Lee Lorch's mathematical research has been in the areas of analysis, differential equations, and special functions. His teaching positions have included the City College of New York, Pennsylvania State University, Fisk University, Philander Smith College, the University of Alberta, Howard University, Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm) and Aarhus University. He was at York from 1968 until retirement in 1985 and remains active in the mathematical community.
His scholarship has been recognized by election to Fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada; appointment to committees of the Research Council of Canada; election to the Councils of the American Mathematical Society, the Canadian Mathematical Society, and the Royal Society of Canada; and by many invitations to lecture.
Lee Lorch is a remarkable teacher of mathematics and an inspiration to his students. Among those he guided were Etta Falconer, Gloria Hewitt, Vivienne Malone Mayes, and Charles Costley. He has recruited into graduate work and mathematical careers many students who would not have otherwise considered such a path.
During the early organization of the Association for Women in Mathematics, Lee gave sage advice about the value of inclusiveness in supporting effective advocacy. He is responsible for the appearance of the preposition "for" in place of the initially proposed "of" in the name of the Association for Women in Mathematics.
Throughout his career he has been a vocal advocate and energetic worker for human rights and educational opportunities. His interventions, especially in the 1950's, led to changes in the policies and practices of the Amarican Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America that ensured that all mathematicians could participate in the official events of these organizations. While his actions have not solved all the problems he addressed, surely his energy has contributed to much progress.
As an example, we cite events surrounding a meeting in 1951 held in Nashville. Lee Lorch, the chair of the mathematics department at Fisk University, and three Black colleagues, Evelyn Boyd (now Granville), Walter Brown, and H M Holloway came to the meeting and were able to attend the scientific sessions. However, the organizer for the closing banquet refused to honor the reservations of these four mathematicians. Lorch and his colleagues wrote to the governing bodies of the Amarican Mathematical Society and Mathematical Association of America seeking bylaws against discrimination. Bylaws were not changed, but non-discriminatory policies were established and have been strictly observed since then.
For his life-long contributions to mathematics, his continued dedication to inclusiveness, equity, and human rights for mathematicians, and especially his profound influence on the lives of minority and women mathematicians who have benefited from his efforts, the Mathematical Association of America presents this Yueh-Gin Gung and Charles Y Hu Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics to Lee Lorch.