100+ Years of Psychology at Beloit College and Beyond

In today’s world, psychology continues to play a pivotal role in addressing social issues and social change. Here are selected highlights and publications in a developing field and at Beloit College.


Beloit College Campus, circa 1860

Beloit College founded


The college was originally exclusively male with explicit Christian roots.

First psychology laboratory founded by Wilhelm Wundt at the University of Leipzig


First psychology class at Beloit College


Excerpt from course catalog: “The data which constitute the contents of these sciences, in combination with other facts in the realms of mind and material nature, furnish means of verifying the claim made by religion, and especially by Christianity, to the acceptance of mankind” (White, 2008, p. 3).

Book Cover of Principles of Psychology (James)

James’ Principles of Psychology published


American Psychological Association (APA) founded by G. Stanley Hall


The intrepid Mabel Lee (second row, far left) led Beloit's early physical education program for women with intramural sports su...

Women enroll at Beloit College for the first time


A Brief History of Women at Beloit, Beloit College Magazine

Guy Tawney

Guy A. Tawney, a student of Wundt, arrived as the first Ph.D. psychologist at Beloit College


First Psychology Lab at Beloit College

First psychology lab at Beloit College established by Tawney


Mary Whiton Calkins elected first woman president of APA


Margaret Wooster

Margaret Wooster, Ph.D. in psychology, hired as first woman tenure-track professor at Beloit College


Beloit College Course Catalog, 1923-1924

Separate Department of Psychology founded at Beloit College


First Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published


Kenneth Bancroft Clark and Mamie Phipps Clark

The U.S. Supreme Court ended legal segregation


In its Brown v. Board of Education ruling, The U.S. Supreme Court cited the influential doll studies of K.B. & M.P. Clark.

Kenneth Clark went on to become the first Black president of APA (1966).

Summer Hayward and Stephanie Stolz - 1964

Professor of Psychology Sumner Hayward hired


Hayward was instrumental in proposing the 1964 Beloit Plan, a bold and innovative plan to address demographic needs spurred on by the first of the baby boomers reaching college age.

B.F. Skinner

B.F. Skinner, prominent behaviorist, visited Beloit College


Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at APA’s Annual Convention


“I am sure that we will recognize that there are some things in our society, some things in our world, to which we should never be adjusted. There are some things concerning which we must always be maladjusted if we are to be people of good will… And through such creative maladjustment, we may be able to emerge from the bleak and desolate midnight of man’s inhumanity to man, into the bright and glittering daybreak of freedom and justice.” - Martin Luther King Jr

Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) founded


Walter V. D. Bingham Fellowship for graduating seniors established


Asian American Psychological Association founded


Book Cover of The Social Animal

Aronson’s The Social Animal published


Larry White Professor Emeritus White (arrived in 1984): “Aronson’s kind of social psychology was (and still is) my kind of social psychology—a conceptually innovative, methodologically rigorous, nonpartisan approach to understanding social cognition and social influence.”

National Hispanic Psychological Association formed


Later renamed as National Latinx Psychological Association.

Godel Escher Bach An Eternal Golden Braid Book Cover

Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid published


Robin ZebrowskiProfessor Zebrowski (arrived 2008, establishing the Cognitive Science program): “This is the book that broke me. I read this as an undergraduate who didn’t know if I was studying philosophy or psychology, and I realized I was studying cognitive science. That we can be rigorous and scientific up to the edges of what we can know, but that we shouldn’t shy away from asking hard theoretical questions about the nature of consciousness and thinking.”

Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society Emblem

Psi Chi Honor Society chapter established at Beloit


Direct Perception Book Cover

Carello & Michaels’s Direct Perception published


Alexis Grosofsky Professor Grosofsky (arrived 1989): “This book was my introduction to realizing that the approach to perception I had learned during my undergraduate education was not the only way to think about perception. I had been (as many continue to be) indoctrinated into a theoretical perspective without it ever being acknowledged as such.”

