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Reflections from President Blau: Reunion and Celebration

September 27, 2016

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President Blau speaks at the Gala on Saturday.

Our monthly blog feature from MiSPP President, Dr. Diane Blau, discussing what’s on her mind and in her heart regarding MiSPP and the field of professional psychology. 

It was a beautiful fall Saturday in downtown Detroit.  Upon entering the Guardian Building, graduates from more than 35 years of the school’s history were awed by the art deco interior before being whisked off in large vans to tour the Freer House at Merrill Palmer Institute and the Center for Humanistic Studies.

While being transported, it was one of the first opportunities for graduates from multiple years to meet one another and share common experiences. On the ride, many graduates effortlessly reconnected with classmates, friends and faculty.

At the Freer House where the seeds of our programs began with Clark Moustakas and Cereta Perry in the Enhancing Human Potential Program (EHP), William Colburn, Freer House Director offered a brief history.  Several EHP alumni were also on hand to speak about studies at Merrill Palmer which lasted from 1970 -1981.

The Center for Humanistic Psychology (CHS) just across the street, now Kids Talk, a child advocacy agency, was the second tour site. Former faculty spoke about life there.  It brought back many memories for graduates that attended from 1981 through 2003 as they explored what had been classrooms, offices, and group rooms. Not only did they rediscover the basement playrooms, but visited the third floor offices and lounge as well.

For many MiSPP students and graduates, this was a first chance to see the institutions that preceded the present campus and gain a sense of the school’s impressive history.

Following the tours, guests returned to the Guardian Club on the 32nd floor overlooking the Detroit River animated with stories about their experiences. I could sense vitality reflected in their shared foundation and beliefs. The reception seemed to reverberate with excitement and joy.

I had the honor of speaking about our distinctive past and emphasized that commitment to humanistic values and beliefs remain a foundation while we strive to integrate new programs and broaden our offerings. I announced MiSPP’s “Foster the Future” campaign to support planned expansion. We displayed exciting architectural plans for the house and property we anticipate purchasing next door to our current location.

At the close of this remarkable anniversary celebration, a feeling of gratitude was engendered for who we are as an institution, the firm foundation we stand upon and the extraordinary future that awaits.

Click here to see more photos from the Gala at our Facebook page.