HE HUGO du COUDRAY
(formerly Hugo Maynard)
BLUE DENIM AWARD
An award to an undergraduate psychology major, either part-time or full-time, who demonstrates financial need, a love of psychology, and achievement around the values of social justice.
One of Hugo du Coudray’s former undergraduate students tells of the time he was helping her to learn how to best portray results of a study she was conducting in another professor’s class. She worried aloud that she shouldn’t be taking up so much of Hugo’s time. He turned from the computer where he’d been demonstrating how to graph her data outcomes and said quietly and insistently, “Nancy, I’m your employee!” “And that was really it,” says the student, reflecting on Hugo’s significance in her life. “He really felt he worked for us!”
“Teaching undergraduates is the main responsibility of the university and we must never diminish or dilute that responsibility for the sake of other things we do.”
Those words from Hugo echo his commitment as a faculty member for over 32 years at PSU. He was noted for being a dynamic teacher, a careful listener, and for having a generous, expansive and inclusive perspective. “He expected me to rise to my greatest competency—and though I didn’t know him outside the classroom, it was clear to me that he expected the same of himself!” says another student. From 1967-1999, he taught a wide array of courses such as Personality Theory, Abnormal Psychology, and Personal and Social Adjustment, He served on many thesis and dissertation committees and helped set the stage for the development of the psychology doctoral program which was established this past year.
There is one course in particular—a course still in existence today—that most fully captures Hugo’s dual commitment to applied psychology and undergraduate learning. Hugo developed the three-term Community Psychology course so that students could transform themselves from passive recipients of “received wisdom” to members of lively student groups engaging with one other in defining community-based projects. The course that Hugo originated exemplifies the practice of what has since become PSU’s motto – “Let Knowledge Serve the City.”
“Fostering undergraduate learning is consistent with the traditions of the great universities, Hugo asserts, “And getting students to take one another seriously while working from ‘the inside out’ –-one leg in the university, one leg in the outside world in order to actively serve the community—is a way to show a regard for their development as learners. It can also inspsire their legacy to their communities.”
Why the Blue Denim Award? Rooted as he was (and, in fact, still is) in the community, Hugo’s hallmarks were his ready accessibility and his working appearance – he was instantly recognizable on campus by his jeans and blue denim shirt, always with pen and pencils in the sleeve pocket. At the end of his last year-long community psychology course, Hugo went to the Smith Memorial Union to join the end-of-class celebration then in progress. He walked in to find himself surrounded by a “Sea of Hugos,” each student wearing a Hugo photograph transformed into a face-sized mask. And below each countenance? Blue denim shirts and jeans – Hugo’s trademark. As a local legislator exclaimed when meeting Hugo for the first time, “So you’re Hugo Maynard! You’re an icon.”
Such recognition and student expression of appreciation is what we hope to transform into a legacy – a scholarship award that will foster the same love of learning and appreciation of psychology that Hugo inspired as a Professor of Psychology at Portland State University.
Remember the challenges of paying for your undergraduate education? This scholarship giving opportunity is one way to give back—and ease that challenge for someone else.
Please go to www.foundation.pdx.edu. Specify the purpose of your gift for the Psychology Department’s Hugo du Coudray Blue Denim Award.