Loren James Chapman, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, age 90 of Madison, Wisconsin, born January 5, 1927 in Muncie, Indiana to Herbert Lee Chapman and Lurana Gertrude (Treff), died peacefully at home on Tuesday, December 5, 2017.
He is survived by his loving wife Jean (Paulsen), daughter Nancy Jean (m. Eric Bauer), and son Laurence James (m. Jennifer Orth), grandchildren Emily Helen, Benjamin August, and Henry Thomas, as well as sister, Mary Frances (Moore). He is preceded in death by brother Herbert Lee Jr. Loren received his B.A. from Harvard in 1948, and his Ph.D. in Psychology from Northwestern in 1954. Loren retired in 1993 after a long and distinguished career as a professor and researcher of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition to being a well-regarded mentor to many students, he contributed alongside his wife, and research partner, Jean, significantly to the field of schizophrenia research. Outside his career, he enjoyed traveling, tackling new intellectual challenges, and spending time with his family. His booming voice, rich laugh, and shy wit will be sorely missed.
A private service was held.
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Loren was by turns intimidating and endearing, but always intellectually challenging. He had one of the sharpest minds in science and I was honored to train with him. He and Jean taught me about scientific ethics, about the need to understand the literature in depth, and, most importantly, about the need for methodological rigor. With Loren you never worried that you were cutting corners in publishing your work. He and Jean made sure that the questions and conclusions had been examined in as many ways as possible. Outside of the lab this special couple regularly invited their students into their home for dinners and socializing. And they made a point of joining in the festivities at several of our grad student parties despite the smoky haze and deafening music. They taught me the timeless value of "The Graduate" and the dangers of carrying large boxes of unnumbered computer cards across icy streets. But mostly they taught me that it is possible to survive academia with your integrity intact. I am deeply saddened by Loren's passing. My love to Jean and condolences to the Chapman family.
When I was a doctoral student under Loren, his rigorous approach to research reminded me of the phrase "faithful unto the vision." Loren's goal was not to gain attention for himself but to make contributions that would stand the test of time. His work has indeed endured, and younger scientists are carrying it on. I am grateful for all I learned from Loren and proud to count myself among "the Chapman students."
Although Loren was exacting as a mentor and reserved in manner, he had a charming, whimsical side. He was cautious and skeptical professionally, but could readily develop enthusiasms in other areas. He could get excited about fancy stereo speakers, pop-up greeting cards, Dalmatian dogs, or anything that captured his fancy. Loren was also capable of great kindness, often working behind the scenes without calling attention to himself. I considered Loren a good friend, and I will miss his presence in this world.
I send my condolences to Jean, Nancy, Larry, and all who love Loren. Rest in peace, Dr Chapman. You have earned it.
Loren Chapman was the greatest contributor to research on psychological aspects of psychopathology in the 20th Century. His focus was on understanding schizophrenia, which was the most severe and chronic form of psychopathology. His contributions, both theoretical and methodological, transformed the field, and had important implications for research on other forms of psychopathology. Throughout my early- to mid-career, I looked to his papers for the best research on psychopathology. It was my good fortune to get to know him personally, largely as a result of serving with Jean Chapman on an NIMH psychopathology study section. I am indebted to Gerald Metalsky for posting the following comment: "Oh, and that smile of his. Loren typically had an expressionless sort of look about him. However, whenever he heard a new or interesting idea, he lit up like a Christmas tree with a twinkle in his eyes, a grin from ear-to-ear, and an unmistakable distinctive laugh." I enjoyed seeing that smile many times, and it is one of my fondest memories. His passing is a great loss.
I am saddened by the news of Loren Chapman's passing. I have so many fond memories. I first met Loren when taking his psychopathology module for first year clinical students. I quickly discovered it would take me 12+ hours per day, 7 days per week, simply to be prepared for class. By Loren's standards, being prepared meant knowing every line of every reading and being ready to explain each piece in detail whenever he happened to call on you. Loren did not have students raise their hands in order for him to call on someone who knew the answer. No, he simply called out a name, any name, randomly, and that student had to go, sink or swim. I think he was channeling John Houseman's character in The Paper Chase, Charles W. Kingsfield Jr. It was the grind of all grinds but extremely effective. In only a few weeks, I knew much of the core material in the Schizophrenia literature inside and out. Oh, and that smile of his. Loren typically had an expressionless sort of look about him. However, whenever he heard a new or interesting idea, he lit up like a Christmas tree with a twinkle in his eyes, a grin from ear-to-ear, and an unmistakable distinctive laugh. I can remember it like it was yesterday 30+ years later. Loren was a true and pure intellect, the likes of which I have rarely known. RIP Loren.
Loren was a wonderful person whose intellectual brilliance was matched by his warmth, his kindness and his delightful sense of humor. It was the greatest privilege to have been his student and his friend. Denise Beckfield
I am deeply honored that Prof. Loren Chapman (and his wife and collaborator Jean Chapman) were my graduate mentors - and I am equally appreciative for the warm friendship that we have shared throughout the years. I am constantly reminded of how much he taught me about science, mentorship, and being a successful academic. Every time I review one of my student's manuscripts, I am reminded of the hours and the ink he spent teaching me how to be a thinker and a writer. Every time I review a manuscript for a journal, I am reminded of how he taught me to critically and constructively evaluate scientific contributions. Every time I see my own students' accomplishments, I am reminded of how he guided my own development as a scholar and as a person. Furthermore, I remember the delight he showed every time I told him about something my children had done - and I realized that his life was a wonderful blend of family and work (in that order). In closing, I send my warmest thoughts and deepest thanks to Loren and Jean. I am very thankful to have you in my life.
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