Entertaining memories of the Derner Institute in the '80s.

Jerry Gold has been at Adelphi for 17 years as a full-time faculty member. Aside from his important contributions to the field of clinical psychology, i.e., his A Casebook of Psychotherapy Integration, he also has some entertaining memories to share.

I was a first year student; Gordon [Derner] was very much with us. Gordon had a history of having Christmas parties at his home. He’d have the whole institute over to his home. He lived not far from campus.

So, a group of us were sitting around the table, having a drink of “Glog” (wine punch—very potent!) and we put down our glasses and we watched our glasses walk away from us. As psychologists, we produced hypotheses:

  • We were on hallucinogenic drugs.
  • Gordon had animals all over his home. Didn’t the table look a bit like a reptile?
  • The land tortoise had served as a coffee table.That was it.

Gordon was colorful, the likeness of which hasn’t been seen since he left us so early.

I remember a whole different time here at Derner. I remember doing my dissertation and having to enter all my statistics on punch cards on the one computer on campus. I remember having my dissertation typed and having it re-typed after orals, having to pay someone $1 a page to get it typed.

There were no laptops and no PCs—they were main frames that didn’t have terminals.

I remember the institute being on the top floor of what used to be called the business building. There’d be parties up there with live bands. I remember playing with those bands as a student and young faculty member in the ’80s. Where the Starbucks is? That used to be a pub. When the drinking age was 18, faculty and students would gather and talk over a pint. There was a real sense of cohesiveness on campus and people lived close-by—I remember when there was no problem getting a parking space on campus.

Published Fall 2016 in Day Residue, the Derner Institute Doctoral Student Newsletter

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