Lee Rainwater Memorial Lecture Series Launched

We are pleased to announce the founding of the Lee Rainwater Memorial Lecture Series.

We are launching this lecture series in honor of Lee Rainwater – our colleague, coauthor, mentor, and friend. The series will recognize Lee’s brilliant and creative academic career as well as his role as founding Research Director of the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS).


Lee Rainwater, January 7, 1928 – July 4, 2015

The series – which will begin in spring 2017 – will feature an annual lecture, with the speakers to be chosen by a committee comprised of the series’ donors. The location of the lectures will alternate between Harvard University (where Lee spent much of his career) and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (which houses the US Office of LIS).

The series will be designed to highlight new research within the many substantive areas where Lee made profound intellectual contributions, including poverty, inequality, urban culture, and social policy, and it will span both American and cross-national studies. To honor Lee’s remarkable career trajectory, the series will include scholars using an array and mix of methods – theoretical, qualitative/ethnographic, and quantitative – and from multiple disciplines, including sociology, economics, political science, and policy studies. In short, we intend to include scholars whose work will capture “all of Lee”, from Behind Ghetto Walls and What Money Buys to, thirty years later, Poor Kids in a Rich Country and Wealth and Welfare States – and countless contributions in between. Invited lecturers will be chosen to reflect a diversity of backgrounds.

Please stay tuned for news about the first lecture.

The series will be administered by Janet Gornick and Tim Smeeding.

Here we recognize the founding donors, who have provided support for the first eight lectures.

* The Rainwater Family
* Tim Smeeding and Marcy Carlson
* Janet Gornick
* Irv Garfinkel and Sara McLanahan
* Christopher Jencks
* Herbert J. Gans
* Gerald and Ruth Handel
* Tony and Judith Atkinson
* Markus Jäntti
* Koen Vleminckx and Ann Verboven
* Andrea Brandolini and Luisa Minghetti
* LIS: Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg
* The Harvard Sociology Department (donation of space)

Further contributions will always be welcomed.
Please contact Janet Gornick or Tim Smeeding.

May 24, 2016 | News