Remembering Professor Robert McCormick

Center for Child Advocacy to be renamed in honor of late professor

Photo: Mike Peters

On April 4, 2014, family, friends and colleagues of the late Robert D. McCormick, professor of psychology and founding director of the Center for Child Advocacy at Montclair State University, gathered at the University Conference Center for a memorial service in celebration of his life and achievements.

McCormick, who died suddenly and unexpectedly on January 3, 2014, was a progressive, passionate, and caring friend and colleague and an academic pioneer. He served Montclair State for more than four decades, teaching in the Department of Spanish and Italian, the Department of Psychology, and in the Child Advocacy and Policy program. For the past 13 years, he was the director of the Center for Child Advocacy, which he founded.

Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole used the memorial service as the occasion to announce that in his honor, the Center for Child Advocacy would be renamed the Robert D. McCormick Center for Child Advocacy and Policy, effective July 1, 2014.

“It is fitting that the Center for Child Advocacy be renamed the Robert D. McCormick Center for Child Advocacy and Policy,” says College of Humanities and Social Sciences Dean Marietta Morrissey. “He was a pioneer in understanding the need for greater academic programming in the area of child welfare and children’s rights.”

McCormick was a staunch advocate for New Jersey’s children and families. Under his committed direction, the Center became a unique educational, training and public service initiative. It provided both a broad range of academic program opportunities to Montclair State undergraduate and graduate students and important services to the agencies that service New Jersey’s children and families.

He was instrumental in a establishing productive partnership with the New Jersey Department of Children and Families to prepare staff to better serve the state’s children and families. “Similar programs elsewhere in the nation now number nearly 50,” notes Morrissey. “Many were designed with his input and are modeled after the Montclair State Center.”

For a 2007 autobiographical essay by Robert McCormick, go to: First Person.