Faculty & Staff

Adler University Founder, Dr. Harold Mosak Retires: ‘Leave This a Better World’

Adler University co-founder and Distinguished Service Professor Harold Mosak, Ph.D. has announced his retirement. Considered a leading global expert in individual or Adlerian psychology, Dr. Mosak begins his retirement with gratitude from all of us for his continuous leadership, teaching, and work building our institution since 1952. At a celebration on our Chicago Campus, Dr. Mosak shared these remarks upon retiring after 63 years from the institution he helped found.

It was a good ride, I told [Adler University President Raymond E. Crossman] when I turned in my resignation request. We had our ups and we had our downs, but we persevered. We have a school that works.

Some decades ago, Kurt Adler, the son of Alfred Adler, thought I was working too hard and had too many positions on the board, as a teacher, etc. He approached me and said, “Harold, I’d like to make a pact with you…. Let’s not do it all. Out of social interest, we owe it to future generations to leave something for them to do.”

So, what do I want you to do? What do I hope you will do?

One, when you retire, I want you to leave this a better world.  After all, if you look at it centrally, that’s what Adler was talking about in all his writings.

Secondly, I would like you to leave Adlerian psychology a more viable psychology. Give lie to the psychologist who in any published paper wrote ‘Adlerian psychology is moribund.’ As Mark Twain put it, the report of death is greatly exaggerated.

Third, I’d like you to remember Dr. Dreikurs, Dr. Shulman and me. Not because we need the glory or the acclaim, but because we’d like to be remembered as models for people who are approached with the thought of “it can’t be done.” If you really have courage, and wisdom and optimism, if you have those things, even the so-called undoable will become doable. And here, we have the evidence of that. Do not lose courage, do not lose faith. You have the product—sell it.

In my religious tradition, legend has it that God did not create a perfect world deliberately. Like Kurt Adler, He wanted something for people to do.  I invite you to enter a pact with Kurt Adler, although he is long deceased, and not to do it all—but do a hell of a lot, and leave some for future generations.

Those are the things I ask of you. In a certain way, they are very simple. In implementing them, it is very, very difficult. But if your persevere and you recognize that you have something to offer the world, don’t desist from it. Offer it to the world. …

I suspect Adler is smiling down on us today because of the things the people of the last 60 years have accomplished.  I implore you to engage in a life of service and do the undoable.

Dr. Mosak's retirement Tuesday July 21, 2015 at Adler University in Chicago, Ill.

Celebrating our founder Dr. Harold Mosak upon his retirement | Adler University, Chicago | July 21, 2015

Cards and messages for Dr. Mosak congratulating him on his retirement may be sent to:

c/o Adler University
Attn.: Office of the President
17 N. Dearborn
Chicago, IL 60602

See our Facebook album of photos from Dr. Mosak’s retirement celebration.

Read the official announcement at adler.edu.

To make a gift to Adler University in Dr. Mosak’s honor, visit adler.edu/giving.

 

 

  • Lilli Janzen

    As therapists we are in a position of power, not to direct others, but to encourage others to make a positive difference in the world. The Adlerian “courage to be imperfect” rings very true in all that we do, as human beings and as therapists. As I see it, if we feel valued and appreciated for who we are and what we stand for, we will no doubt make an impact by our example and our words. It doesn’t take a major study to see what is happening in our world these days. It shouldn’t take much effort to practise Social Interest “Gemeinschaftsgefuhl” in small ways every day. Every small gesture, every moment listening to people who are hurting or challenged in some way, will help to build the cultural mosaic to create the foundation for world peace. Our days are busy, filled with questions demanding a sense of urgency. Each of us has a path unique to us and our capacity for change. Let’s stand up together, hold hands, and be that combined force to create a better world, through humility, a caring way and wisdom to move ahead, moving toward activism and social change… and not giving up.