Dorothy Cummings, MSW, D.H.L.

Secretary/Treasurer, Board of Directors, The Cummings Institute for Behavioral Health Studies

Dorothy Cummings was the daughter of a railroad engineer and an elementary school teacher. Born in Indiana shortly before the Great Depression, she learned strong family values and a solid work ethic.

Dorothy attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she met and married Nicholas Cummings. Nick fell in love with Dorothy almost instantly, but it took him quite awhile to even get her to talk to him, let alone go out with him. The two have been married for over 65 years.

After completing her undergraduate work, Dorothy earned a Master’s Degree in Social Work and held various positions, including one at Mendocino State Hospital in California, while working to help Nick complete his M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology.

Dorothy was a stay-at-home mother for over a decade, while raising her daughter Janet (now a psychologist) and her son Andrew (now an attorney). When Dorothy returned to full-time employment, she became a school social worker so that she could work school hours and have school holidays while continuing to raise her children. Dorothy always placed a very high value on education, and her two well-educated children credit her for their educational and career successes.

Dorothy’s husband Nick is a highly successful psychologist and entrepreneur, and in many ways she has gone unnoticed while he has received national and international recognition and accolades. However, Nick attributes all of his successes to Dorothy, as she supported his endeavors, encouraged him to take risks, and always had a way of taking his visions and making them tangible and attainable.

Dorothy highly values charitable and humanitarian endeavors, and has been a driving force behind the creation of The Nicholas & Dorothy Cummings Foundation, The Cummings Foundation for Behavioral Health, and their many educational and other charitable projects. In recognition of her philanthropy, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Akron in May of 2013.

Dorothy loves to travel, and regularly plans trips for her entire family to see exotic places. She has visited all seven continents and intends to continue traveling for as long as she and Nick are able to do so. Dorothy’s greatest joy is the time she spends with her two grandchildren, Mary and Kent. She intends to live to be at least 100, so that she can watch her grandchildren grow into successful adults.

Dorothy is known among her family and friends as the “eternal optimist” because of her joyful disposition and determination to see the positive in all situations. She has uncanny abilities to bring joy to others and to bring out the best in the people around her.