Theodore Herman


Founding Member of the IPRA Foundation Board of Directors

Ted Herman2

Theodore Herman, 97, passed away peacefully on Thursday, December 30, 2010, at Cornwall Manor, Cornwall, Pennsylvania. He was the husband of the late Evelyn Mary Herman who passed away on January 24, 2003.

Born on March 11, 1913, in Philadelphia, he was the son of the late Carl L. and Molly (Leivy) Herman. He was preceded in death by his son, Carl T. Herman, and his older brothers, Russell Herman and Leonard Herman.

Ted graduated from Swarthmore College in 1934 and obtained a Master’s Degree in Teaching from Columbia in 1935. During his time at Swarthmore he became a Quaker. In 1936 he traveled to Shanghai, China to accept a teaching post at the Shanghai American School. There he met his wife, who was the Warden of the Friends Receiving Home in Shanghai, at the Shanghai YMCA. They were married twice, once before the Japanese invaded China and again as they departed China in 1948 when it was discovered that their marriage records were destroyed. While in China and during WWII, Ted was active in the anti-Japanese underground and in 1943-1944 was interned by the Japanese in their Haiphong Road Camp, in Shanghai. Ted was repatriated to the United States in 1944. His wife had to remain in China. He returned to China shortly after the war to rejoin his wife and to work for the UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration until it closed in 1948. Returning to the U.S., Ted pursued graduate studies in geography at the University of Washington, earning a Master’s degree in 1951 and his PhD in 1954. Ted joined the faculty of Colgate University in 1955 as their professor of Geography until his retirement in 1980. He was instrumental in founding the Peace Studies Program at Colgate, which was more than just an academic program, it became Ted’s life work. After retirement, Ted became very active with the International Peace Research Association and the IPRAF (International Peace Research Association Foundation). Ted also devoted much of his time to peace activities in Macedonia founding and consulting with the Balkan Peace Studies Center in Skopje, Macedonia in the early 1990’s. For this effort, he received a note of encouragement from Mother Theresa of Calcutta, India.

Surviving him are a daughter, Evelyn Mae Herman, of San Diego, CA, a niece, Magdalen Herman Seaman of Denver, CO, and his wife’s nephew, Walter Liang of Walnut Creek, CA and other relatives of his wife who remain living in China.

A memorial service has been scheduled by Lancaster Friends Meeting Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) on Saturday, January 22, 2011, at 1:00 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to Lancaster Friends Meeting Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), 110 Tulane Terrace, Lancaster, PA 17602, or The Dr. and Mrs. Theodore Herman Endowed Scholarship Fund at Colgate University, 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY 13346.


Ted Herman (1913-2010)

by Ian Harris, professor emeritus
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Ted Herman was a pioneer in the peace studies community. He was one of many Quaker scholar/midwives who helped nurture the field of peace studies in the 1960s. He founded a peace studies program at Colgate University in 1970 at the height of the Vietnam war. This program now has both a minor and a major in peace and conflict studies.

Ted Herman grew up in West Philadelphia and was a soccer star in his youth. He did his undergraduate work at Swarthmore (graduating in 1935) and completed a Ph.D. in geography at the University of Washington. In the interim he taught in China. He joined the faculty at Colgate University as a professor of geography in 1955 and founded there in 1971 one of the earliest peace studies programs in the United States. He inspired many students there to take seriously the study of nonviolence and to pursue careers devoted to peace. Largely because of Ted the Colgate program has a unique emphasis upon geography and trouble spots in the world–like the Middle East, Central America, Africa, or Central Asia–integrating trans-disciplinary academic approaches to war and peace with the study of particular regional conflicts.

Ted was a fantastic mentor. He mentored me and many other young professors in the nineteen eighties who were attracted to the field of peace studies in response to the growing nuclear threat. I remember well meeting with him at COPRED (Consortium on Peace Research, Education, and Development) and International Peace Research Association (IPRA) conferences. His calm determination and self confidence convinced many of us that we could leave the shelter of our traditional disciplines and walk down the path of peace. Ted Herman understood well how the study of peace could enhance the academy and made it his life’s mission to promote it.

Ted devoted considerable time to bringing together enemies on multiple sides of the Balkan conflict. In his retirement he often visited the Balkans trying to get Serbs to talk to people from Bosnia-Herzegovina. He helped establish a peace studies program in Macedonia. I remember him coming to Milwaukee in 1995 and meeting with an important Serbian bishop in the orthodox church and leaders from the Bosnian community.

