Few association directors have a track record even close to that of Raymond D. Fowler, PhD. With over 13 years on the job, he has served longer than any chief executive officer (CEO) in APA history. He was APA president in 1988 and served on APA's Board of Directors for a total of 22 years. His work with APA's Council of Representatives in various capacities spans 37 years. This year's convention was his 45th.
"Ray Fowler has been totally dedicated to making APA work better than it ever has--for members, for central office staff, for our board, council, committees and task forces and for the general public," said APA President Philip G. Zimbardo, PhD. "He has given his life to this mission--and mission accomplished!"
Fowler will retire at the year's end. In recognition of his tireless devotion to APA and psychology, Members hosted several events in his honor. The beloved CEO received standing ovations, certificates and toasts at nearly every event he attended, from the meeting of the Psychology Executives Roundtable to the Friends of the American Psychological Foundation, to the Council of Representatives, the International Affiliates Reception and the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students.
At the convention's opening general session, Zimbardo presented Fowler and his wife, Sandy, with a one-of-a-kind sculpture and praised Fowler for guiding APA through "many challenging circumstances with a clear vision, calm voice and uncommon wisdom."
Other tributes to Fowler took a more light-hearted approach. Among them was a commendation presented to Fowler by the "Broom Closet Society," the group of former APA presidents who meet yearly to reminisce about their days at the center of APA politics--and good-humoredly lament about how all their current ideas are relegated to the janitor's cupboard. His fellow members recognized him for:
Taking so many shots for the association that his emotional flack jacket has more holes than an antique fishnet.
Saving more APA presidents from stepping in something unpleasant than the keeper of a museum for primary narcissists.
Being a valued friend, an esteemed colleague, and a wise and gentle dolphin who has guided us through many shark-infested waters.
The convention's "Media Mavens Talent Show" also gave a loving tribute to Fowler--in song. Among the most memorable lyrics was a melody thanking Fowler for founding the Running Psychologists group, sung by psychologist and part-time diva Irene Dietch, PhD, to the tune of "You Made Me Love You":
You made me run, too,
I didn't want to do it, I didn't want to do it....
At the various events, Fowler thanked APA Members, association staff, APA governance and international colleagues for their support of his efforts throughout his APA career. And in particular, he thanked his wife Sandy, calling her his "total support system."