academics & research

Psych department to celebrate 125th anniversary



The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences will celebrate its 125th year anniversary Oct. 11.

The celebration will include lectures, career luncheons and the unveiling of a 10,000-pound  limestone sculpture of a human brain near the entrance to the Psychology Building.

The department celebrates its history as the oldest university psychology program in the country, according to a press release.

The program began in 1888 when former university president William Lowe Bryan established a psychological laboratory inside the Department of Philosophy.

The laboratory evolved into a large interdisciplinary program that today offers more than 1,500 majors, the largest in the College of Arts and Sciences, according to the press release. 

The faculty credits the department’s success largely to its beginnings, Psychology and Brain Sciences Department Chair William Hetrick said.

“We as a faculty take great pride in our department,” Hetrick said. “It is understood that our department was on the cutting edge from the beginning, and once you get that leg up, it is easy to remain strong.”

The desire to be on the cutting edge is not limited to the faculty.

Psychology major and freshman Rebecca Dvorak said she feels fortunate to be part of IU’s prestigious psychology program.

“I feel confident that I am getting a quality education that my future employers will recognize and appreciate,” Dvorak said.

The celebration will begin at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 11 in the Psychology Building with a lecture from two distinguished faculty members discussing major new breakthroughs in the field, according to the press release.

“The celebration is open to the public and meant to attract everyone, young and old,” Hetrick said.

The lectures will last until 2:30 p.m. and will be followed immediately by a career luncheon with alumni. The luncheon is restricted to undergraduates who must sign up on the department website in order to
attend.

“The luncheon will be especially exciting,” Hetrick said. “It is an opportunity for our undergraduate students to interact with alumni who have received degrees in the field of psychology but have gone on to do other things in the workplace
environment.”

The celebration will end with a presentation at 4 p.m. by IU President Michael McRobbie, College of Arts and Sciences Executive Dean Larry Singell, Psychological and Brain Sciences Historian James Capshew and Hetrick.

The day is meant to be a commemoration of 125 years of the study of the brain and how it functions at IU, Hetrick said.

“We need to celebrate many years of being at the forefront of psychological study,” Hetrick said.
    
Follow reporter Grayson Harbour on Twitter @GraysonHarbour.

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