The School of Social Welfare is pleased to announce the creation of the Sue Anne Gershenson Endowed Fund for Graduate Fellowships, established in memory of a dynamic alumna who passed away in October 2011 at the age of 65.
Sue Anne Gershenson earned her MSW degree from the School in 1970, two years after completing her undergraduate degree in psychology, also at UC Berkeley. In 1992, she went on to earn her law degree from the University of San Francisco.
Described as someone who “never did what she was supposed to do,” Gershenson left her native Detroit and eschewed marriage, children and steady employment for the chance to help vulnerable communities and individuals around the world. Among her early accomplishments was working with the Hayward Police Department to create a first-respondent social work position for domestic violence calls, a role she proudly fulfilled herself for several years.
Among her endeavors were travels to Cambodia, where she taught classes in civil and business law in Phnom Penh; Peace Corps service in Nepal, where she taught at an all-girls school and was active in lobbying for the rights of victims of torture and sex trafficking; and the establishment of the Tibet Oral History Project, which has been placed in the Library of Congress.
The Gershenson Fund for Graduate Fellowships was created from an estate gift bestowed to the School, and Gershenson's generous donation will be matched by the Graduate Division.
Photo (Tibet Oral History Project): Sue Anne Gershenson (far left) with colleagues from the Tibet Oral History Project.