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This historical telling of Western Michigan University's Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences was written by Dr. Charles Van Riper and Dr. Frank B. Robinson. The brief history describes how Dr. Van Riper built a clinic and developed fledgling profession of speech pathology. Hired in 1936 by Dr. Sangren, Van Riper used his skills as a clinician and as a gifted teacher to recruit students, design courses and acquaint the public with the services offered at a mobile speech clinic. By 1938, the first students majoring in “speech correction” were graduated and employed in public schools. By 1939, the speech clinic was relocated to Health Service Building, later the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology. Since then, Western’s substantive contributions have expanded its services into an internationally known clinic and graduate program.


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