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History of IGAS

IGAS traces its roots to 1910, when Milton N. Bunker, a shorthand teacher in Kansas, began his study in handwriting analysis. At this time, he was a penmanship and shorthand student. Three of his penmanship instructors told him to put less space between letters and to make shorter strokes at the ends of words. Bunker could not make these changes, and he wondered why.


Milton N. Bunker, 1910
Founder, AIGA, I.G.A.S.




At the time, no single theory or method dominated handwriting analysis. French practitioners concentrated on isolated signs as specific indicators of personality, and Germans sought to make subjective interpretations based on a total impression of a person's handwriting.


After extensive research, Bunker saw the need for a compromise: a standardized or "scientific" approach to determining personality from a sample of handwriting. He studied the handwriting analysis theories of the time and formulated his own unique system based on extensive sampling and empirical research. This system, known as Graphoanalysis, uses stroke analysis to provide insight into personality traits and evaluation of a writer's personality.


From about 1912 until 1928, Bunker empirically tested every rule and sign to verify that they worked consistently. Bunker claimed that if each one worked at least a thousand times, he considered it valid.




M.N. Bunker, 1953


In 1929, Bunker incorporated The American Institute of Grapho-Analysis (AIGA) in Kansas City, Missouri. Bunker's first correspondence course in handwriting analysis sold for $37.50, and he advertised it as being more scientific, newer, up-to-date, and better than any other course in handwriting analysis.


In 1949, Bunker re-incorporated AIGA as the International Grapho-Analysis Society, Inc.


Narce Caliva, 1960


In 1951, Bunker chartered groups of students and graduates into chapters to serve as support groups for IGAS. This support group network would later be known as The International Graphoanalysis Society. Narce Caliva played a central role establishing these chapters. Many of these chapters are still going strong today.


V. Peter Ferrara 1968


In 1960, V. Peter Ferrara was appointed president of the company by Bunker, a longtime business partner and friend.


In 1961, Ferrara re-incorporated IGAS in Delaware. He renewed the trademarks Graphoanalysis and Graphoanalyst and moved IGAS from Springfield, Missouri, to Chicago. In April 1961, M.N. Bunker died and Ferrara inherited a substantial portion of the company.




Dr. James C. Crumbaugh, 1974


As president, Ferrara sponsored empirical-based validity studies under Dr. James C. Crumbaugh, a clinical psychologist from the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Gulfport, Mississippi. Dr. Crumbaugh was a prominent authority in the field of experimental psychology. He served for many years as an instructor at the Society's annual Resident Institute starting in 1968.


Bill Harms, 1975




In 1971, Bill Harms was certified as a Graphoanalyst and received his masters certification soon after. He began instructing for IGAS in 1982 and served as an instructor for IGAS for over 20 years. He is currently one of the instructors on staff at IGAS.



Emilie Stockholm, 1977


From the early 1970s through the early 1980s, IGAS put considerable energy into research, the most important studies being conducted by Dr. James C. Crumbaugh and Emilie Stockholm (1977) and Stockholm (1980), (1983). Stockholm also served as an instructor at the time.




Kathy Kusta, 2000


In 1989 Kathleen Kusta assumed the position of President upon the death of her father, V. Peter Ferrara. Under Kusta's leadership, the company expanded chapter programs, updated coursework, and performed several research initiatives.




John Steel, 1987


John Steele, MGA, joined Dr. Crumbaugh in conducting IGAS research following Emilie Stockholm's death in 1991. During the next 12 years major emphasis was placed on enhancing the Society's foundation for scientific investigation. Mr. Steele revised the Trait Intensity Calculation Guide, developed a gauge for measuring handwriting attributes, and trained and certified the initial group of Certified IGAS Research Associates. These initiatives greatly enhanced the reliability of research studies.

                                                  In November 2003, assumed the role of President of IGAS, Inc.
 
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