Here are 483 retirement messages from some of your colleagues:

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Dear Dr. Zimbardo,

I am very curious about the narratives or stories of your retirement. Please do not stop sharing your thoughts or, mainly, your experience in this fascinating period as it is retirement.

We can learn a lot if some persons, gifted as you are, share the values and the full experience of this poorly understood period of human life. Please let me know when or where I can continue learn from you.

All the best to your life,

Jose Alves
University of Minho


You are a FORCE OF NATURE!! I am simply in awe of your life, your accomplishments, and your dedication to the field. If psychology didn't have you, we'd have to invent you, since I can't imagine where we would be without your contributions to the field. For example, with no Phil Zimbardo there would be NO Discovering Psychology series, NO Stanford Prison Experiment, NO Psychology and Life textbooks (50 editions?), NO Zimbardo input in multiple television projects, NO Zimbardo presence in front of the camera with digestible insights and observations for a lay audience, NO Zimbardo presentations to HUNDREDS of groups, NO Zimbardo as APA President, and most importantly, NO Zimbardo as a cherished friend.

Thank you for being you! And don't forget to drop off that blood sample over at NIH so we can HAVE YOU CLONED!!!

Norman Anderson
American Psychological Association
United States

Dear Phil,

My first “encounter” with you was as a new graduate student in social psychology in the early 70’s. That is when I started hearing about this dynamic, creative, exciting “star” in social psychology – Phil Zimbardo. At the time I was very interested in your research on deindividuation. I was working with Steve Worchel at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, and he was planning to do research in prisons. Much of what he was doing was based on your “Stanford prison study.” After reading many of your publications, I started attending your presentations at the American Psychological Association conventions and was immediately enthralled with you and your work. From that point on I was a devoted Zimbardo fan!

I must admit that part of the attraction was the common bond I felt with you as a person with an Italian heritage. Whenever I heard you give a presentation, I always felt that because of this bond, you really understood ME. Of course, I soon realized that everyone felt this way about you. Your ability to connect with every type of individual is one of your special gifts. Add to that your enthusiasm for, devotion to, and ability for making psychology come alive for all people, and you can understand why you have continued to be a source of inspiration to me for more than 30 years.

Like so many other teachers, I have used your textbooks and videos in my classes. Every time I read your work or see you in a video, I find myself in awe of your passion for psychology and your unique ability to convey this passion in your teaching. I found your leadership in APA during the past few years particularly inspirational. You brought your passion for psychology, teaching, and learning to the Presidency of APA, and in doing so you transformed this office. You helped psychology teachers around the world, no matter what level of psychology they taught, feel connected to the discipline, to APA, and to one another.

In August 2002 I received the APA Distinguished Contributions of Applications of Psychology to Education and Training. I cannot find the words to express how much more special this award was because YOU gave it to me and YOUR signature is on the award. What a thrill it was to be on the same stage as you!

Although you may be retiring from public life, you will never be forgotten. These special gifts you have given us will be treasured forever. I wish you all the best in your retirement.

Virginia Andreoli Mathie
James Madison University
United States

Dear Phil,

You will be missed by all, but you leave a body of work that will long outlast all of us.

It was an honor and a pleasure participating with you in various adventures, from dinner in Hawaii to APA President.

With Warmest Aloha,

Dr. Jack Annon
University of Hawaii
United States


You have made a significant difference. Thanks for all your hard work.

Barry Anton
University of Puget Sound
United States

Dear Phil:

I have enjoyed getting to know you a little bit and collaborating with you on the APA task force on external funding. Thank you so much for inviting me and letting me obsess right along with you!

David Antonuccio
University of Nevada School of Medicine
United States

Dr. Zimbardo....many, many years ago, I was an undergrad at Connecticut College and was thrilled to be sent to the EPA Conference in Boston, where I heard you speak. Your creativity and enthusiasm was infectious -- your work was really making a difference in our knowledge! I recall feeling very proud that I was embarking on a career in psychology. I can't picture someone with your energy being "retired"...I look forward to hearing about your next adventures!

Good luck and best wishes.

Jane Arabian
Department of Defense
United States

Dear Phil and Christina and Family,

You all were the architects of the most delightful year of my academic life. Your warmth, generosity, sense of wonder, energy...your friendship...were high points that I will treasure forever. It is always a joy to see you, and I know that will not stop with your retirement, Phil. But on this occasion of your formal retirement I am reminded,
once again, of how much you have given to Psychology, to Social Psychology, and to the people who have had the pleasure to cross your path. Thank you for sharing so much with us all, and thank you for your friendship.

With love...and awe, Bob

Bob Arkin
Ohio State

I want to thank you for being an inspiration to myself and my students over the past 28 years of teaching psychology to community college students. I was a fan of the Discovering Psychology telecourse from nearly the beginning. Your professionalism has been a wonderful model.

Peggy Armitage
Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland
United States

Dear Phil,

You are one of a kind, and the field will miss your talents, panache, and passion for using psychology to make a difference. I must say, it is somewhat unsettling to see such a young man retire.

I feel very fortunate to have been your TA and your student for a brief time (1986), and thank you so deeply for giving me that year at Stanford. It made all the difference in my career. I still use the knowledge you taught me about experimentation in the Lewinian style, and delight in passing these tricks of the trade on to my students and imbuing them with the tradition that you helped create.

Much love and good wishes for your retirement!

Your friend and student,

Joshua Aronson
New York University
United States

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