Cornell University

September 16 2005

Announcing the establishment of the Edward F. Gray Memorial Credit Internship Awards

Lois Gray On Friday, September 16, ILR celebrated the establishment of the Edward Gray Memorial Credit Internship Awards and the naming of the first two recipients.  Lois Gray, former Associate Dean and Director, ILR Extension, has made this intership possible with a donation  in memory of her late husband, Edward Franklin Gray (1917-1995).  Edward Gray distinguished himself in his adult life as a prominent leader of labor and social causes in the urban North. As the New York Times surmised in his obituary, his sense of social justice was 'acute and wide-ranging.'  The Edward Gray Memorial Credit Internship Award has been established for students pursuing internships with activist labor unions or other organizations promoting social and economic justice.  Edward Yoo ' 06, GMB (union), London and Patrick Neville '06, Midstate Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Syracuse, NY, are the first recipients of the new award.
  Read more about Edward Gray (pdf)

Lois Gray's Exceptional Generosity
In making this commitment to assist the internship program, Lois has provided a boost to ILR's efforts to increase the financial assistance available to students pursuing these uniquely enriching educational opportunities. We know that the example her exceptional generosity will inspire others to make similar commitments.

Celebration Scheduled
Lois and her family were special guests at a reception at the Statler Hotel, in conjunction with ILR's Labor Roundtable events and the ILR Advisory Council's campus meeting, at 5:30 pm on Friday, September 16th in the Statler Ballroom. Friends of ILR  toasted Lois and family for this most recent demonstration of her lifelong dedication and contributions to the School and Cornell University. Among special guests were Denis Hughes, Pres., NYS AFL-CIO, who offered his "remembrances of Ed Gray."

Lois Gray is Number One
The name Lois Gray has become synonymous at ILR with the word 'extension', and she has always been NUMBER ONE at outreach.  She was one of the first members of the faculty of the ILR School. In 1946, she  was recruited by Jean McKelvey and Maurice Neufeld  to head the first off-campus office of the newly formed School, and an academic marriage of fifty-nine years had begun.  During her 10 yrs as Director of the Buffalo office, she designed  the first Extension offerings to the citizens of New York State, and shaped the principles that guide ILR Extension to this day.

In 1990, She was named the first McKelvey-Grant Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations.  The chair was expressly designed for a professor active in both the resident and extension divisions of the School.  While Lois was clearly the obvious choice to be the first to hold the chair, it was uniquely fitting that she was able to receive the chair named for her close friends, colleagues and lifetime supporters of the ILR School, Jean McKelvey and Alice Grant.

Lois' work at Cornell over the years reflects the values and principles she brought to her leadership roles at the School.  Lois has always believed, and it has been reflected in her work, that the ILR School's extension mission offered a rare opportunity to expand access to many who would otherwise not be attached to an elite educational institution.  She was an international leader in labor education in the development of credit-bearing courses for trade unionists.

Lois is also first in the minds of her colleagues as a mentor and friend.  Ron Seeber, her successor as director of extension, a position Lois held from 1976 until 1987, describes Lois as "the complete and true definition of a colleague and a mentor."
  Read more about Lois Gray (pdf)

ILR's Credit Internship Program
ILR's credit internship program has been in operation for more than twenty-five years, and is widely recognized as the most successful educational venture of its type. The program was created by the faculty of the ILR School to afford advanced undergraduate students opportunities to enhance their understanding of the field of industrial and labor relations by working for a semester in one of the professional careers it encompasses.

Each semester dozens of eligible ILR students are placed in a variety of organizations associated in one way or another with issues of work and workplace relations. In the last ten years alone, approximately 600 ILR juniors and seniors have undertaken credit internships.

Recently, ILR has focused on creating international credit internship opportunities for eligible students, while remaining keenly interested both in expanding the variety and in improving the quality of the domestic placements available to ILR interns.

For more information about the Credit Internship Program, please visit their Web Site:

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