To celebrate the legacy of the late Lee Lorch, a prominent mathematician, early civil rights activist and professor emeritus of mathematics at York University, the Association of Retired Faculty and Librarians (ARFL) has established the ARFL Lee Lorch Memorial Award. Created with matching funds from the province, this scholarship will go towards supporting Aboriginal students at York University. Lorch died on Feb. 28.
During his lengthy career, Lorch campaigned on a wide array of social justice issues, including support for racial minorities, women (in particular, the rights of women mathematicians), against the threat of nuclear warfare and support for Cuba. Most notably, Lorch was blacklisted from teaching at many American universities as a result of his steadfast support for African-Americans and other minorities in the U.S. during the early years of the civil rights movement.
The scholarship comes as a result of a June 23 memorial event where Lorch’s life, career and legacy were celebrated by more than 100 guests. The event was co-sponsored by ARFL and the York University Faculty Association (YUFA), and was held in the Winters College dining hall. A video of the June 23 event can be found here.
“Lee Lorch was a tireless champion of social justice and demonstrated this commitment time and again, even when there was an enormous personal price to be paid,” said Jim Turk, outgoing executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), of his late colleague at the June 23 event. “Though he may be gone now, he remains a role model and an inspiration. The best way to honour him is to continue his incredible legacy.”
If you wish to make a donation to this scholarship, you may do so by mailing a cheque (payable to “York University”) to:
- Abbey Black, Division of Advancement, West Office Building, York University, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, M3J 1P3; or
- ARFL, c/o YUFA , 240 York Lanes, York University, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, M3J 1P3
Donations can also be made online at giving.yorku.ca/inmemoryof/leelorch.