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Jun 13 2021 - 03:30 PM
Today In History: Happy Birthday, Dr. Edmund Gordon


A few months ago we had the pleasure of re-hanging Dr. Edmund W. Gordon's official portrait in a more worthy position: from the western woodwork in Russell 104b, to directly above its central fireplace. Unique among the older framed oils of leading, influential figures of Teachers College, Columbia University, Dr. Gordon in photographic representation joins James Earl Russell, Paul Monroe, Patty Smith Hill, Mary Swartz Rose, Norval Luther Church, Peter William Dykema, Franklin Thomas Baker, Mary DeGarmo Bryan, Lyman Bryson, and Lawrence Cremin. Taken but three years ago by Columbia University Public Affairs Photographer Bruce Gilbert, the official portrait of Dr. Edmund W. Gordon now proudly bears his name and titles at Teachers College, thanks to a plaque made possible through the Eugene E. Myers Charitable Trust. As we warmly recognize sixty-four years of distinguished service, going strong, we wish Dr. Gordon a most happy birthday and many happy returns, this day in history!

June 13th marks the 100th birthday of Dr. Edmund W. Gordon, Teachers College's Richard March Hoe Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Education and Founding Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education, recently renamed the Edmund W. Gordon Institute for Urban and Minority Education. Born in 1921 and raised in the small racially segregated town of Goldsboro, North Carolina, he was inspired to dedicate his life's work to professional practice and scholarship in education access for minority and disadvantaged students. He earned degrees in zoology and social ethics from Howard University, a second Masters in social psychology from American University, an Ed'D in child development and guidance from Teachers College, Columbia University, as well as honorary degrees from Yale University, Yeshiva University, and Brown University. Dr. Gordon is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., and has taught at Teachers College, Columbia University; Yale University; City University of New York’s City College of New York. He served as scholar in residence at the State University of New York’s Rockland Community College. A leading psychologist and educator, his contributions include hundreds of book, chapters, and articles.

Dr. Gordon's assumed leadership guidance for Head Start, the U.S. Office of Education, American Educational Research Association, Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americans and Caribbean, Educational Testing Service, and College Board. He has received numerous honors, awards, memberships, and fellowships -- making a profound impact in current thinking about education, psychology, and social policy to empower African American communities and other marginalized groups. Together with his late wife, Dr. Susan G. Gordon, a brilliant and dedicated physician, he led the integration of schools in East Ramapo, New York; founded the Harriet Tubman Child Health and Guidance Clinic in Harlem; created a Psycho-Educational Diagnostic Clinic for children, referred to the Ambulatory Pediatrics Division of the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center; and launched the Gordon and Gordon Associates in Human Development and the CEJJES Institute, located in Rockland, New York.

The Edmund W. Gordon Centennial Conference, Learning and Thriving Across the Lifespan: Building On the E.W. Gordon Legacy On Affirmative Development and Equitable Education For Every Learner, took place virtually June 2nd-June 3rd to recognize Dr. Gordon's life and work. It was attended by colleagues, former students, friends, and family.

The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.

  • Goldstein, A. (1990, Sep 11). Montgomery Hit on Minority Education: Initiatives Inadequate, Contribute to Resegregation, Study Says. The Washington Post (1974-Current File)



  • Try a TC Super Search for books, articles, and more, written by Dr. Edmund W. Gordon and held at the Gottesman Libraries.


  • Special News Slide, Courtesy of the Gottesman Libraries


Need to keep current, look to the past, teach a topic? The Everett Cafe features daily postings of news from around the world, and also promotes awareness of historical events from an educational context. Be sure to check additional Cafe News postings on the library blog.

Posted in: Learning at the LibraryNews Cafe|By: Jennifer Govan|585 Reads