A Tribute to Dr Lucien Buck. (1998, September 23). Lionís Voice, p. 3.



On June 15, 1998, Dowling College lost a part of its moral fabric. On that date, Dr. Lucien A. Buck, Professor of Psychology, died after an almost two year battle with cancer. Dr. Buck’s death ends a 35-year “love” relationship between a man, his students, and the Oakdale campus which he helped to build.

Dr. Lucien Buck was a consummate professional. He was certified as a clinical psychologist, and he earned the prestigious Diplomat Status in the field as recognized by a member of the American Psychological Association, the International Council of Psychologist, the Association of Humanistic Psychology, and a member of Sigma Xi, the North America Research Society.

Dr. Buck made or authored 65 presentations and publications prior to 1994. Since 1995, his productivity increased and he presented papers in Lisbon (Portugal), Taipei (Taiwan), Banff (Alberta, Canada), Honolulu (Hawaii), and Graz (Austria). Dr. Buck’s last paper on “Normal Illness Versus Wellness” was presented in Melbourne, Australia this past August.

Dr. Buck came to Dowling College in 1963 when he founded the Psychology Department at the institution. During his career, he endeared himself to many students through his teachings about perception, psychotherapy, altered consciousness, hearing impairment, education, poetry therapy, creativity, schizophrenia, autism, mental retardation, normality, sexuality, Ghandian psychology, and aggression. Dr. Buck regularly taught Introductory Psychology, Theories of Personality, Abnormal Psychology, Interpersonal Dynamics, and several advanced seminars in psychology. His seminars, focusing on “Consciousness” and “Human Sexuality” were favorites amongst students.

Dr. Stephen Gillman, a 33-year colleague of Dr. Buck, stated that “the things that stand out most to me about the man were his personal integrity, his conscientiousness, and his chronic optimism.” Dr. Suzanne Johnson spoke about Dr, Buck’s “consistency, his concern for students, and his always being there for others.” Dr. Bonnie McCluskey, a former student and now a psychologist herself, called Dr. Buck “one of the best teachers someone could have… he really got you to think on your own,,, he was a very brilliant professor.” Dr. Mitchell Laube, another former student and colleague, remembered Dr. Buck as “dedicated to students, never ever late, meticulous in covering material, and a champion of high academic standards.”

Dr. Robert Youth, Psychology Department Coordinator for the past 22 years, wrote that “Dr. Buck was a tough-minded academic who stressed high academic standards. It was not easy to earn an “A” in a course taught by him. Yet, he was also a highly sensitive, extremely thoughtful, and wonderfully life-loving individual. He enjoyed working with students and many students gravitated to his brand of humanistic psychology. Dr. Buck also exhibited courage and integrity in his dealings with everyone. If you spent any time at all with this man, then, you learned not to be petty or petulant in your dealings with others. He always stood up for excellence, fairness, and justice. I truly loved Lou, and II miss him very much.”

Just before Dr. Buck died, he made one last trip to the Dowling College campus to see his last child Lorraine receive her bachelor’s degree in Psychology this past spring. Though the weather that day was somewhat raw, the “bulldog spirit” of Lucien Buck would not allow his illness to keep him from yet another expression of his love. As he sat through that graduation ceremony, Dr. Buck must have reflected on his 35-year passion for psychology, for the Oakdale campus, for his family, and for life. As mathematician and friend David Adler aptly put it… “Lucien was a man of contrasts… patient and gentle… yet, persistent and fiery. He was above all a kind and humane human being. It was a privilege to know him, and I shall never forget him.”

As a tribute to Dr. Lucien Buck, an off-campus memorial service was held in June which allowed friends, colleagues, students, former patients, and family members to speak about what this man meant to each of them. Over $100,000 [$10,000?] in contribution in Dr. Buck’s name were made to either the Dowling College Excellence in Psychology endowment or to the Good Samaritan Hospice program. Based on requests, another memorial service will be held at Dowling College on Thursday, October 8, at 4pm, in the Study of Fortunoff Hall. As part of that service, plans are being finalized to plant a tree on campus alongside of the Connetquot River to memorialize Dr. Buck’s contributions to compassion, wisdom, and learning that makes Dowling College special. In addition, plans are also underway to establish a Psychology Collection in the Dowling College Library in Dr. Buck’s name.

David Belson ?18 June 2009, 14:15

Dr. Buck was a high quality teacher with a concern for student achievement. He lent himself to directing those who sought his wisdom and guidance. He taught well in and out of the classroom. If you did not have a passion for psychology prior to taking one of his classes, you would afterwards. I just learned of his untimely through the internet. My heart goes out to his family, students, patients and the faculty at Dowlling College whom I am sure will miss him dearly as will I. God Bless, David Belson



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Last Modified on May 11, 2012, at 03:29 PM by LPR


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