Lou Douglas was a distinguished Professor of Political Science at Kansas State University from 1949 until 1977 and was widely known for his power to inspire students, faculty and citizens to instigate change. With principle, humor, and wisdom, he motivated grassroots organizations and individuals to pursue social justice in politics, economics, and foreign policy. His concern was always the disenfranchised, the excluded, the oppressed, and the poor, so civil rights, racial and economic justice, voting rights, community organizing, fair campaign practices, and international peace were his focus.
He was respected for his scholarly analyzes, but he was loved—often by those who disagreed with him—for the graciousness and camaraderie with which he reached out to friend and political foe. He represented the highest standards of public morality and elicited our best impulses as citizens to strengthen democracy.
Lou was also an influential member of the UFM Community Learning Center (at that time called University for Man) Board of Directors. He served in many capacities, including Chair of the Board until his death in 1979.
As part of his commitment to grassroots projects, Lou was instrumental in securing legislation that initiated the UFM Community Resource Program, a grassroots community education/community development program funded by the State and administered by UFM and Kansas State University. From 1980-2014 this very successful program assisted over 100 Kansas communities develop their own community education and activity programs utilizing local resource and talents.
For all these reasons, UFM spearheaded efforts to establish this lecture series to honor Lou Douglas.