Honorary Degree Recipient Edward F. Zigler
Honorary Degree Recipient
Edward F. Zigler
B.A. University of Missouri-Kansas City; Ph.D. University of Texas
Recognized by Denison University with the
Doctor of Science, honoris causa
by Fleur W. Metzger
Denison University Publications Editor
Edward F. Zigler, has earned worldwide acclaim as one of the founders of applied developmental psychology and as a pioneer in developmental psychopathology. He is widely regarded as the "father" of Head Start and the nation's leading researcher of programs and policies for children and families.
Dr. Zigler planned or implemented such national programs and initiatives as Head Start and Early Head Start, and the Family and Medical Leave Act and his innovative School of the 21st Century model has been adopted by more than 1,500 schools in 20 states. Dr. Zigler is a Sterling Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Yale University and the Director Emeritus of its Edward Zigler Center in Development and Social Policy that he founded in 1978. The Center works to improve the lives of America's children and families by bringing the results of empirical research on child development into the policy arena. There are now more than 40 centers based on his model in universities throughout the country. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City (1954) and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1959. Dr. Zigler taught at the University of Texas at Columbia for one year before joining the faculty at Yale University in 1959.
He has worked with every presidential administration since that of President Lyndon B. Johnson and continues to testify as an expert witness before Congressional committees. Appointed by President Richard M. Nixon, Dr. Zigler was the founding Director of the U.S. Office of Child Development and served as Chief of the U.S. Children's Bureau. He created the first national Office of Child Care and the Home Start program, the national Child Development Associate (CDA) certification program and Education for Parenthood (the first parenting education program provided to adolescents in schools). He initiated Head Start's Program Performance Standards and formalized parental involvement in that organization by establishing the Policy Councils which still govern every local Head Start program. At President Jimmy Carter's request, he chaired the committee to develop the 15th anniversary forward plan for Head Start and chaired the committee on resettling children from the Vietnamese Baby Lift for President Gerald Ford. He has played a central role in generating the momentum toward establishing universal preschool education.
Dr. Zigler is the author, co-author or editor of more than 800 scholarly publications and 35 books. He has been honored by both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and received a special citation from the Secretary of Health and Human Services in 1998.