During Robert V. Clevenger’s time at Uni, he was a member of the French Club and played clarinet in the orchestra. He played on the basketball team and, as a senior, edited the sports section of the yearbook and helped write the senior prophecy. After graduating, Clevenger attended the University of Illinois and received a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1942. In the same year, he was drafted into World War II and served in the European Theater, where he earned the rank of Master Sergeant.
Clevenger graduated from the U of I School of Law, was admitted to the bar in 1947, and practiced law for many decades before retiring in 1984. During this time, he not only served as an attorney for various counties and cities in Illinois, but also became a member and leader of many organizations dedicated to promoting world peace, equality, and civil rights. Such organizations include the NAACP, the Peoria chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the United Nations Association, and the International League for Human Rights.