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Extending a Legacy 

ALBANY, N.Y. (Sept. 22, 2017) – A new lecture series in honor of Katharine Briar-Lawson, professor of social welfare and dean emerita of the School of Social Welfare, will begin Sept. 28.

The first lecture, which is free and open to the public, will feature Carol Wilson Spigner on a subject that is close to the former dean’s heart: vulnerable families and social justice. It begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. Spigner is former associate commissioner of the Children’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families.

Katharine Briar-Lawson

The series is named in honor of Katharine Briar-Lawson. 

The idea for the lecture series originated with Hal Lawson, Briar-Lawson’s husband, a professor of educational policy and leadership and social welfare.

“She’ll never tell you, but if you look at the array of awards she has won, you will see she is a very distinctive person and leader,” Lawson said of his wife. “All she has institutionalized for UAlbany, so much of what she has done has had a pervasive broadscale impact,” he said, adding her work is significant inside UAlbany as well as outside, and was characterized from the beginning with impacts on state government, federal government with the U.S. Children’s Bureau and internationally.

Briar-Lawson said the idea for a lecture series “was initiated by others and brought to me as a surprise as I was stepping down as dean.

“Never in a million years would I have envisioned something like this. So I am very humbled, moved, grateful and overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of those who contributed to it,” she said.

Hal Lawson’s said the idea for the series took off when Stephanie Wacholder, who is retired from the School of Social Welfare, spearheaded a fund-raising drive to support the lecture, which will be an annual event.

A committee of faculty was formed to select speakers.

To register for the first lecture, go to www.albany.edu/kbl_lecture. Donations are still being accepted for the lecture series: go to www.albany.edu/ssw/give.

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