An older, white-haired man with eyeglasses and wearing a pinstriped suit and. red necktie stands and waves with his left arm, as men seated nearby applaud.
Patrick L. Ross, PhD, former professor/associate dean, Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology

A growing endowment for underrepresented doctoral students.

The 20th annual President’s Gala celebrated the University’s 125-year history of transforming lives. And another special milestone shared the spotlight—the 65th anniversary of our acclaimed Gordon F. Derner School of Psychology doctoral program. Coincidentally, the Derner School’s endowed Patrick L. Ross Fellowship Fund reached $1.25 million in 2022.

Established in 2012 by the Derner Advisory Council as the group’s first-ever fundraising initiative, the Patrick L. Ross Fellowship Fund is a powerful example of the influence that advisory groups can have on student success at Adelphi. The council, which includes alumni, faculty and industry leaders, chose to honor the retirement of Derner professor and former associate dean Patrick Ross, PhD, with a fund to make the study of clinical psychology more accessible to students from underrepresented backgrounds. In the 10 years since its establishment, it has provided $5,000, on average, to five to 10 students each year. There were eight Ross scholarship recipients in 2020–2021 and 14 in 2021–2022.

“The fund has helped us recruit top students from diverse and underserved backgrounds and has been an important part of our initiative to promote diversity at Derner,” said J. Christopher Muran, PhD, associate dean. “This initiative has long been part of the Derner legacy and never more important than now.”

“Pat felt it was important that clinical psychology be accessible to everybody, and he wanted to do whatever he could to help Derner support mental health professionals from all communities,” said Anita D’Amico, PhD ’84, who studied with Dr. Ross and is a founding member of the 16-person Derner Advisory Council, which has supported the Ross fund since its inception.

Dr. Ross was recruited to Adelphi by Gordon F. Derner, PhD, the school’s founding dean. Over 45 years, he made invaluable contributions as a teacher, mentor and member of the University community. His legacy lives on in the nearly 1,000 Derner alumni he taught and mentored, as well as the PhD students who receive support from the scholarship in his name.

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