1937-1946: The Struggle for Life and Survival
1947-1956: Building on the Beginnings
1957-1966: Changing with the Times
1967-1976: Developing a Bigger Vision
1977-1986: Growing Through Hard Times
1987-1996: Preparing for a New Century
1997-Future: The Vision
2003: Rewriting the law
1957-1966: Changing with the Times
As the School approached its 25th anniversary in 1961, the National Institute of Mental Health was annually awarding approximately $46,000 in teaching grants and $40,000 in student fellowships to the School. Student stipends from other state and federal agencies also helped the School attract good students and additional faculty. One hundred four fulltime students enrolled in 1961. Such faculty members as Susan Dawson, Merle Dore, Myron Falk, Leslie McKenzie, and many other instructional and field work faculty inspired their students. The School celebrated its Silver Anniversary with a large symposium and forum, and a gala Faculty Club banquet at which Katherine Kendall spoke.
Faculty-student relationships seem, by current standards, rather paternalistic, yet they were the source of many fond, warm memories for students. David Bornman (Class of '62) and Kemper Luttrell Bornman (Class of '64), who are now retired to North Carolina after many years of service in public mental health, remember becoming engaged during their days at the School. David Bornman felt almost compelled to inform Dean Klein of this decision. Dr. Klein said nothing, pulled the files on Kemper, and finally said, "She can bring up her grades." David laughs, ''That was the Dean's way of giving me permission to marry!" Preston Dyer (Class of '62), by his own admission a strong and strapping fellow, recalls fondly that Kathryne Mullinix stayed late to ensure his safety when he was interviewing mental health patients one night in the School. "One famous faculty member sometimes called us 'children' to our faces", said Ken Kuzenski, Class of '57. "When we talked to her about how that bothered us, she just replied that she
was going to do things her way, and we would have to accept it!"
The School reached out to the community with its on-going continuing education efforts. Throughout most of this decade, the School sponsored annual conferences for psychiatric social workers, and training institutes for juvenile and law enforcement officers. In 1959, the School initiated a Social Welfare Day (later designated the Moss Tyler-Harrison A. Dobbs Memorial Lectures to honor two wellknown early faculty members, both of whom died in 1963). This Social Welfare Day became a major campus event which always featured a nationally-known keynote speaker and attracted about 300 professionals yearly until it ceased in 1975.
With growth came curriculum change, and that change was not always easy. The curriculum primarily followed a psychiatric case work model; in fact, several veterans of this era maintained that the curriculum was so strongly psychoanalytic in nature that other frameworks were hardly mentioned in class. "Professionally, the environment in the School was very conservative. If you favored, for instance, a behavioral approach, you didn't get very far with it in your courses," was the assessment of one graduate. Another graduate termed the curriculum and the atmosphere of the School as "restrictive, very restrictive", while one alum identified the School as "authoritarian".
However, times were changing. Students were delighted when the University disbanded the long-standing tradition of Saturday classes. More importantly, the 60's brought new social and professional thought and much more emphasis on community-based advocacy and work with groups of all sizes. Racial integration was an accepted fact in this decade, though it sometimes created confljpt. Racial issues, along with the professional transitions which were reflected in the evolving curriculum, meant that faculty faced challenging changes.
And student attitudes were altering. One faculty member of this era recalled that students were increasingly outspoken and critical in the '60's and 70's, a situation which made teaching more challenging. Another faculty member commented, "There were some tense times for faculty in the 60's and 70's, when different faculty members accused each other of professional narrow-mindedness or racism. There was more fragmentation among the faculty, particularly in the 70's."
The Viet Nam era of 1964-1974 was a time when many universities and schools of social work were engaged in debate and even conflict over the proper role of the U.S. military in the affairs of other nations. LSU, however, was at the lower end of the activity spectrum in responding to the Viet Nam controversy. While some free speech activities occurred on campus and a few radicals hung out on Chimes Street, the University had few serious collective activities that could be considered radical. The same was true with the School. There was little sustained debate or reaction about the Vietnam war in the School.
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