Rosemead alumni celebrate school’s 40th anniversary

Rosemead alumni gathered on Friday for an evening of fellowship and reminiscing in celebration of the school’s 40th anniversary.

Bethany Miller, Writer

Alumni of the Rosemead School of Psychology came from all over the country on Friday for an evening of fellowship and reminiscing in celebration of the school’s 40th anniversary.

About 75 alumni and faculty of the school gathered in the Café Banquet Room for a reunion dinner and address by Clark Campbell, Rosemead’s new dean of psychology as of August 2009. After dinner, the alumni were invited to dessert with current Rosemead students in Rose Hall, followed by special lectures by current faculty on Saturday as part of Rosemead’s third triennial reunion.

When Rosemead was founded in 1970 by Clyde Narramore and his nephew Bruce, it was the first stand-alone graduate school for Christian psychology. It wasn’t until 1977 that, for financial reasons, the school merged with Biola’s psychology program.

“We weren’t very happy about it at first,” said William Hunter, who was a Rosemead faculty member from 1973 to 1992, but he now says he considers the union to be an “absolute success,” adding, “Not only was Biola good for Rosemead, but Rosemead was good for Biola.”

In 1980, Rosemead received accreditation from the American Psychological Association, which it continues to hold to this day, although Campbell says the school has to fight for it every year.

“They say, ‘You’re a Christian and a psychologist? You can’t do that,’” Campbell remarked.

This integration of psychology and theology is Rosemead’s most unique and compelling draw, according to students both current and past.

“It’s a place where understanding the Bible and understanding the human condition go hand-in-hand,” said Luke Seltzer, who is in his second semester of study at Rosemead.

The second thing that sets Rosemead apart from almost every other psychology graduate school is the requirement that all students go through therapy themselves with one of Rosemead’s faculty during their years in the program. The intention behind this requirement is for each aspiring clinician to not only understand the process through which they will guide their clients, but to develop into the most intellectually, emotionally and spiritually healthy individuals possible.

“It’s about understanding the depth of people and the relational attachments that they have,” Campbell said. “It’s about a deeper change.”

Over 700 Rosemead graduates are currently bringing “deeper change” to people all across the world through a myriad of professions. Alumni are working in research, universities, mental healthcare for the military, the elderly, and missionaries, neurological development and private practices in most of the 50 states, as well as England, Barbados, Canada, Germany and Kenya, just to name a few, said Ron Blomberg, the school’s director of development.

Rosemead also shares its faculty with the undergraduate psychology majors. During the 2008-2009 school year, the school served 109 students, 76 of whom were undergraduates.

In the Bible, the number 40 generally represents a period of waiting, preparation, or testing, Campbell remarked, segueing into sharing Rosemead’s vision for the future.

“We want to build on the past, not change it,” Campbell said. “God has started a good thing here, a really good thing, and I believe that it’s going to continue to change the world.”

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