The deadline to nominate a member for the 2019 Lee Founders Award was April 15. Please check back this fall for the 2020 Lee Founders Award nomination procedures. Please see below for information on award eligibility and a list of previous winners.


Established in 1981, this award is made in recognition of significant achievements that, over a distinguished career, have demonstrated continuing devotion to the ideals of the founders of the Society and especially to the humanist tradition of Alfred McClung Lee and Elizabeth Briant Lee.

  1. Any member of the Society may nominate one or more persons for the award. Members of the Lee Founders Award Committee are encouraged to nominate.
  2. All online nominations must be accompanied by a detailed letter of nomination and supporting evidence sufficiently detailed for the committee to render a decision (e.g., a resume; additional supporting description of the nominee’s work, demonstrating that the contributions meet the criteria for nomination).  Please include supporting information not covered in a resume. 
  1. The nominee must have been an active member of the Society for some years prior to receiving the award.
  2. The nominee must have made significant achievements embodying the ideals of the founders of the Society. These achievements may be in the areas of scholarly research, teaching, or service leading to the betterment of human life.  Nominees for the award must have demonstrated a commitment to social action programs that promote social justice.
  3. The nominee's achievements should reflect the humanistic tradition of sociology, as exemplified in the contributions of Alfred McClung Lee and Elizabeth Briant Lee, for whom the award is named.
  4. The nominee's achievements may be expressed in a body of work that provides understanding and insight for practical application and the development of social conflict, including one or more of the following:
    1. Studies of peace and war, ethnic and/or racial conflict and social movements.
    2. The role of mass media as related to social problems.
    3. The role of propaganda in the creation of and the persistence of social problems.
    4. The systematic study of social inequality (for example, problems of poverty, discrimination, racism, sexism and unequal distribution of wealth).
  5. The achievements should include substantial community service at the local, state and/or national level.
  6. It is assumed that the above achievements will have been accomplished by the nominees over a distinguished career and that they will reflect a long-term commitment to the ideals of the Lees.

Review the list of the past winners of the Lee Founders Award.


The online nomination form for the 2020 Lee Founders Award will be available in the fall of 2019.

Please address all questions to:

Dr. E. Brooke Kelly, Chair
Lee Founders Award Committee