Harrison, Shelby M. (Shelby Millard), 1881-1970
- Existence: 1881 - 1970
Shelby Millard Harrison was born February 15, 1881, at Leaf River, Illinois, the son of James F. and Mary Ellen Helman Harrison. Harrison attended Leaf River High School and Northwestern University Academy before matriculating to Northwestern University in 1902. He was an active and distinguished student at Northwestern, joining Beta Theta Pi fraternity, participating in the Hinman Literary Society and in the Northern Oratorical League, editing the Syllabus yearbook, involving himself in administration of the annual Trig Play and co-authoring that production, working on the Junior Play Committee, serving as an officer of the YMCA, joining the Aleth Teth Nun public affairs club, and playing on the class baseball team. Harrison took his A.B. degree from Northwestern in 1906 and later received graduate degrees from Boston University and Harvard University. Northwestern awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1932 and its Alumni Merit Award in 1940.
Harrison served on the editorial staff of The Survey magazine (1910-1912) and in 1912 joined the staff of the Russell Sage Foundation, becoming that organization’s general director (1931-1947). He was a lecturer in the School of Social Work of Columbia University (1922-1932), director of social studies for the New York Regional Plan (1922-1931), chairman of the Executive Committee of the Social Science Research Council, chairman of the Central Department of Research and Survey of the National Council of Churches of Christ, a member of President Herbert Hoover’s Research Commission on Recent Social Trends, president of the National Conference of Social Work, active with the Child Welfare League of America and the National Social Welfare Assembly, and a social welfare consultant. Following retirement from the Russell Sage Foundation, he was executive director of the Babe Ruth Foundation and a member of the Midcentury White House Conference on Children and Youth. Harrison was the author or co-author of several books published by the Russell Sage Foundation including Social Conditions in an American City, Welfare Problems in New York City, Public Employment Offices: Their Purposes, Structure and Methods, and American Foundations for Social Welfare.
Harrison married Northwestern classmate Adelina (Patti) Rodgers, herself active with the YWCA, sophomore class vice-president, member of Eulexia Literary Society and of the Syllabus Board. The couple later had two children: James Shelby Harrison (born 1913) and Rodger Scott Harrison (born 1917). Shelby Harrison died August 27, 1970, at New York City.