In Memoriam: Harlan London

Harlan London

NCFR member Harlan London, Ph.D., passed away on December 19, 2022. He held leadership positions at NCFR.  

Dr. London recognized the value of scholarship and collaboration. He authored articles, one of which was “Family Versus Career Responsibilities,” co-authored with Katherine R. Allen, Ph.D., editor of the NCFR Journal of Family Theory & Review. His scholarship focused on the dynamics of counseling ethnic minority families, providing implications and points of thought for practitioners and Family Science workers. He recognized the importance of identity through his work in families and ethnicity and realized strength in diversity.

He earned a bachelor’s degree at Philander Smith College, a second bachelor’s degree in divinity at Gammon Seminary, a master’s degree at Boston University, and a doctorate in social science from Syracuse University. Dr. London was professor emeritus of child and family studies (now the Department of Human Development and Family Science) at Syracuse University, having taught for 24 years. He gained notoriety in that he was essentially the teacher’s teacher—he taught teachers how to teach with a special focus on diversity. He taught undergraduate and advanced graduate courses; out of all his scholarship, teaching was what he favored most.

Dr. London compiled and published the 1984 Directory of Professionals and Researchers in the Area of Ethnic Minority and Black Families, which was a measure to keep professionals informed of the current research on Black and ethnic minority families. He was also chair of the NCFR Ethnic Minorities Section (now the Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Families Section) from 1990-92 and an NCFR affiliate council chair for the state of New York. Throughout his tenure, he encouraged and strived to increase the pool of minority applications for various positions in NCFR.

Dr. London’s influence was instrumental through the many students he mentored and supported. Many students worked with him towards the completion of their doctoral studies. He also played an indirect role in seeing that students complete their academics. Additionally, he was a leader in the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity's mentoring program. His contributions to Family Science will live on through these connections.

You can read his full obituary here

Dr. London will be recognized during the annual memorial service at the 2023 NCFR Annual Conference, along with the names of any NCFR members who have recently died. Members who have served as an NCFR board member, journal editor, or are conferred NCFR Fellow status are given a eulogy.

If you learn of an NCFR member who has passed away, please email [email protected].