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Updated 12:00 PM June 23, 2005




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Stella Raudenbush

Colleagues remember Stella Raudenbush as someone who loved the magic of the world, saw how things happened for a reason, and encouraged faculty by reminding them, "If you step out, you have to be courageous."
(Photo by File Photo By Bob Kalmbach, U-M Photo Services)

Raudenbush, a former instructor in the School of Education and director of the Lives of Urban Children and Youth Initiative (LUCY) program, died May 21 in Ann Arbor. She was 59.

Just prior to her death, the University of Chicago (UC) had announced her appointment as director of an ambitious new urban education program. Her husband, Stephen Raudenbush, a U-M professor of education and statistics, has been named the Lewis-Sebring Professor in Sociology and chair of UC's Committee on Education.

Raudenbush was an activist long before moving into academia. Friends and acquaintances saw her as a powerful spirit—someone who called on students to do more than take up space; who got people's attention even when she stood at the opposite end of a corridor.

Raudenbush began her pursuit of social justice early. As a student at Cardinal Cushing College in Brookline, Mass., she helped organize the first hospital workers' union in Massachusetts.

After graduating in 1967, she became a social worker for 10 years, engaging in battles for welfare rights. She later led the Parents Support and Action Center in Cambridge, Mass., and facilitated school desegregation in Weston, Mass. In 1984, she moved with her family to Michigan where she directed service-learning programs for undergraduates, first at Michigan State University and later at U-M.

In 2001, she launched the award-winning LUCY program, a partnership between U-M and community organizations that trains undergraduates while improving instruction for Detroit children.

Besides her child development research, she promoted service. Raudenbush earned her master of education degree from Harvard University and recently helped publish the book, "Gathering of Elders: Wisdom Teachings for the Service-Learning Movement."

Survivors include her husband of 37 years, Stephen; children, Jesse, Danielle and Catherine, all of Ann Arbor; parents, Lemar and Maggie Pipkins of Buzzards Bay, Mass.; siblings, Elbert Pipkins of Buzzards Bay, Jerrolyn Simpson of Jamaica Plain, Mass., Robert Pipkins of Staten Island, N.Y., Judy Leavis of Epping, N.H., and Rottisha Mewborn of Buzzards Bay; and two grandchildren.

A memorial service was held May 25 in Ann Arbor.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to the Stella Raudenbush Memorial Fund to assist undergraduates from Detroit. Gifts can be made online at: or by mail to Steve Bates, School of Education, Room 1123, 610 E. University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48109. Checks should be made payable to the University of Michigan with a notation that the gift is for the Stella Raudenbush Fund.

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