Towards the end of his life Ted Herman became convinced that the best way to promote peace studies was through peace research. He threw his considerable talents behind the International Peace Research Association Foundation (IPRAF) a non-profit, tax-exempt organization founded in 1990 to further the purposes of the International Peace Research Association (IPRA) and enhance the processes of peace. With his support IPRAF has carried out peace research projects in the Balkans and the Middle East. It offers women from developing countries scholarships to study peace at the graduate level and provides small peace research grants to further the field of peace research. (For more information see Ted Herman reveled in the rich exchanges that took place at IPRA conferences where scholars from around the world shared their insights into ways to generate peace.

Ted Hermann is held in the hearts of hundreds of peace educators and social activists, like myself, who have been inspired by his quiet determination to promote nonviolence. His memorial service will take place Jan 22, 2011 at 1 p.m. at Lancaster Friends Meeting in Lancaster, PA. I would like encourage those of you who live in the area to consider attending this service to honor an important pioneer in the field of peace and conflict studies.

Tributes to Ted Herman

I was saddened to learn, via email only yesterday, of the passing of this great founder of our field. Ted’s greatness, of course, was in his sly and passionate determination, that glint in the eye that let you know that he would support you while arguing, love you despite disagreements, and work like hell no matter what for a peace with justice for all. Ted mentored many of us over many decades of an incredibly productive life, but somehow now my mind goes to a PJSA conference just a few years ago. He was wheelchair bound, but still moved by the urgency of the moment to stand at the banquet and address us all. A bit shaky, those of us around him were worried he might fall. No one could help but be captivated, however, by his powerful message of peace. Ever the organization-builder, we all owe it Ted Herman (and to ourselves and to the next generation) to re-double our efforts to make PJSA and IPRA and our local associations and peace groups as strong and relevant as possible.
It is Ted’s turn, well deserved, to rest in peace.     – Matt Meyer, January 18, 2011

Wow, I lost contact with Ted in past 10 years, but he was also a mentor for me in eighties. I turned up  at  Brighton IPRA and was part of inaugural meeting that set up NV study group. which Ted was responsible for. He was so welcoming, so supportive of my efforts. I remember the triangle talked about at that meeting, that peace researchers are servants of peace – to respond to the needs of activists, and supply the tools for educationists.  I kept all the supportive letters he sent me, and regret we lost contact 10 years ago – he inspire , mentor in a quiet and supportive way, and I have been deeply grateful to him ever since. When I saw memorial service was to be in Friends’ meeting house, Lancaster – thought wow and here, then I saw PA, not UK. I will still go to FMH Lancaster UK though, and say a pray there anyway.  Great what you said Ian, loved it – I learnt a lot with the little time with Ted at IPRA conferences where we meet. He did not just promote peace, it was in his nature. They say that as you pass through life you meet people who enrich your lives by meeting – well certainly for me, and I am sure for so many, Ted was one of those people.

Graham Kemp

If it were in my power, I would have preferred to die a thousand times to ensure that peace visionaries like Kenneth, Elise and Ted  live on  for years and for centuries.
Ted was always very passionate, very friendly and very humane.He was also a great mentor.
Way back in 1978, I worked as a visiting research fellow at the Peace Research Institute(PRIO), Oslo.While working there, I wrote a long paper on  promoting peace in South Asia. Those were the days, when talking about peace and building peace between India and Pakistan was almost seditious. After writing the paper, I thought of sharing it with some peace scholars.I then came across an article of  Professor Herman in a journal. It was  on nonviolence. I liked it a lot and thought that I should send my paper to him. After  obtaining  his mailing  address with some difficulty, I sent my paper by post.As far as I remember,  it was sent to his his  Colgate University address. I didn’t know him then, had never met him and had never corresponded with him. Neither  was I expecting any reply from him.
His reply came in  three weeks or so and it was very inspiring.From then on, we stayed in touch and by early 1980s, he invited me to participate in a workshop on nonviolence in former Yugoslavia.I met him for the first time in this workshop.It was at this workshop where I presented my paper on ‘ Peace and Nonviolence in Islamic Teaching and Practice’ and met-for the first time-a number of distinguished peace scholars  including professor Glenn D Paige, Dr. Nancy Lee Wood, Dr. Chaiwat  Satha Anand and Dr. Nagasura Madale.This workshop was a huge success and it was superbly organized, managed and directed by Ted.
I remained in touch with Ted for several years and he kept me posted about his work in the Balkan region. I regret to add here that I had very little contact with him during the past ten years or so.
Ted was a source of tremendous inspiration to  me. He gave me hope and confidecne and whatever  peace work I have done so far is all because of peace educators like Dr. Ted Herman and Dr. Elise Boulding and because of  wonderful peace scholars  like  Dr. Glenn D Paige, Dr. Betty Reardon, Dr. Ikuro Anzai and Dr. Kazuyo Yamane.
Professor Herman is no more with us, but he will live in peace studies and in the  minds and hearts and memories of several generations of  global peace family.

