University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Psychological Science

Ansbachers' Awarded Doctors of Letters

Presented by Professor Richard Musty
May 18, 1980
University of Vermont Commencement Ceremony

As a couple and as a team, Heinz L. and Rowena R. Ansbacher are credited with major contributions to the understanding of the principles of Viennese psychologist Alfred Adler. Together they have given over 50 years of service to the University of Vermont.

Rowena Ripin was born in New York and received her bachelor's degree at Barnard College of Columbia University in 1927. During a visit to Europe with her family the following year, she took an interest in the psychological, theory and practice of Adler, and, at Adler's suggestion, studied with Karl and Charlotte Bukler at the University of Vienna. Her 1929 dissertation demonstrated that bottle-fed infants responded to the person presenting the bottle earlier than to the bottle itself. The work was a forerunner of discoveries in the 1960s which recognized the organization of developing perception in the human infant.

Heinz L. Ansbacher was born in Germany, attended school in Frankfurt; and held a variety of jobs; as a dishwasher on a steamship and a clerk in a stock brokerage firm. In New York, he met Alfred Adler at Columbia University, where he attended Adler's lectures and sought his advice. Heinz Ansbacher and Rowena Ripin met at a lunch with Adler. They were married in 1934. He attended Columbia University and received his Ph.D. degree in 1937. Before joining the UVM faculty in 1946, Heinz worked as an editor of "Psychology Abstracts," saw war-time service as a civilian psychologist with the Navy and taught briefly at Brooklyn College and Duke University. In 1954 he taught at the University of Kiel (Germany) under a Fulbright Fellowship.

Together, Heinz and Rowena have published extensively, particularly on Adler and Adlerian psychology. For many years they edited the "Journal of Individual Psychology," and have co-authored such works as "The Individual Psychology of Alfred Adler," "Superiority and Social Interest," and "Cooperation Between the Sexes: Writings on Women, Love, and Marriage, Sexuality and Its Disorders," a major contemporary view of Adlerian theory concerning the social basis of love, marriage and sexuality.

Rowena R. Ansbacher has organized a highly successful series of workshops on Adlerian Theory and Practice, held during the summer on the UVM campus. The series will celebrate its tenth anniversary this year.

Last modified July 22 2010 11:03 AM