Events

Celebrating Olivia J. Hooker at 101

The Manhattan Psychological Association salutes another psychology centenarian – Olivia J. Hooker.

By Harold Takooshian, PhD

Celebrating Olivia J. Hooker at 101 More than 50 colleagues and friends from as far as Washington, D.C., gathered in Manhattan to salute legendary Fordham University Professor Emerita Olivia J. Hooker, PhD, who celebrated her 101st birthday in 2016.

Hooker is not only the senior psychologist in our region, but a beloved and wise mentor to many. She completed her BA at Ohio State University in 1937, her MA at Columbia University in 1947 and her PhD at the University of Rochester in 1961, before becoming a director of research at the Kennedy Child Study Center. Hooker is professor emerita at Fordham, where she served with her dear friend Anne Anastasi from 1963-85. YouTube contains many videos of Hooker's pioneering contributions to society. She received awards from President Ronald Reagan and her extraordinary contributions were recently saluted by President Barack Obama.

Many participants in this gathering were longtime admirers of Hooker, and they spoke on what a beloved and extraordinary person she is. Attorney Gail Wright Sirmans rushed back from her class reunion at Harvard Law School in Boston to describe her affection for Hooker. Fordham professor David Glenwick described how he was mentored by Hooker when he arrived at the school in the 1970s.

Janis Porter, SPHR, was presented with Manhattan Psychological Association's Certificate of Recognition for her inspiring skill and dedication to keep her godmother Hooker so vital past age 101.