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In Memoriam: Sam Halperin

Dr. Samuel HalperinDr. Samuel Halperin, a longtime friend and member of the George Washington University Libraries Development Advisory Council, passed away this spring. Dr. Halperin began his relationship with the university in the 1970s, when he led GW’s Institute for Educational Leadership. An avid collector of books and maps, he also became a generous benefactor of the GW Libraries’ Special Collections, including the I. Edward Kiev Judaica Collection.

“In his role as a member of the GW Libraries Development Advisory Council, Dr. Halperin consistently demonstrated his love of learning and his commitment to increasing academic research resources,” said Geneva Henry, university librarian and vice provost for libraries. “His philanthropy, leadership, and tremendous belief in the role of higher education were deeply valued. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”

Dr. Halperin earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Washington University in St. Louis. A respected leader in political science and education policy, he was part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration before serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare and director of the U.S. Office of Education’s Office of Congressional Relations. Dr. Halperin was devoted to nonpartisan progress in education and was a key proponent of the Higher Education Acts of 1963 and 1965 and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Following his federal service, Dr. Halperin went on to found the American Youth Policy Forum, a nonpartisan professional development program in Washington, D.C. aimed at those working with federal policy and youth development.

In addition to his work on education policy, Dr. Halperin also made significant contributions to academia. He taught political science at a number of academic institutions—including Wayne State University, American University, Duke University, and Teachers College-Columbia University—and authored dozens of scholarly articles. “The Forgotten Half,” a seminal work, examined the economic impact of young people not attending college on a national scale. Halperin was among the first scholars to study this population, rather than those who are college-bound.

Dr. Halperin left a legacy of advocacy and academic achievement that will be remembered and respected for years to come. During his life, his prominent and impactful career earned Halperin many awards and honors, including the George Washington University President’s Medal, the National Association of State Boards of Education Distinguished Service Award, the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps’ Distinguished Service Award, the American Association of Community Colleges Harry S. Truman Award, the Lewis Hine Award for Service to Children and Youth of the National Child Labor Committee, and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare’s Superior Service Award and Distinguished Service Award.

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