The University Record, September 24, 2001

School of Social Work celebrates 80 years of dedication

By Lesley Harding

Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop (background screen) delivers the Social Work anniversary keynote address by videoconference. Shirley Lockery (foreground), associate professor of social work, introduced Koop and served as moderator. (Photo by Bill Wood, U-M Photo Services)
Marking 80 years of leadership and commitment to the social well-being of communities around the world, the School of Social Work celebrated its anniversary Sept. 20 at the Mendelssohn Theatre.

“There is a lot to be thankful for in this school,” said Harold Shapiro, University president emeritus. “The School of Social Work has an admirable record and its stature continues to grow.”

Addressing a crowd of alumni, social work professionals, faculty and other dignitaries, Shapiro acknowledged the school’s 80 years of wonderful achievement but reminded the audience it’s not who they are, but who they want to become. He asked attendees to understand the social interests they want to achieve and make their efforts meet those goals.

Later in the day, former U.S. Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop joined the celebration via satellite. He posed an important question currently facing social workers—has the time come for the right to healthcare?

The day-long event also included historical reflections on the School and the future of social work.

Since the School’s 1921 inception in Detroit, some 11,500 graduates have led social change through careers as social workers, counselors, care givers, educators and politicians. They’ve endeavored to improve the well-being of the most economically and socially disadvantaged groups and worked to achieve a more equal society.