A speech by Bob Mendelsohn at the gala in honor of Patrick L. Ross.
I want to welcome all of you and thank you for coming to honor Patrick Leith Ross, who, as much as anyone, represents all that is wonderful about the Derner community. I will soon read a speech to you by Pat’s dear friend and former Dean of the Derner Institute Dr. George Stricker. For now, I want to say just a few of my own words about Pat.
We humans are a species of contradictions. Here are some that relate to Pat Ross:
Pat Ross and Gordon Derner never got along. I don’t think that they liked each other all that much…they certainly fought a lot. And yet, Pat is as loyal and committed to Gordon Derner’s vision of graduate training in clinical psychology as anyone that I have ever known. If Gordon is looking down on us now, I know that he, like all of us, is grateful to Pat for keeping the Derner model alive and well.
Pat is not a clinical psychologist and yet, he can always be relied upon to understand a student or faculty issue in its various psychological and clinical contexts. And, when some of us on the faculty…including me…well-trained clinicians, I might add, become hotheaded over an issue, one can always hear Pat, in a reasonable-sounding voice, speaking as if he were a psychoanalytic psychologist. “But Bob, he, (or she) is struggling with thus and so. Have a little compassion…” he is always saying.
Pat is of Scottish decent and he is cheap by culture and breeding. In fact, Pat’s middle name, Leith, is taken from a relative, many generations past, who was a Scottish nobleman. This man was so enraged at having to pay taxes to the British, that he actually set fire to his castle rather than pay his tax bill. And yet, Pat is the most generous person at Derner when it comes to getting our students money to help defray the high costs of their education.
Pat is generous, dedicated and loyal. He loves our Institute and most of all he loves the students who are trained here. Pat, I apologize in advance for saying this, but just as Gordon Derner before you, when someone enters the Derner Institute as a student, they become a member of Pat’s family and, as such, they can expect Pat’s enduring loyalty, dedication and love.
Finally, I want to say something about Pat’s other family. I am delighted that all of you are here tonight to honor Pat and I know how much all of you miss Pat’s beloved Stephanie. I wish she were here…to see the outpouring of love for Pat. I know that she would be as proud as all of us are. Pat, I am honored to be your colleague and your friend and I am delighted that we have been able to honor you today.
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