Members of the APSA Legacy Society members share their stories and messages to future generations.

Spotlight on Donors to APSA

Dr. Kenneth Sherrill, Founding Member of the APSA Legacy Society

What has inspired you to support a prize for early career scholars through APSA?

"I am tithing 10% of my estate to the American Political Science Association to support two annual prizes: 5% for the best dissertation proposal in the empirical study of LGBTQ politics and 5% for a post-dissertation prize in the field.  The prizes have two goals.

"The first is to encourage research in the field that has been at the core of my academic life.  The second is to fight stigma and discrimination.  Studies of minority group politics are too often dismissed as not being 'real' political science.

"APSA is the nation's premier political science organization.  Work that receives a prize from APSA has an imprimatur of being of the highest quality, of work that cannot be dismissed."

— Ken Sherrill

Ken Sherrill

Dr. Doris A. Graber

Doris Graber made a bequest to APSA to support the Organized Section on Political Communication.  Her gift enables the section to continue to foster the study of political communications within the discipline of political science including research on mass media, telecommunications policy, new media technologies, and the process of communicating and understanding.

Dr. Graber, a political scientist who spent most of her academic career at the University of Illinois in Chicago with additional appointments at Northwestern, the University of Chicago and Harvard, was a researcher and prolific author including 15 textbooks and over 50 book chapters and lectures worldwide.

She provided seminal work on the effect of public opinion on the presidency and foreign policy, the role of the media in American politics and political psychology. In a career that spanned over 70 years, she developed survey research techniques that are the foundation of much political science research done today. In addition to her academic pursuits, she was an avid skier and world traveler having visited every continent including a trek to the North Pole. Dr. Graber was often recognized as a pioneer for women in her chosen field but also within university academics, mentoring hundreds of students and colleagues while providing an example for many young women as they entered their careers.

Dr. Irving Krauss

Irving Krauss made a bequest in honor of his wife, Dr. Wilma Rule, to the Victoria Schuck Fund.  The Schuck Fund supports the Victoria Schuck Award, which is given annually for the best book published in the field of women and politics.

As a direct result of this gift, APSA will be able to significantly increase the size of the prize that the winner of the Victoria Schuck Award receives each year.  The larger prize will result in greater recognition and encouragement of research and publication in the field of women and politics, which is essential to better understanding our complex and rapidly-changing world.

Dr. Krauss was a professor of sociology at Northern Illinois University (NIU) in DeKalb, IL.  Krauss received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 1962.  He taught at the University of Hawaii for the next decade before moving to NIU, where he would spend the next 16 years of his career, including several years as department chair.  His main research interests were stratification and class, with a special concern for the underprivileged.

Stephen Lesher

Stephan Lesher was a distinguished journalist, author, former U.S. Senate Press Secretary.

Born in Brooklyn, NY in 1935 to Murray and Lila Lesher, he graduated from James Madison High School in Brooklyn in 1952, attended the University of Missouri for two years, and earned a B.A. in history from Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1962.

At age 19, Lesher headed south to Montgomery, Alabama to begin his career as a journalist. Shortly after his arrival, while working the night shift for the Montgomery Advertiser, he noticed on the city police blotter that a black woman named Rosa Parks had been arrested for refusing to surrender her seat on the bus to a white man. Lesher then proceeded to write the first news account of the now famous incident that triggered the Montgomery bus boycott, a pivotal event in the modern civil rights movement.

Moving north, to Columbus, Georgia and then Winston-Salem, Lesher continued reporting in the south until 1963, when he was awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship, which led to a job in Washington as press secretary to U. S. Senator Birch Bayh, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Constitutional Amendments. In his memoir, Sen. Bayh credited Lesher as playing a key role in drafting and lobbying through Congress and state legislatures the adoption and ratification of the 25th and 26th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

Returning to journalism in 1969, Lesher joined Newsweek, first in the magazine’s Atlanta and Los Angeles bureaus, and then as chief legal affairs correspondent in Washington, covering the FBI, the Department of Justice, the Office of the Special Prosecutor and the Supreme Court during the Watergate period. Following his years at Newsweek, he formed his own public relations business in Washington, Stephan Lesher Associates, and later moved to Westchester County, NY to join IBM as an executive speechwriter.

Lesher was the author of five books, including a biography of George Wallace, a history of the Warren Court, a critique of the news media, a probe of Washington lobbying and a personal account of his heart attack at age 38, co-authored with his cardiologist, Michael Halberstam. He also wrote numerous articles on newsmakers from all walks of life -- Muhammed Ali, Martin Luther King, Jimmy Hoffa – for publications such as The New York Times Magazine, Look, Good Housekeeping and others.