Harold M. Hildreth
Distinguished Public Service Award

Harold Hildreth was a long time friend of Division 18. A Division President in 1958 and APA Council member for the Division from 1953-1956, Hildreth seemed to be naturally inclined toward public service and spent much of his life devoting himself to the application of psychology to wide areas of endeavor. He described himself as having special research interests in socially sensitive areas. His diverse clinical activities ranged from helping to develop police training films, to interests in suicide, homosexuality and emergency mental health services. He was the second person to serve as the Chief Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Veteran Affairs (1948-1956) and followed that appointment with a distinguished career in the Community Research and Service Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). He served as a model for dedication and achievement in serving the public.

Hildreth was described by those who knew him as an extraordinary leader who made you believe in the importance of psychology and who had a fantastic memory for personal events which endeared him to others. Beyond personal qualities and interpersonal skills, it was Hildreth’s role as a visionary which constituted his major contribution and which set him apart from his contemporaries. He sketched a glorious, yet eminently believable, future for psychology. Responding to his charisma and infectious enthusiasm, his more practical-minded associates eagerly enlisted in the effort to apply psychology to bettering the human condition.

It was singularly appropriate that, upon his death in 1965, the Division established an award for outstanding public service to the public in his memory. The Harold M. Hildreth Award for Distinguished Public Service has remained the highest award that the Division could bestow.

Previous Recipients

2013:  Ellen Scrivner
2009:  Guy Seymour and Robert Ax
2008:  Robert Fein
2007:  Scotty Hardgrove
2006:  Walter E. Penk
2005:  Carol T. Mowbray
2004:  Herbert Dorken
2003:  Paul E. Gendreau
2002:  Ronald F. Levant
2001:  Edward Mulvey
2000:  Dale L. Johnson
1999:  Frederick J. Frese, III
1998:  Harriet P. Lefley
1997:  J. Wilbert Edgerton
1996:  Alice F. Chang
1995:  Bruce D. Sales
1994:  Lee B. Sechrest
1993:  Patricia F. Waller
1992:  Gary B. Melton
1991:  Robert L. Custer and John E. Davis, Jr.
1990:  Charles Windle
1989:  Alfred M. Wellner
1988:  Asher R. Pacht
1987:  Durand F. Jacobs
1986:  James Grier Miller
1985:  Patrick H. Deleon
1984:  No award presented
1983:  Charles A. Stenger
1982:  Cecil P. Peck
1981:  Stanley Schneider
1980:  No award presented
1979:  Betty H. Pickett
1978:  Herman Feifel
1977:  Lee Gurel
1976:  Milton W. McCullough
1975:  Henry P. David
1974:  No award presented
1973:  Margaret Ives
1972:  Norman I., Farberow
1971:  Henry W. Riecken
1970:  Jerry W. Carter
1969:  Marucie G. Kott
1968:  John C. Eberhart
1967:  Joseph M. Bobbitt
1966:  Edwin S. Shneidman