Department History

Psychology in North American colleges and universities usually differentiated out of Philosophy Departments. Trinity developed the same way. The first philosopher to be hired to teach psychology, with a lab, was Wilbur Marshall Urban — hired in 1902. Urban was trained at Leipzig and Jena. Wilhelm Wundt was the second reader on his dissertation. As an undergraduate, Urban studied with James Mark Baldwin at Princeton. Urban’s German education apparently led him to some ambivalence about World War I. At least one faculty member started a campaign against Urban on the grounds that he was insufficiently patriotic. Conveniently, Urban was offered a year of teaching at Harvard in 1918, to let things cool down. When he returned, his colleagues started a campaign to force the originally complaining faculty member to resign. While this divided the campus and created a great uproar, Urban left for a Professorship at Dartmouth in 1920. He remained at Dartmouth for 10 years, then went to Yale, where he helped recruit Ernst Cassirer to the department. He officially retired from Yale in 1946.

The replacement for Urban at Trinity was Harry T. Costello. Costello came most recently from Columbia University, but was a Harvard Ph.D. from the heyday of the Harvard philosophy department. Costello was most associated with the work of Josiah Royce, but clearly understood people like Santayana and the New Realists as well. He knew Bertrand Russell from a 1914 visit to Harvard and, on that visit, learned about Wittgenstein. Like Urban before him, Costello taught psychology as well as philosophy and was the lone member of the department. He finally got help in 1927, when Robert Bines Woodward Hutt was hired from the University of Pennsylvania. Hutt was Trinity’s first Psychology Ph.D. He came from the Psychology Clinic at Penn that had been founded by Lightner Witmer. Because of the clinic, and the journal, The Psychological Clinic, Witmer was known as the founder of Clinical Psychology (although, truth be told, this was more school psychology, vocational counseling, and occupational therapy, than what we know as clinical psychology today). The co-director of the Penn Clinic was Edwin Twitmyer, sometimes credited with independently discovering classical conditioning. It was Twitmyer who wrote to recommend Hutt. Hutt was an ordained Episcopal priest who was appointed Assistant Chaplain (meaning assistant to President Ogilby).

Trinity Psychology Grads:
Susan Baillet
Geoff Bingham
Diane Colasanto
Robert Epstein
Laura Holt
Judy Hudson
Katherine Karlsgodt
Bruce Kay
Russ Medbery
Holmes Morton
Adam Naylor
Richard Pastore
Edward S. Reed
Karl Scheibe
Jay Smart
Ferrrinne Spector
Thomas Tighe
Ed Yeterian

People who taught at Trinity while post-docs or grad students:
Geoff Bingham
Claudia Carello
Gene Goldfield
Karl Pribram
Robert Remez
Edie Sullivan