Alice S. and Peter H. Rossi Lecture Series

Professor Emeritus Peter H. Rossi died October 7, 2006, leaving a rich legacy to the UMass Amherst Department of Sociology and to the social sciences in general. He and his wife, Alice S. Rossi, who survived him until November 3, 2009, were among the most lustrous couples in sociological and UMass history. On the UMass Amherst campus, both greatly elevated the department’s profile and gave it an ascending momentum that continues today. Both were Chancellor’s Distinguished Lecturers and received Conti Research Fellowships. Both were named Distinguished Professors—Pete became the Stuart A. Rice Professor and Alice, the Harriet Martineau Professor of Sociology. Nationally, both were elected president of the American Sociological Association, and both received the Association’s highest award for distinguished scholarship. The burgeoning field of evaluation research now honors its annual exemplar with the Peter H. Rossi Award. Alice was a founder of the National Organization for Women.

Since 2007, the department has sponsored and hosted the annual Alice S. and Peter H. Rossi Lecture Series. The series alternates honorees, focusing on Pete one year, Alice the next. The guest lecturers will be prominent academic and public figures drawn from across the country—and indeed the world. Each will be renowned for pursuing one or more of the honoree’s interests. During a typical two-day visit, the Rossi lecturer will give a public all-campus lecture, as well as a department seminar on work in progress for faculty and graduate students, visit an undergraduate class, and be available for informal meetings and social gatherings.

We welcome contributions to permanently endow the Rossi lecture series. You may show your support by donating online or by sending a check, written to the University of Massachusetts, directly by mail to:

The Alice S. and Peter H. Rossi Lecture Series
Department of Sociology
​University of Massachusetts
Amherst, MA 01003-9277