On March 17, 2015, Raymond D. Fowler, PhD, former CEO and past president of the American Psychological Association, passed away at his home in San Diego, CA. APAGS is indebted to Ray, who was instrumental in the founding of APAGS.
In 1988, two students, Scott Mesh and David Pilon, were working with two psychologists, Ellin Bloch (Chair of Division 29’s Student Development Committee) and Pierre Ritchie (President of the Ontario Psychological Association) to encourage APA to develop a home for students within the organization. That year, Ray spoke at the Ontario Psychological Association’s annual meeting, and a snowstorm delayed his return home. During that extra evening, Pierre and David were successful in getting Ray’s support to create a student organization within APA. With the support of the 4 leaders, Ray secured additional interest among APA leadership for the new student group, and at the 1988 APA Convention, APAGS was founded by a unanimous Council vote (Mook, 1996).
When Ray became CEO of APA, he continued to support APAGS. He regularly visited APAGS during its business meetings, served as a mentor to numerous student leaders, and spoke at the Psychology Graduate Student Rally on Capitol Hill in August 2000. APAGS established an award for mentoring named in Ray’s honor in 1989 and presented Ray with the first APAGS Fowler Award. Since then, 26 faculty members have been honored with the highest award APAGS can bestow. Ray would come to APAGS events to personally recognize the winning mentor.
I feel lucky that I knew you, Ray, when I was a graduate student leader in the early APAGS days. On behalf of over 26,000 current graduate student members, I would like to thank you for your constant support of APAGS and graduate students in APA! So many APAGS members benefited from your wisdom and generosity, and our condolences to your family.