Prof. Syed Sikander Mehdi
Director Planning and International Linkages &
Editor of Journal of Management & Social Sciences
Institute of Business and Technology-Biztek
Main Ibrahim Hydri Road, Korangi Creek

I flew to Colgate in a heavy snow storm with a team of campus organizers in the winter of 1981 to learn about the Peace and World Order Studies program, in order to replicate it across the country on other campuses.  Ted Herman met us at the airport late at night. Quietly and skillfully, he drove us to our accomodations with snow piling up everywhere on the roads. He was unflappable.  For the next four days, Ted explained the theoretical underpinnings and curriculum design of the field of peace and nonviolence.  His dry wit, grasp of world history, deep analysis of regional wars and conflicts, keen intellect, and steadfast spirit were a huge inspiration.  He showed us the Ralph Bunche Peace House where many PWOS majors lived.  He spoke of his students so respectfully and treated them with such dignity.

Our team left Colgate with a renewed vision of humanity and sense of purpose, an array of ideas and knowledge about peace scholarship, pedagogy and practices, and a repetoire of great jokes.  The other campus organizers and I were hugely sucessfully in stimulating new peace studies programs on forty campuses that winter through 1986, in no small part due to Ted’s continuing support, advice and help.

What a man!  What a mind!  What a sense of humor.  I shall miss him greatly.

Barbara J. Wien


Theodore Herman, founder of P-Con program, dies

By Tim O’Keeffe on January 6, 2011 8:35 AM

Longtime geography professor Theodore Herman, whose keen interest in issues of war and peace led to his founding of the university’s Peace and Conflict Studies Program (P-Con), died Thursday, Dec. 30. He was 97.

Herman joined Colgate’s faculty in 1955, retiring in 1981. He taught cultural geography, passing on to many students his love of that discipline and leaving an indelible impression thatmany alumni still recall today.

Herman was an active leader of anti-war workshops on campus in the late 1960s. He served as director of the P-Con program, which was originally called the Peace and World Order Studies Program, until his retirement.

He continued to support the program in many ways following retirement, and also was instrumental in developing the Fund for Peace Research, which supports student summer internships in peace-building NGOs.

During the 1970s, one of Herman’s classes organized, wrote, and published the Hamilton Walk Book, a valuable introduction to the local area that is currently being updated and will be reissued by the Colgate University Press.

Herman earned degrees from Swarthmore College (BA), Columbia University (MA), and the University of Washington (MA, PhD).

His doctoral dissertation dealt with China’s export handicraft industries to 1930. As a resident of China from 1936 to 1948, he taught at the Shanghai American School and served as a social worker with the Friends Center in Shanghai.

He was interned by the Japanese and repatriated during 1942-43, after which he worked with the U.S. Office of War Information and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration in Chungking and Shanghai.

Herman donated to Colgate a collection of modern Chinese woodcuts, reputed to be the largest such collection in the United States.

In 2008-2009, he was honored for his generosity and service to the university during a special exhibition — A Year of Chinese Art at Colgate University — that encouraged students to engage with Chinese artistic culture.

Robert H.N. Ho ’56, who had developed a strong relationship with Herman dating back to his days as a student, provided support for the exhibition.

Herman’s last visit to Colgate was in 2007 for the dedication of the Robert H.N. Ho Science Center, when he was able to tour the new home of the geography department that he had helped shape through his years of teaching and as department chair.

Herman is survived by his daughter, Evelyn, of California, as well as a nephew, Walter Liang, of California, and a niece, Mag Seaman, of Colorado. He was pre-deceased by his wife, Evelyn (Chen Shih-ying) and a son, Carl.

The Lancaster Friends will hold a memorial service at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22, in The Meeting House, 110 Tulane Terrace, Lancaster, Penn.

An on-campus memorial service is planned for this spring. Details will be provided when they become available.

Ted Herman & Barbara Wien