Evron M. Kirkpatrick


Honorary Degree (1977)
Doctor of Laws
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: John William Ryan


Born August 15, 1911 near the town of Raub in Benton County, Evron Maurice Kirkpatrick stems from a family long prominent in Hoosier public life. He graduated with high honors from the University of Illinois in 1932 and subsequently earned the Ph.D. in political science at Yale University. His first teaching position was at the University of Minnesota, where he rose rapidly through the several ranks and within a decade was designated chairman of the social sciences.

Shortly after the outbreak of World War II, Kirkpatrick took temporary employment with the federal government and in 1948 departed the University of Minnesota altogether. During a decade in the federal service, he held such positions as assistant director of research and analysis in the Office of Strategic Services; and (in the State Department) chief of External Research Staff (1948-52), chief of Psychological Intelligence and Research (1952-54), and finally deputy director, Office of Intelligence Research.

In 1954 Kirkpatrick left the federal service to become the first full-time director of the American Political Science Association, a position he holds today. The significant improvements in that discipline and the contributions to scholarly endeavor throughout the social sciences which can be traced to leadership emanating from his office are too many for citation. Seminars were developed for teachers in grossly under financed institutions; newsmen and women with special success in reporting local civic and political events were given awards and invited to seminars led by specialists in local affairs; young political scientists, journalists, civic leaders, and other persons serving to connect government with various publics were given opportunities to serve as interns in the offices of Congressmen and Congressional committees.

This is a record of a diligent and imaginative public servant engaged in the discharge of the duties for which he was hired. Evron Kirkpatrick has maintained a civic life of his own: professorial lecturer in political science at Georgetown University; president of the Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation; chairman of the board of a Washington-based research and analysis firm; and board chairman of the Institute for American Universities, which provides college-level instruction for Americans in at least three European cities. His sketch in Who's Who in America lists half a dozen books and memberships on twice that many investigatory and advisory commissions appointed by presidents of the United States or other high officials.

Evron and his wife, Jeanne Kirkpatrick (professor of political science at Georgetown University), reside in Bethesda, Maryland. They have three sons, and Evron has two daughters by a previous marriage.