8 books, contributed to 30, authored some 50 articles in scholarly journals and hundreds in popular publications).
Adding to his teaching focus, in 1985 Dr. Geraty became president of Atlantic Union College in South Lancaster, Massachusetts, where he earned the reputation as a progressive academic administrator. In July 1993 Dr. Geraty became president and professor of archeology at La Sierra University in Riverside, California, where he also became active in the community, serving, for example, as Chairman of the Board of the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, United Way of the Inland Valleys (2000 campaign co-chair, and board chair 2003-2004), The Western Center for Archaeology and Paleontology, Metro Riverside International Cabinet, Mayor’s Higher Education/Business Council, Raincross Club (president 2001-2002), Monday Morning Group, World Affairs Council of Inland Southern California (chair, 2000-2002), Riverside Arts Council, Congressman Ken Calvert’s Science, and Technology Education Partnership Board. In 2007, Dr. Geraty was named as Riverside, California’s Citizen of the Year. In 2004, Dr. Geraty represented the U.S. Office of Education in a delegation of administrators studying the education of minorities in China. In 2006, he concluded a four-year term as president of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR), the premier organization for American archeologists working in the Middle East. Dr. Geraty retired from the La Sierra University presidency on June 30, 2007, and was named President-Emeritus by the university’s Board of Trustees in recognition of his outstanding service. He continues to serve on the faculty of the university’s School of Religion, and as executive director of the La Sierra University Foundation Board. Concurrently, he serves as Chairman of the Board for Loma Linda Broadcasting TV Network.
Dr. Geraty and his wife, Gillian, have a daughter in Colorado, a son in Michigan, and between them five grandchildren.