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President's column: Pledge to keep our society strong

The current division president remembers past-year successes including the new division website and logo, the creation of the Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy Foundation, the re-organization of the society representatives to APA committees and the huge success of the division’s programs at the annual convention

By Jean Keim, PhD

It doesn’t seem possible that this is my last column as President. I find myself spending time reflecting on the events that occurred while your president. Undoubtedly, the most signifi cant is the creation of the Society of Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy Foundation through APA’s American Psychological Foundation. The board has committed funds to the foundation; however, donations from the membership will greatly strengthen it. Dick Moreland kicked off donations with a very generous estate gift. Board members and I have made personal contributions as well. The sooner we reach the $100,000 goal, the surooner we will begin awarding grants, scholarships, etc. I urge you to consider a donation, and when you donate, to clearly mark that it is for the Division 49 Fund. A pledge form follows in this newsletter on page 30.” to read “I urge you to consider a donation, and when you donate, to clearly mark that it is for the Division 49 Fund (link to a pledge form). A pledge form follows in this newsletter on page 30. I believe there is no greater legacy for future generations than to have a foundation which will advance Group knowledge long after we are gone. I see the foundation as a celebration of our Society.

Speaking of celebrating, the celebration of our 20th anniversary during the convention was another memorable event. Kathy and John Ritter, Dennis Kivlighan, and Lee Gillis worked tirelessly along with many others to make the entire evening a success. It is always a highpoint to see dear friends and make new ones. This year we also had a breakfast for our founding and long-term members. It is wonderful to see them and hear about the Division (now Society) over the years and where they see us going. They are doing amazing work, for example, Rex Stockton goes to Africa each summer and leads counselor training and research in HIV/AIDS prevention. I hope the breakfast becomes a tradition.

This year saw the migration of our website to APA’s hosted site; and they are taking responsibility for updating the webpage when we request it. If you haven’t seen it lately, I urge you to take a look. We also have a new logo. There is a stand-alone version or the larger one with more text. Attendees at the social received a travel mug with the new logo and those at the breakfast received a paperweight with it.

During the January board meeting, we reorganized our society representatives to APA committees from free-standing individuals into the existing Society 49 committee structure. This addresses the sense of isolation of the representatives and consolidates communication.

The year rounded-out with the convention. It was a huge success and we owe thanks to Maria Riva (our new President-Elect), Janice DeLucia-Waack, and the entire Program Committee. The sessions were well attended and informative. Arthur "Andy" M. Horne received the Group Psychologist of the Year Award. Kathy and John Ritter, and Lee Gillis received the President’s Awards for Outstanding Service.

Serving as your president has been a highlight of my career. Words cannot express my appreciation for your support in fi rst electing me, then during my heart valve surgery as your President-Elect and now during my year as President. I have made friends for a lifetime and hopefully had an impact on the Society for the future. If you are a member and not involved – you are missing so much. Email me and I will help you get involved. Thanks for allowing me to serve as President and be a part of your group. It has been an honor and a privilege. So until we meet again in my role as Past-President, Aloha.

New Division 49 Logo

new Division 49 logo