Evanston, Illinois October. 29, 1921-June 1, 2018
The Adler University co-founder and Distinguished Service Professor, Dr. Harold Mosak, passed away Friday June 1st, 2018 at the age of 96 years.
With his mentor Rudolf Dreikurs, and colleagues including Bernard Shulman, Dr. Mosak founded the Alfred Adler Institute – today Adler University – in 1952. The three served as faculty and staff for the Institute, handling all daily tasks, from teaching classes to stuffing envelopes. With his colleagues, Dr. Mosak saw patients daily, taught nightly, and supervised and lectured in between.
Dr. Mosak is considered internationally one of the preeminent interpreters of Alfred Adler. Scores of Adlerians have been trained and supervised by Dr. Mosak across decades, and we and our students are fortunate that he taught across every iteration of our institution – from the Adler Institute to the Adler School to Adler University. Dr. Mosak wrote hundreds of articles and numerous books on Adlerian psychology. He also served as a trustee for most of our institution’s history – from 1963 until 2010. During that time, he served as our longest-serving Board Chair (1963, 1972-1999), and in 1984, as the institution’s interim president.
In the Adler Institute’s early years, Dr. Mosak founded the school’s library. Works by Adler and his students were hard to find, but he acquired them one-by-one and recruited students to the cause. His wife Birdie worked alongside him in to reach out to students and build the collection. Through their efforts, the library grew, and students from around the world came to study at Adler. In 2011, on the occasion of Dr. Mosak’s 90th birthday and through benefactors’ support, the University dedicated its modern library as the Harold and Birdie Mosak Library.
Dr. Mosak was among the first psychologists licensed in the United Stated and Illinois; his Illinois license number was 37. He was a diplomate in clinical psychology (ABPP), and he was a life member and fellow of the American Psychological Association. He completed an A.B. in psychology and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Chicago. He also served in the United States Army Air Force (1943-1946).
Dr. Mosak retired from teaching at Adler University in 2015, but he continued to mentor his students. Our alum – young or old – could often be found sitting in consultation with him at the Presbyterian Homes in Evanston, his residence for the final few years of his life.
Harold was part of the Board of Trustees who hired me 15 years ago. I am enormously grateful for his generous mentorship – from our first conversations and tutoring that made me into an Adlerian, to his later counsel about the perils and joys of leading a school, to our visits after his retirement during which Harold continued to advise me on becoming a better president and a better person.
In 1982, Harold shared with the Board what he called A Purely Personal Position Paper on the Institute’s direction.
In the very earliest days, the size of the Board…equaled the number of students enrolled in some of the Institute classes. The Board met annually…because it needed only a single meeting to set the policy of the Institute for the year….. In 1963, as Director of Training, I laid the groundwork with the state of Illinois to have us designated as a post-secondary school….
Since then, we have grown in almost every way-faculty, students, budget, activities, library, and headaches-and in general, the Institute finds itself in good health.
At his retirement celebration in 2015 at the University’s Chicago Campus, Harold said, “I suspect Adler is smiling down on us today because of the things the people of the last 60 years have accomplished.” Earlier this week, Harold told Raymond E. Crossman that he continued to smile upon all of us, as we advance the important work he started.