In Memoriam: Lois Spier Gray (1924-2018)

Lois Spier Gray,former faculty member of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, died on September 20 at the age of 94.

Dr. Gray was a native of Edmond, Oklahoma. She earned a scholarship to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she studied drama. However, after her father enlisted in World War II, she and her mother and sister had to relocate and she ended up transferring to a work-study program at Park College in Missouri. For a brief period she served as a credit manager for a publishing company in St. Louis while taking night classes at Washington University until she was recruited into secret military intelligence work for the Department of Defense during World War II. After her service, she worked with the National Labor Relations Board in Buffalo, New York.

Dr. Gray began her career with Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations when she was hired to lead the school’s office in Buffalo. In 1976, she became associate dean of the school’s extension service for the entire state. Throughout her career, she taught courses in labor economics, collective bargaining, and labor union structure and government. She conducted research that focused on labor market trends, women and minorities, training and adult education, labor management relations, labor union effectiveness, and labor in the arts and entertainment industry. In 2010, the school honored her lifetime contributions by establishing the Lois Gray Professorship of Industrial Relations and Social Science.

Dr. Gray completed her bachelor’s degree at Park College where she majored in economics. She also earned a master’s degree in economics from the University at Buffalo and a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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