Over 40 years ago some of the greatest minds in 20th century psychology and human science gathered in Old Saybrook, Connecticut to start a movement. The term “humanistic psychology” had recently been coined by Abraham Maslow and Anthony Sutich: the attendees at the Old Saybrook conference believed it was an intellectual movement that could transform culture for the better.
Over the next few years, this movement would produce a notable body of literature, an academic journal (the Journal of Humanistic Psychology), and – on June 9, 1971, the date on which Saybrook was officially established and incorporated – an independent graduate college, that ultimately evolved to become Saybrook University.
In 2011, Saybrook will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its establishment as an independent graduate institution, having helped to support the development of humanistic psychology, expand humanistic thought into new fields, and create a community of thought leaders who are changing the world. Saybrook faculty and alumni have briefed the UN and the White House, led international aid programs, served as citizen diplomats, presented important ideas in psychology, and helped lead the current revolution towards a mind-body approach to medicine. Always, they have been in the intellectual vanguard pushing to connect us where the world polarizes us.
Saybrook begins this new period in its history in a period of exciting transition. In 2009, it formally became Saybrook University, comprised of three colleges: The Graduate College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies, the Graduate College of Mind-Body Medicine, and LIOS Graduate College. Saybrook’s transition into a university represents the achievement of several other significant milestones over the past few years: merging with the Leadership Institute of Seattle to expand its offerings in psychology and organizational systems, affiliating with the Jung Institute of Houston to develop a psychology program specializing in Jungian Studies, and working with The Center for Mind-Body Medicine to offer the nation’s first fully accredited higher degrees in mind-body medicine.
In 2010, the Board of Trustees appointed Mark Schulman president. Mark will be joining Saybrook on July 1, and his January 2011 official investiture as Saybrook’s new president will be one of many opportunities to celebrate Saybrook’s 40th anniversary year.
“I’m delighted to join Saybrook as we look back to forty years of innovation and transformation and look forward to our exciting future as a unique and unparalleled University,” Schulman says. “My inaugural festivities in January will be not so much about me but about our fantastic community and how we can celebrate what we have been and anticipate what we will become. I can hardly wait!”