Faculty Member

Rollo Reece May (April 21, 1909 – October 22, 1994) was an American existential psychologist and author of the influential book “Love and Will” (1969). He is often associated with humanistic psychology and existentialist philosophy, and alongside Viktor Frankl, was a major proponent of existential psychotherapy. May was born in Ada, Ohio, on April 21, 1909. He experienced a difficult childhood when his parents divorced and his sister was diagnosed with schizophrenia. At Michigan State University, he majored in English but was expelled due to his involvement in a radical student magazine. After that, he attended Oberlin College and received a bachelor’s degree in English. He spent three years teaching (1930-1933) in Greece at Anatolia College. During this time, he studied with doctor and psychotherapist Alfred Adler, with whom his later work shares theoretical similarities. He was ordained as a minister shortly after returning to the United States but left the ministry after several years to pursue a degree in psychology. May describes his experience at Anatolia in his book “My Quest for Beauty” (1983).

Jean Sheetz Johnston

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