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Lewis P. and Edna D. Lipsitt Fund
By Jean Cohoon / December 31, 2013 /   Loading Disqus...
"Education, social justice, and the well-being of children have been passions in our lives," says Lewis P. Lipsitt, professor emeritus of Brown University.

Born in New Bedford and raised in Marion, MA, Lew earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in clinical and social psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

At UMass, Lew met Cambridge-born Edna Duchin, and they were married on Edna's graduation day from Lesley College where she earned her degree in education.

Lew served two years in the Air Force as a psychologist at an air base hospital in San Antonio, TX, where Edna taught school, before he pursued his doctorate in child psychology at the University of Iowa. There, Edna worked as a research assistant in a study of children's intelligence. As he completed his PhD, Lew was hired in 1957 at Brown University to teach and do research in a new study of children, from birth onward. Throughout his career, he focused on infant learning and development.

Since returning East with their son Mark, who now lives in Maryland and is a professional dog trainer, their lives have centered on Brown and education. Daughter Ann, born in Providence, lives in Vermont and is a middle school teacher, a special education expert, and her school's director of literacy.

In Providence, Edna taught elementary school while serving as Lew's primary editor in his writing and publishing career. She started a "furniture loan" program at Brown for visiting professors and fellows from other countries and also introduced Brown colleagues to the Trinity Repertory Theater in its first years. A passion of Edna's throughout her and Lew's 62 years of marriage has been entertaining friends and family with creative food preparation.

Extensive community work of the Lipsitts has included Butler Hospital, RI KidsCount, the Institute for the Teaching and Practice of Nonviolence, and the New England Psychological Association, of which Lew is past president.

Of their decision to partner with the Foundation, Edna and Lew state: "We've been happily involved with many nonprofits for more than 50 years, and it is wonderful to consolidate as much financial support as possible through the Rhode Island Foundation."
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