Deceased March 1, 2017

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50th Reunion Book Entry

In Memory

The “Dodger” left us March 1, 2017, age 87. It’s hard to accept that such clarity of mind could be taken hostage by “Oldsheimers” as he called it. Few of us have been so steadily committed as the Dodger to a set of life values. In puritan times, it would have been deemed a sense of “calling.” Dodge was called to teach psychology and along with that to coach soccer whenever possible. Dodge served four years in the Navy, 1952 to 1956, mostly in the Mediterranean. In 1955 he married Marjorie Maxwell (Mt. Holyoke, 1952). Lucky guy! He opted for an academic career in clinical and educational psychology, taking his Ph.D. at Cornell in 1960. He taught at Cornell and Wellesley, chaired at Bowdoin and eventually, for many years, was an administrator of Harvard Extension Programs and a senior lecturer in the psychology department—seeking to include coaching in this career whenever possible. His coaching is testified to by hundreds, his skill as a teacher of very large introductory psychology classes by many hundreds if not thousands more. His several psychology books and his reprinted introductory text, Psychology in Six Perspectives, showed what a skillful teacher of a complex subject matter he was. Of great value to Dodge and his family were his two appointments as Fulbright Senior Lecturer in Spain. If I may be permitted one detail from our long friendship and the summer we spent together in Jackson Hole, Wyo., as counselors at a ranch camp there. At the end of season rodeo, counselors were challenged to ride mules mightily irritated by a bucking strap. The Dodger came flying out of the chute, clutching the bucking strap for dear life. It didn’t last long, but the memory of his temerity surely has. Condolences for his loss to Dodge’s extended family, but especially to his grandchildren—Tyler, Alexa, Lucinda, Liam, Ann Foster and Max—for whom he has been and will be such an important influence. But perhaps we should harken to Dodge’s preferred positive response to life’s challenging moments: “Congratulations,” then, to you all, family and students alike, on having had as a part of your lives such an extraordinary husband, father, brother, grandfather. And last, but surely not least, teacher and coach! 

James W. Fernandez ’52

50th Reunion

L. Dodge Fernald

Career Path:
'52-62: U.S. Navy, graduate school
'62-82: Faculty member at Bowdoin, Cornell, Wellesley
'82-'02: Dean, lecturer in psychology, Harvard

Most Gratifying Accomplishment: Getting out of bed

Curiosities: As a species, we have done well on Darwin's first battlefield, struggling against predators, and the second, combating the forces of nature. I'm puzzled how we will manage on the third, competing with members of our own species - our struggle for survival among ourselves.

L. Dodge Fernald

Reflections on Amherst's Influence: Among Amherst's many salubrious influences, English 1-2 gave me a substantial foundation in writing operational definitions after college.

Future Plans: Mmmmh....Ah, yes, going back to bed.