The key players who established our department's identity, mission and vision.

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Founding Members and Early Trailblazers of the Department

Father Adrian van Kaam was the driving force behind the uniquely human science vision of the department. It was with the inauguration of the master's program in 1959 that this fledgling vision started to take shape. van Kaam soon regarded Alice Wagstaff and Tony Barton who joined the department in 1960.  The PhD program started in Fall of 1962, and shortly thereafter attracted the trailblazers listed on this page.  Click their photographs to read each of their biographies and unique contributions to the department.

Dr. Barton has re-thought psychotherapy within an existential-phenomenological framework.

Dr. Buckley applied Gabriel Marcel's thinking to psychotherapy and group dynamics.

Dr. Fischer developed an innovative approach to collaborative assessment via phenomenology.

Dr. Fischer developed a model for empirical-phenomenological research in the area of emotions.

Dr. Giorgi pioneered the first empirical-phenomenological methodology for human science research.

Dr. Knowles developed an interdisciplinary approach to the study of moral development.

Dr. Maes contributed substantially to the formation of the department's clinical training program.

Dr. Murray applied Heidegger's thinking to the psychology of perception, language and imagination.

Dr. Richer phenomenological research explored reality and perception.

Dr. Smith directed the clinical, theory, and research programs of the department.

Dr. van Kaam developed existential approaches to psychotherapy, and theories of religion and personality.

Dr. von Eckartsberg studied intersubjectivity, social psychology, and the politics of knowledge.

Dr. Wagstaff-Verostko launched the psychology training clinic with a humanistic and client-centered approach.

Next: Biographies of Second Wave Innovators (1990s) >>