Cornell University

Lois Gray : Biography

Lois S. Gray is the Jean McKelvey-Alice Grant Professor Emerita of Labor Management Relations at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, where she teaches courses in labor economics, collective bargaining, and labor union structure and government.

Gray joined the ILR School extension faculty in 1947 when she was appointed by Dean Irving Ives to direct the first extension office located in Buffalo, New York. In 1956, she moved to New York City to direct the Metropolitan District Office and in 1976 became associate dean and director of extension. Among the innovations introduced under her leadership were "training trainers" for industry and unions, the Institute for Women and Work, the Latino Leadership Center, international worker exchange, off-campus credit and certificate courses, and Programs for Employment and Workplace Systems.

Gray was appointed by three governors to chair the New York State Apprenticeship and Training Council and served on the New York State Manpower Training Council and Displaced Homemakers Taskforce. Her publications deal with labor market trends, women and minorities, training and adult education, labor management relations, and international government and administration of labor unions.

During her 57 years on Cornell's faculty, Gray received awards from academic and civic organizations including the New York Hispanic Labor Committee, the New York State Labor History Association, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, the New York State AFL-CIO, and Wayne State University. In 1998, she was the recipient of the Alice H. Cook and Constance F. Cook Award for efforts on behalf of women at Cornell University, and in 2000 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Industrial and Labor Relations Research Association.

Gray was born in St. Louis, Missouri. She completed her bachelor's degree at Park College in Missouri with a major in economics— also her concentration for her M.A. degree from the University of Buffalo and her Ph.D. degree from Columbia University. Her husband, now deceased, was regional director and member of the International Executive Board of United Automobile Workers Unions.