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Leonard and Shirley Sacks

Dr. Leonard Sacks, an alumnus of Teachers College in Special Education/Psychology ('59), has endowed a scholarship fund in the Department of Health and Behavior Studies in memory of his late wife, Dr. Shirley A. Sacks. Dr. Sacks obtained her Ed.D. from Teachers College in 1991 at the age of 65.

The Dr. Shirley A. Sacks Scholarship Fund is a permanently endowed scholarship fund established with a generous gift of $250,000. A scholarship award will be given each year in perpetuity to a student in the Department of Health and Behavior Studies. "This scholarship fund allows us to nurture a new generation of students who can continue the work that Shirley believed in so deeply," said Professor Charles Basch, Chair of the Department of Health and Behavior Studies. The first Dr. Shirley A. Sacks Scholarship will be awarded in 2000-2001.

Dr. Shirley A. Sacks was a life-long advocate of women's health issues and a Vice President of the National Council on Women's Health. A 1947 graduate of Barnard College, she went on to earn a M.A. from the University of Wisconsin. After the last of her three children no longer came home for lunch, she joined Pfizer as a medical writer. Shirley worked full-time at Pfizer while attending Teachers College, and completed her doctorate in three years. Her dissertation research was an analysis of the health coverage in popular women's magazines-a primary source of medical information for millions of American women.

In recognition of her quarter century of service to Pfizer, upon her retirement Pfizer established a lecture series and award to be given annually to the person who has made an outstanding contribution to the women's health care movement. In a letter written three weeks before her death, upon hearing of the tribute Pfizer paid to her, Dr. Sacks wrote:

"The establishment of a lecture series in my name is a testament to the power of the women's health care movement and our dedication to the challenges that women and their families are facing in these difficult times."This award further demonstrates the importance of our work with programs that inform and empower women of all ages to make decisions based on knowledge and education.

"As we look to the future and the needs of a new generation of women, this honor is another step in promoting a greater sensitivity for the struggles that lie ahead."

Dr. Leonard Sacks was a professor at Seton Hall University and at City and Queens Colleges in New York. He is currently in private practice as a clinical psychologist. Shirley and Leonard Sacks were married for 44 years.previous page