Rik was born on August 27, 1942 in Red Wing, Minnesota and died July 26, 2015 in nearby Wacouta, Minnesota. He was a member of the class of 1964 at Carleton and received his Ph. D. in Psychology from McGill University, Montreal in 1968. He went on to have a long and productive 37-year tenure as a member (and Head) of the Psychology Department at the University of Vermont.
My own friendship with Rik began when we were both employed as Research Assistants on John Bare’s research grant during the summer of 1963. I do not remember the exact purpose of the research we were assisting with, but it involved randomly shocking rats, and led to a colony of extremely angry and nasty white rats (unlike their usual docile, cuddly nature). Rik proved himself to be able and responsible, as well as fun loving and a joy to be around. We also had both the advantage of the sociable proclivities of the Psychology Department faculty (Peter Guthrie played a mean concertina while John Bare enjoyed percussion), as well as free-time sojourns in Red Wing where Rik demonstrated his award-winning skills as a water skier.
I kept in touch with Rik in the late 60’s and early 70’s through annual meetings of various groups and got the impression that he loved what he was doing and where he was living. I saw him less often as his interests turned to cannabis research and politics—he served on the Burlington City Council at the same time as Bernie Sanders was elected mayor. Along with chairing his department from 1975 to 1987, he mentored numerous graduate theses and dissertations and produced over 100 scholarly publications.
Following several collaborative research initiatives with colleagues in Brazil, Rik was involved in the formation of the International Cannabinoid Research Society in the early nineties and served as its executive director until 2010. Rik hosted a session on his research at the 50th reunion, the last time I saw him before his death the next year.
Rik leaves his wife, Diane, sons Andrew and James; and his first wife and mother of his sons, Sherrill Musty, along with numerous relatives, colleagues and friends.Rik was a fun—loving, interesting, and loyal friend to those who knew him, and would definitely be a high scorer on the “Big Five“ personality factor of openness to experience. He is missed.