Professor Tawney's chonoscope

Professor Tawney’s chronoscope recovered


The Interpersonal World of the Infant Book Cover

Stern’s The Interpersonal World of the Infant: A View From Psychoanalysis and Developmental Psychology published


Suzanne Cox Professor Cox (arrived 1994): “I read this book during my first year in graduate school, intrigued by the excitement developmental psychologists and clinicians shared about the ways Stern so aptly connected multiple ways of thinking about infant development. His eloquent writing bridged my undergraduate introduction to object relations theory with empirical studies of infant development, and it helped sharpen my focus of interest on parent-child interactions.”

APA Division 45, the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues formed


APS, the Association for Psychological Science founded to advance scientific psychology


Previously the American Psychological Society.

Love's Executioner Book Cover

Yalom’s Love’s Executioner & Other Tales of Psychotherapy published


Greg Buchanan Professor Buchanan (arrived 1999): “As with all good stories, Yalom’s accounts of psychotherapy are gripping page-turners. These exposés of the human psyche offer much but especially hope in the face of the peculiarities of the human condition.”

Guy Allan Tawney Prize students

Guy Allan Tawney Prize established


The original prize honors an outstanding senior in the department; the prize is now awarded to sophomore majors who demonstrate excellence in psychology courses.

Shweder’s “Cultural Psychology - What is It?” published as a preface to the edited book Cultural Psychology: Essays on Comparative Human Development


Isaac Young Professor Young (arrived 2020): “Like Gergen’s (1973) ‘Social Psychology as History’, this work challenges ‘general psychology’s’ assumption that the mind is a central processing unit that operates independently of social/cultural context. While providing a statement of what cultural psychology is (and is not), Shweder also reveals how mimicking the natural sciences may lead psychologists astray from their topic of study.”

McNair Scholar Franccesca G. Mamani Poster Presentation

McNair Scholars Program established at
Beloit College


Since 1996, Beloit psychology faculty have mentored dozens of McNair Scholar students on projects related to psychology or related fields. McNair Scholars are chosen for their commitment to diversify the academy and for their plans to pursue graduate studies leading to a Ph.D.

APA President Martin Seligman called for more empirical work on well-being in addition to work on psychological distress


2002 Estonia-Morocco Program Students on an Excursion

Department established study abroad program in Estonia and Morocco


The Ape and the Sushi Master Book Cover

de Waal’s The Ape and the Sushi Master published


Kristin Bonnie Professor Bonnie (arrived 2007): “Written by my graduate advisor and published just weeks before I began graduate school, de Waal emphasizes the importance of relationships in the process of social learning. His theories, though not universally accepted, were foundational to my own research, as well as ongoing investigations of what, when, and from whom animals learn.”

Sanger Center for the Sciences from the west side.

Department moved to new Sanger Center for the Sciences


Cognitive Science Program established


Peterson’s “Engaged scholarship: Reflections and research on the pedagogy of social change” published in Teaching the Higher Education


Katie Taber Visiting Instructor Taber (arrived 2023): “This article really struck me as it questions the norms of research and academia and specifically community partnerships. I remember community engaged projects as foundational to my education as well as my professional and personal development, but this article also questions if these experiences for our students are helpful or harmful to the communities with whom we are partnering.”

APA removed gender identity disorder from DSM and replaced it with gender dysphoria


Getting Past Your Past Book Cover

Shapiro’s Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life with Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy published


Stephanie Carey Visiting Instructor Carey (arrived 2023): “This book introduced me to the clinical value of EMDR, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, developed in 1987. Its efficacy has been demonstrated and is particularly helpful in treating cases of trauma. I have witnessed significant improvement in my clients treated with EMDR.”

COVID-19 Pandemic Declared


Psychology Department at Beloit College, Since 1923

Beloit College Celebrates the Centennial of the Psychology Department


Psychology Faculty in Spring 2023

Alexis Grosofsky, Robin Zebrowski, Greg Buchanan, Suzanne Cox, & Isaac Young Alexis Grosofsky, Robin Zebrowski, Greg Buchanan, Suzanne Cox, & Isaac Young


We thank Franccesca Mamani’24, Fred Burwell, and Alaina Neal for assisting the psychology faculty in creating this timeline.

January 01, 2024

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read our Web Privacy Policy for more information.

Got it! ×